Pop star Ricky Martin has reportedly told GQ Australia that he used to bully gay people, attributing it to internalized homophobia, according to a few sources, including the Herald Sun. Martin came out as a gay man in 2010. Apparently, he struggled with his sexual orientation for a long time before he finally came to terms with it.

I wonder how many others who bully gay folks are actually struggling with their own gay impulses, so they take it out on gay people, either with direct bullying or homophobic comments to their buddies. Or they lead/join in demonstrations against same-sex marriage, thinking that by oppressing others, they might purge their own desires.

Indeed, the LGBT community might keep this in mind when dealing with apparent homophobes — they might actually be tortured souls fighting with the guilt of primitive religious fundamentalism vs. their own nature.

Psych Central had a report called Denying One’s Desires Tied to Homophobia in April 2012. Wrote the author, Rick Nauert:

New studies suggest those who express virulent dislike of homosexuals may have an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex. Researchers also discovered homophobia is more pronounced in individuals who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires.

The study is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, including self-reported homophobic attitudes, discriminatory bias, implicit hostility towards gays, and endorsement of anti-gay policies.

“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” said Dr. Netta Weinstein, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Essex and the study’s lead author.

“In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” said co-author Dr. Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.

You can read more at the link provided.