Because so many proud homophobes are being outed as homosexuals themselves! This makes the idea of feeling cool by throwing around the word “faggot” less cool, because it probably means you’re gay like George Alan Rekers.
Charles M. Blow, the New York Times‘ “visual” op-ed columnist, consults SUNY Stonybrook sociology professor Dr. Michael Kimmel, and Cornell University human development chairman Ritch Savin-Williams to find out why the latest Gallup poll shows more Americans than ever believe it’s “morally acceptable” to be gay — and why (straight?) men are outpacing (straight?) women in that count.
The first theory suggests that as more gays come out, more would-be homophobes realize they know a gay person, and realize we aren’t all just a bunch of prancing nelly bottoms. The second theory claims men are growing more comfortable with “the other,” just like white men did with black men. But the third theory is, far and away, our favorite:
Virulent homophobes are increasingly being exposed for engaging in homosexuality. Think Ted Haggard, the once fervent antigay preacher and former leader of the National Association of Evangelicals, and his male prostitute. (This week, Haggard announced that he was starting a new “inclusive” church open to “gay, straight, bi, tall, short,” but no same-sex marriages. Not “God’s ideal.” Sorry.) Or George Rekers, the founding member of the Family Research Council, and his rent boy/luggage handler. Last week, the council claimed that repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” would lead to an explosion of “homosexual assaults” in which sleeping soldiers would be the victims of fondling and fellatio by gay predators. In fact, there is a growing body of research that supports the notion that homophobia in some men could be a reaction to their own homosexual impulses. Many heterosexual men see this, and they don’t want to be associated with it. It’s like being antigay is becoming the old gay. Not cool.
It remains to be seen how long it’ll take for this phenomenon to trickle down to high school students, who will stop calling skinny quiet kids “faggots” because it makes them look gay. Yeah, that’s right: Calling other people gay makes you look gay, and that’s gay. No homo.