The Self-Loathing Homophobe

I’m not sure how big of a story this is in California, though it’s been burning up the Twittersphere. My favourite summary of it went like this:

BAD: Roy Ashburn, a state senator from Southern California was arrested for allegedly driving drunk.

WORSE: Roy Ashburn, a state senator from Southern California was arrested for allegedly driving drunk AFTER LEAVING A GAY BAR.

WORSER: Roy Ashburn, a state senator from Southern California was arrested for allegedly driving drunk after leaving a gay bar WITH ANOTHER MAN IN THE CAR.

WORST: Roy Ashburn, a REPUBLICAN state senator from Southern California was arrested for allegedly driving drunk after leaving a gay bar with another man in the car.

WORSTEST: Roy Ashburn, a Republican state senator from Southern California WITH A HISTORY OF OPPOSING GAY RIGHTS was arrested for allegedly driving drunk after leaving a gay bar with another man in the car.

As awful as that all sounds, there are plenty of things that make it worse. The car was government-issued and so paid for with tax dollars. Ashburn was swerving around in a downtown area. Ashburn is also a father of four children. He has one of the staunchest anti-gay records in Sacramento, voting down even reasonable bills focusing on preventing violence against LBGTQ teens. The list of offences against self, strangers, taxpayers, society, and family go on and on.

And why? Why would this happen? I know people who disapprove of homosexuality, but don’t make it part of their identity. The reasons for their homophobia can be complex, ranging from ignorance to being taught to be bigoted to simply misunderstanding those who are not like them.

In cases of extreme haters, like Maggie Gallagher, Nancy Elliot, and now Roy Ashburn, I think the answer is simple: These people despise something about themselves so much that they cannot deal with it internally, and so take the battle to the outside world. If gay cannot exist legally or socially, then they will finally be able to deny what the are. But that can’t happen, and the longer a high pressure issue is bottled up, the more guaranteed it is to blow up one day.

One thought on “The Self-Loathing Homophobe

  1. The part that gets me is voting against the bills about violence against gay youth. It’s a simple matter but he is still willing to go against it even though on some level he knows how it feels to be different. It’s sad really. He’s sad.

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