Popular belief is that homophobes are themselves closeted gay. If that is not true then what is?
Men watching videos depicting heterosexual sexual behavior were aroused to the same degree as men who watched two women engaged in sexual behavior. But when the two groups viewed gay male videos, they showed significant difference in their degree of arousal: "The homophobic men showed a significant increase in penile circumference to the male homosexual video, but the non-homophobic men did not."
So even while many of those who are anti-gay are gay themselves, many others are hiding their own sexual secrets involving impulses they feel to be shameful, often using the well known psychological trick of projecting them onto other people. They feel driven to display hatred for anyone else who enjoys sexual behaviors they find "repulsive."
You may recall how conservative radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger came out against homosexuality, calling it "sadness" and a "biological error." Soon after that, naked pictures of her were released from a photo shoot she had done years before. The photos were more in the style of Hustler magazine, as opposed to a less discreet Playboy one with her legs spread wide open.
More recently, Republican Primary candidate Herman Cain called being gay a "choice" and a "sin," before several women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct.
And lest we forget, when former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was interviewed by Detroit newspapers, they quoted him as saying he would never want his son to be around gay men -- and later exposed him for having sexual affairs with women.
As a therapist, I feel a particular empathy for those who feel the need to repress their sexual fantasies, deny their behaviors, and suffer in isolation while experiencing discomfort and disgust toward themselves. As a gay man, I feel angry at those who accuse me and my gay brothers and sisters of being detrimental and destructive to mankind. In my experience, intolerance and bigotry have done -- and continue to wreak -- even worse harm to humanity as a whole.