6 years ago: Gay-Hatin’ Gospel 2: Inner demons

October 18, 2007, here on slacktivist: Gay-Hatin’ Gospel 2: Inner demons

The repressed and tortured psyches of Ted Haggard and David Vitter also don’t explain why so many have been willing to follow these leaders in their‚ “warring against” their inner demons. They can’t all be self-loathing closet cases. Nor does this theory explain why others with apparently milquetoast, plain-vanilla sexual appetites — people like Pat Robertson or the late Jerry Falwell — should be even more vociferous in their condemnations of the Big Gay Menace. For them it seems less a matter of self-loathing and projection than simply your garden-variety hatin’ on the outsider.

So while I’m certain that the inner demons theory is valid in many particular cases, I think it’s more of a contributing factor than a sufficient explanation of the entire phenomenon of gay-hatin’s newfound prominence as the central perception of American Christianity.

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A fireside chat with Abraham Lincoln on the eve of emancipation
  • MikeJ

    I always hated the “pubic figure X hates gay people, therefore he must be a closet case.” It just sounds too much like “no I’m not, you are!”

    A lot of people are just assholes.

  • otrame

    I don’t think enough attention is paid to the idea that such people are not self-hating. They don’t hate gays. They just want to be wealthy and being anti-gay is part of the package that gets them there.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    George Rekers.

    Larry Craig.

    And down through history, if I cared to throw a stone, I could probably find at least one person for every year in the 20th century who turned out to be a big ol’ flamey-o for all that they ranted and fulminated against QUILTBAG people.

  • EdinburghEye

    Indeed, there are many assholes who are anti-gay and apparently completely heterosexual.

    It has to be said, however, that where a man is very publicly and enthusiastically against gay men and gay rights, there does seem to be a more-than-random chance that man will turn out to be a closeted gay man.

    It’s been 121 days since the last prominent homophobe came out/was outed as gay: http://gayhomophobe.com/

  • dpolicar

    I haven’t done the math.

    Random chance would, I guess, predict that 5-10% of enthusiastic visible homophobes (EVHs) are gay (at least in the broadest sense of that word, and depending on whose statistics you believe). Assuming, say, a 5% chance of a given gay EVH being outed in any given year (pulled entirely out of a hat), I would expect 1-2 EVH-outings per year for every 400 ostensibly straight EVHs in the community.

    I don’t really have a sense of how many ostensibly straight EVHs there are, beyond “too fucking many”.

    Any thoughts?

  • Lori

    This may not be too far off for the general population, but I think the numbers are really different for professional homophobes. A few of them are clearly just in it for the cash and others just find the idea of people who aren’t straight really, really icky, but the percentage of them who are themselves closeted homosexuals is much higher than the overall statistical average.

  • dpolicar

    Sure, I was just trying to establish what the “random chance” threshold would be.

    That said: so, OK, more than 5-10% What percentage would you expect?

  • Lori

    Based on what I’ve seen of the professional homophobe community I’d guess half. Quite possibly higher since the rate in the “ex-gay” subgroup is incredibly high. Basically everyone who claims to be ex-gay is actually just gay and most of the people who are supposedly just trying to help are also just gay.

  • dpolicar

    OK. In that case, we’d expect one outing per year for every 40 ostensibly straight EVH, assuming my guess of chance of outing per year is at all correct.

    Any thoughts about how many ostensibly straight EVHs (regardless of their actual sexuality) there are? I can’t stomach the idea of doing that research, but I’d guess more than a thousand and less than ten thousand.

  • Lori

    Not a clue, and like you I don’t think that I have the stomach for the research. I keep informed on the disgusting goings on with the dozen or so most visible folks making their living off treating LGBTQ folks as less than human, but beyond that my intestinal fortitude will not carry me.

  • Jenny Islander

    I think you’re on to something.

    1. Identify characteristics of outsiders.
    2. Loudly and publicly hate on outsiders.
    3. Be accepted into the inner circle of upper-ups.
    4. Become rich, like them!

    Stated baldly it makes no sense, but if you were raised to think that basic logic and fact checking were elitist, well.