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A sad example of internalized homophobia

Timothy Kincaid

June 11th, 2013

I usually hate the term “internalized homophobia”. Far too often it’s flung as a weapon against some gay person who disagrees with whatever the accepted position must be.

(Vote for a Republican? Internalized homophobia! Disapprove of some gay person’s extreme behavior? Internalized homophobia! Refuse to be in an open relationship? Internalized homophobia! Enjoy country music, refuse to watch Partners, go to the gym, avoid the gym, think Rachel Maddow actually does look ‘mannish’, love RuPaul, hate RuPaul, not know who RuPaul is, pretty much anything anyone can think of, and you’re just oozing internalized homophobia!)

But sometimes the description is accurate. Sometimes a person who has a homosexual orientation also has such a so gut-level, knee jerk response, negative about every aspect of gay people and/or their lives that it can only be seen as homophobia.

I’ve mostly tried to avoid discussing the small handful of same-sex attracted people who have captured a moment in the spotlight due to their opposition to civil equality in marriage. There are a good many people, straight and gay, who are not comfortable with the idea of gay marriage not out of malice but due to reasons that are based on their beliefs about marriage and children or even just a lack of good data.

So while it may seem as though by now all such reasons should be transparent to gay people, I still allow that some do not think that marriage is the appropriate venue for same-sex relationships. And I see little value in speculating about their motivations.

I’ve not called Doug Mainwaring names or demeaned Robert Oscar Lopez. Both claim to be gay men and to have some notion of the nature of gay men and use this as a basis for high-profile declarations about the dangers of allowing same-sex couples to be recognized in law. But while I find their choices and their rhetoric to be dishonorable, until now I’ve not assailed their character.

However in the latest piece written for the Witherspoon Institute about what he learned from French opposition to equality, Lopez reveals his own valuation of his character. It isn’t very high.

The French resistance to same-sex marriage has demonstrated that an ostensibly progressive nation that had little issue with homosexuality as a moral question can change its mind, not based on ignorance of reality, but based on knowing more about what same-sex marriage really means.

The drop in support for same-sex marriage came with education and broader public debate. As the French knew more gay people individually and learned more about the ramifications of their legalized marriage on the community at large—especially children and poor communities overseas targeted for adoption and surrogacy—they liked the idea of same-sex marriage less and less.

Lopez’ basic assumption in this piece is that the more you get to know gay people, the more you hate them.

I suggest that Lopez does not speak for me or any gay people I know. I’m sure that Lopez would insist that it is the disreputable homosexual activists about which he speaks, but sadly, I think he speaks for himself.

This looks to me like a recurrence of a once-common phenomenon, the gay person who so hates who they are that they overlay their own perceived flaws – their own self-imposed shame – on a gay community populated only by their own imagination.

Yes, I believe that this is a real and all too sad example of internalized homophobia.

Comments

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TampaZeke
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

Not “vote for a Republican” but rather “campaign for, promote, defend and vote for a rabidly anti-gay Republican (or Democrat)” might rightfully get you labeled with internalized homophobia.

Robert
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

Considering Maddow “mannish” isn’t internalized homophobia, it’s sexism. Plain and simple. She is a female and looks like many things in life are irrelevant,as a female she shouldn’t have to endure, nor should we allow to stand, are comments about her physical apperance…

The ONLY thing mannish about her is her haircut, except for the fact that many very “femaleish” women have the same haircut, that and she doesn’t wear dresses or tons of make-up.

Remarking on an individuals appearance is less than honorable when doing so to demean, and the ONLY reason one would remark on her apperance IS to demean her by insinuating that she isn’t “female” enough. Transgender MTF often have the same problem with society. Sad to see you use that as an acceptable comment to make, or at least excusing it as “accurate” and in no way homophobic, internalized or externalized…

Hunter
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

I’m curious about the “drop in support” for same-sex marriage that he claims. I’ve found no evidence of it, although some polls are conflating the issues of same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples, which has never had strong suppot. The support for marriage itself seems still to be running around 60%. That doesn’t strike me as the death knell of the idea.

Bill T.
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

My first impression of Mr. Lopez leads me to believe that he would get the seat wet even if he sits to pee.

Priya Lynn
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

“My first impression of Mr. Lopez leads me to believe that he would get the seat wet even if he sits to pee.”.

???

markanthony
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

Lopez’s writings verge on the bizarre and are nearly impossible to follow. I have never understood why NOM thinks he is so brilliant. He surely isn’t actually changing anyone’s mind. Seems like he would repel alot of fence sitters.

Regan DuCasse
June 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya, that means his aim wouldn’t be too good no matter where he pointed his hose. Er, so to speak.
He’s a liar anyway, about the drop in support for marriage. It’s just the OPPOSITE.
In the same way, Frijid Barjot said that the process of equality came about ‘undemocratically’. She meant that it didn’t by a majority vote of the public, but in a way similar to the way the Senate and Congress would do it. By REPRESENTATIVES of the people. And it wasn’t a narrow vote, but a strong two thirds.
But NOM and their cohorts lie all the time in order to get the public riled up at gay people, and Manif pour tous has tried to do much the same thing in France, and it backfired legislatively, but still had very tragic consequences after all and a teenager paid with his life.
Lopez and Mainwaring are walking contradictions in ethical terms. They are conflicted people who don’t think they are, but are misrepresenting gay people in the worst way for even worse reasons considering the stakes.
I think they are despicable.

Priya Lynn
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

Thanks Regan.

Regan DuCasse
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

Very close together in different parts of the country, mass shootings have had ONE thing in common: the killers all had a history of severe CLINICAL mental illness. Their families knew about it and it manifested fairly early in the adolescence of these people.
Or, there at least is some kind of tendency to VIOLENCE in some way and intense obsession with it beyond normal parameters.
It’s taken for granted that young boys would like such a thing. It’s even CULTIVATED as a sign of masculinity. Boys who aren’t violent or brutish, are ridiculed.
But when someone breaks out as a serial rapist or mass killer, it makes national news and there are memorials and shrines to the victims until the next DAY or NEXT WEEK when it happens all over again.
The Santa Monica incidents, that occurred this week came from a young boy who witnessed domestic violence and himself had untreated mental illness.
The next incident was a gang shooting.

If these ‘traditional marriage’ proponents had put half their effort into advocating for mental health care in which there was LONG TERM hospitalization and reduction of violence in homes that damaged children, I’d believe they REALLY cared about the welfare of families.
But as I’ve said, they blew me off when I told them that domestic violence endangered children more than marriage equality ever could.

Phony sons of bitches.

Gene Touchet
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

The latest French poll I saw indicates a majority supporting same-sex marriage; slightly less supporting adoption; and many less supporting medically assistance pregnancy.

Marriage is OK in France; the other two issues less so.

PRESTON
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

I am confused. Robert Oscar Lopez is an associate professor of English and classics. How does that, coupled with being gay make him an expert on current psycho-socio-cultural matters?

PRESTON
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

How ironic. Mr. Lopez, who seems to be a respected, educated, contributing member of society was chosen to speak before the this nation’s lawmakers. Isn’t this, in itself, a perfect example and testimony to the quality of same sex parenting? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CotB5fUzj38

Gene in L.A.
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

The fact that the term is frequently misused should not persuade us that internalized homophobia is not a serious problem. It’s more subtle. Just as one of the birthrights of our society is an ingrained tendency toward racism, so there is such a tendency toward homosexuality. Most people are able to overcome such early conditioning as media influence and religious upbringing to see the reality of our common humanity. But we all contain within ourselves such seeds of self-destruction. Mr. Lopez is simply very much at the affect of this affliction.

Gene in L.A.
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

My mistake, I should just have posted “so there is such a tendency toward homophobia,” not homosexuality. Sorry!

Priya Lynn
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

I’m not aware that the term is overused. I’ve never heard of anyone being accused of internalized homophobia for voting Republican, refusing to be an open relationship or any of the mentioned alleged examples.

Ben In Oakland
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

Mr. Lopez is angry because his mommy didn’t love him very much and apparently, his daddy didn’t love him at all.

He doesn’t need a podium, he needs a therapist

StraightGrandmother
June 12th, 2013 | LINK

Tim was just taking writers liberty making his point. None of his examples were serious, which was the pint he was making.

Yeah, if you read ROL’s Blog you will see that his is one sandwich short of a picnic. I listened to less than 10 seconds of that video clip and he did not come out bi-sexual 20 years ago. He said he was 100% gay until he met his wife and that his Baptist Religion played strongly into him discovering that he *really wasn’t gay* after all. What a surprise! Hey I am Bi-sexual not gay! Okay whatever.

It is my opinion that it is his religious faith which he has only written about a couple times, he does a good job of hiding that, it is his religious faith (Baptist) that has messed him up bad. I won’t give you the link to his blog, if you want to read it you’ll have to go hunt for it. It is English Manif

Richard Rush
June 13th, 2013 | LINK

Ben said, “Mr. Lopez is angry because his mommy didn’t love him very much and apparently, his daddy didn’t love him at all.”

So, what does Lopez do? He goes out in public and demonstrates how he’s really not very lovable.

Jim Hlavac
June 14th, 2013 | LINK

I’ve been having some interesting dealings with American Thinker where Lopez writes — where I have written — where Lopez did a “defense” of me — I told AT that the man is a mush head — they’re avoiding the issue with me — but invite me to write for them — but with “facts” on the sheer lack of facts on gay men — well, I’m working on wrecking their nerves. Lopez is delusional to say the least.

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