Psychologist and Jungian analyst in Barcelona and online.

29 September, 2021

Homosexuality and homophobia

Based on the recent ecclesiastical scandal in Catalonia, vox populi, and which I, like others, can only perceive as a smokescreen of which not even the first layer, the alleged motive, is entirely true, I would like to make a psychological reflection on this reality, more widespread than it seems, of homophobic homosexuals.

Let’s start with something that I think is obvious: we don’t have to sympathise with all collectives, or even, as in my case, with the most histrionic and radical sectors of these collectives, be they LGBT, feminist, ecologist, Christian, progressive or conservative. In fact, I think that these sectors do a disservice to the collective they defend.

But not sympathising does not mean “hating” them.
Disliking a sector of the population begins to have something more personal, more intrapsychic, that affects one’s own personality. On the subject in question, it is licit for someone, because of age, conservative tradition, moral custom, not to see certain public demonstrations between people of the same sex, as long as they respect them and the laws that protect them. So far, nothing to say.

We could even differentiate several types of positions regarding the lgtb collective on the part of the majority heterosexual population:

  • Sympathy: They consider that respect for sexual diversity and plurality generates a more open and plural society.
  • Indifference: The advances and rights of the collective are respected without necessarily being perceived as a social advance.
  • Conceptual questioning: It is considered that this group is taking on too much prominence and visibility and that it undermines the traditional and conservative structures of society. So to speak, for them, they should accept their social role as a “minority” and be satisfied with being respected and having guaranteed civil rights.
  • Visceral rejection: An emotional attitude of hatred is generated, so that the presence of a single individual, of a certain attitude or gesture, of a scene in a film, any element that has to do with something linked to this collective arouses enormous anger and aggressiveness, and this is especially interesting to analyse when it is felt by adult individuals.

Let’s say that the first three positions could be considered acceptable and move in the two extremes of democratic ideologies, both on the left and on the right.

The question is, what leads someone to feel such a profound rejection of members of this group?

In certain countries of the world, where religion has a profound impact on the minds of their inhabitants, this orientation is seen as a deviation or, at best, a weakness. And what they do not know is that it is an invariable and unchangeable psychological construct and that it does not come from the simplistic equation of “absorbing and overprotective mother” + “absent or authoritarian father”, that is cheap psychology that is profusely used as an explanation to justify the alleged disorder. Under that formula half of the world’s population would be homosexual, and I think it’s between 5 and 10% only (and it’s not contagious).
But no, it doesn’t go that way.

Then there are those who talk about it being an unnatural act, something that is not proper to the animal world in the wild. Can we think about how many practices we humans engage in that are not properly “natural”?
There are many more species that, in the wild, have homosexual relations between their members: bonobos, wolves, even in semi-freedom like sheep, etc. than there are species that have oral sex, which is documented to be done only by humans and fruit bats.
Under that premise, oral sex should also be rejected by the more reactionary sectors (or maybe not?).

Another aside, to a certain extent I can understand the very young people who are personally anxious when they see amorous manifestations that are not their own. Granted, we all need references and we want them to be clear and defined, and it still takes time to be able to accept difference.

But among homophobes we could also speak of two distinct sectors:

The moral-religious who consider homosexuality a problem of psycho-sexual development (the equation I mentioned before) but who may feel a certain “compassion” for the “affected” individual.
The “flawless male” to whom any member of the lgtb collective seems to be a vicious deviant and who should not be “cured” but punished in the most virulent and exemplary way possible.

The first of these sectors advocates conversion therapies, which in themselves are an aberration and should be radically prohibited, as is the case in Spain and other advanced countries.
These therapies, which do not really change anything, but at best “put people back in the wardrobe, in the wardrobe” – to the delight of conservative circles – and at worst can lead to serious disorders, even suicide, are widespread in certain areas of the planet. 

  • Incidentally, I have always been amazed by the preachers’ obsession with lust – it is the only one of the seven deadly sins that bothers them, never mind that their target audience is fat people over 140 kg, because gluttony, for example, is neither perceived nor noticed-.

And it is that the “latent” homosexual impostured as a macho man who uses women sexually as an exclusive manifestation of his masculinity, that is to say he frequents them so as not to doubt himself, or the one who assumes the beatific role of the traditionally correct, or the one who becomes a priest not because of faith, compassion or spiritual transcendence but to isolate himself from the world, cannot see anything that hints at the minimum homosexual condition, Why? Because he is repressing it, because his sexual or romantic desire is triggered and he has to contain it any way he can, and how does he do it? By attacking in one way or another those who live it naturally and calmly.

Another aspect to bear in mind is that a person can be homosexual, bisexual, heteroflexible or whatever, and has the right to manage his or her life as he or she wishes. They even have the right, because of certain moral beliefs, not to engage in certain practices. What is absurd and neurotic is not to recognise oneself for what one is. Because for better or for worse, we are what we are sexually and it is unchangeable, although as that Andalusian humorist used to say “anyone can have a bad afternoon” and we can be susceptible to occasionally experience something that is not within our sexual register. 

That is why we could say that visceral homophobia always, and it is not just me who thinks so, hides a certain level of homosexuality in the homophobe. That is to say, there is a lot of hidden homosexuality in those who hate the lgtb collective, let alone among the sectors that want to “reconvert” them.
Translated into a simple sentence, “I hate what is in me so much that I cannot see it manifested in another person, let alone in a calm and natural way”.
The Oscar-winning film American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999) is a clear example of what I am explaining.

As I have written before, a person may have a conservative view of the social order and that is absolutely respectable. The question is not that, but why some people hate and despise individuals of a certain collective in such a personal way.
What do they have to repress?

Damián Ruiz
Barcelona, 26 September, 2021
www.damianruiz.eu

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