Experiments in the U.S. and Germany suggest people raised in "conservative authoritarian households" where they feel compelled to hide their attraction toward partners of the same sex are more likely to express hostility toward gays.
"In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turing this internal conflict outward," added co-author Richard Ryan … The researchers said it may not be just a coincidence that several vehemently homophobic public figures are often caught engaging in homosexual acts."
I am reminded of a conversation I had with an acquaintance of mine some years ago -- a nice enough fellow, but given to long, loud lectures about the evils of homosexuality.
One day, as he was going on about the "unnaturalness" of my relationship with my partner and the "choice" I made to be gay, I interrupted and said, "It's not a choice. I'm just like you. As you grew up, you knew who you were attracted to. You didn't have to debate it. You didn't need to comparison shop. You didn't agonize over a choice … you just knew what you wanted."
He exploded. "Don't you tell me my own experience! It *is* hard! I *did* debate it! I *did* have to make a choice! I make it every day!"
And then, realizing what he'd admitted, he stormed off. He's never spoken to me again.