'Homophobic? Maybe You Are Gay' NYT Story is Hardly a Shocking Study

According to a new study, it turns out that homophobic men and women may actually be homosexuals themselves; or they at least have same-sex attractions. For those of us who are not brain dead and possess even the slightest social cues, this has been evident since we saw an alpha male call a feminine kid a "faggot" during recess. A tough guy attitude, sports jersey, and backwards cap is no longer fooling anyone, buddy.

The study, which was conducted with students in the United States and Germany, will be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology this month. Netta Weinstein, a professor at the University of Essex stated that "individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves.”

In a strange way, this study reminded me of the book The House Behind The Cedars, a race relations book written by Charles W. Chesnutt that was published in 1900. The basis of the book revolves around African Americans with light skin – typically biracial children – that “pass” as Caucasian during a time when America was heavily racist, especially in the south, where the book takes place. Of course, I believe it’s easier to “hide” one's sexual orientation, but if given the choice, how many African Americans would chose to hide their race 100 years ago if they were given a chance? In regard to modern day and the growing acceptance of LGBT individuals, it still seems that some are still not accepting, which many claim is rooted in their closeted sexuality.

Two members of the research team, Richard M. Ryan, a professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester and William S. Ryan, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote about their findings in an op-ed that appeared in The New York Times entitled, “Homophobic? Maybe You Are Gay.”

In the article, they state, “What leads to this repression? We found that participants who reported having supportive and accepting parents were more in touch with their implicit sexual orientation and less susceptible to homophobia. Individuals whose sexual identity was at odds with their implicit sexual attraction were much more frequently raised by parents perceived to be controlling, less accepting and more prejudiced against homosexuals.”

If I could say anything to parents, or any other individual that wants to discourage ones true sexuality or personality or interests, I highly advise against it. That’s not coming from a gay man, but a guy who has seen firsthand the negative repercussions for such actions.