A new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology claims that homophobes may be secretly gay. This study should be taken seriously because homophobia affects everyone, especially when someone homophobic is in power.
My first thought when reading the study was, “Is anyone surprised?”
My second thought was, “Who cares?”
And my final thought was, “Oh yeah, because people like Larry Craig are included in this group of homophobes.”
Craig, a former senator from Idaho, was arrested in June 2007 for suspicion of lewd conduct in a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport restroom. He was accused of soliciting an undercover police officer for sexual favors. Craig eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
After the plea, it is easy to question if Craig is homosexual, bisexual/bi-curious or if he just wanted to play footsie with his neighbor in the adjoining stall.
And before Craig was able to put his foot down (outside his stall), bloggers deemed him homophobic after he opposed to include sexual orientation in hate-crime legislation.
But, no matter what Craig’s sexual orientation is, he still opposed the legislation. Whether a person claims their sexual orientation or not, they are going to carry their opinions and vote the way they want.
Maybe the issue is the generation gap. It seems that a lot of the current generation accepts people no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation.
A widespread issue among all generations is the idea that being gay is still seen as negative, even by homosexuals. An article by Francisco J. Sánchez and Eric Vilain titled “‘Straight-Acting Gays’: The Relationship Between Masculine Consciousness, Anti-Effeminacy, and Negative Gay Identity” explains this issue.
The authors include different theories on why gay men who have negative feelings about being gay concentrate more on being masculine and become anti-effeminate.
Sociologist Joseph Harry believed that as boys, gay men were subject to ridicule and learned to “de-feminize” to protect themselves from being outcast.
Psychologist John Michael Bailey determined that gay men’s “femiphobia” came from them not wanting to be stereotyped and the reality of them being feminine.
Psychologist Douglas C. Haldeman and author Christopher Rice determined that gay men who show these traits feel negatively about their sexual orientation. This hypothesis fits best in accordance with the current issue.
It is difficult for some to be accepting of their own sexual orientation. But having someone in a position that makes decisions for the state or even the country is damaging.
I’m not saying Craig would have voted differently if he was openly homosexual or bisexual, but there is a good possibility that he would be more open to the legislation. Then again, he most likely would not be a senator for Idaho.
In an article titled “Political Homophobia in Postcolonial Nambia,” writer Ashley Currier broke down how the South African country went from promising equality to a campaign of political homophobia. The South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) was guilty of starting the campaign and leaders of the group were able to dictate how the government was run.
Currier included in her article that SWAPO leaders used political homophobia to hurt individual members of the opposition.
It is obvious that political homophobia affects other countries beside the United States. As soon as there is a gay scandal amongst the political realm, everyone is shocked and disappointed. Maybe if people owned up to who they really are, and others did not judge, it would not be as discouraging.
Just because a man is homosexual does not make him less of a man. It does not mean he cannot make “manly” decisions (whatever that would include).
A former professor of mine told the class that the worst thing about the current generation is that we expect everything to be handed to us, but the best thing about our generation is that we are accepting of others.
Maybe what the country really needs is a change in perspective.