Homophobia and sexual repression


Imagine if you went for a job and the interviewer said that you were ideally suited for the post, but you had to tell them who you had sex with and when the dirty deed had last occurred before they could hire you. Why would anyone who wasn’t a voyeur want to ask about that? Just as pertinently, given the flap about gay marriage, who would want to insist that gay men and lesbians must be the only groups who cannot enjoy full civil rights?

The seductive answer that has appealed to gay and straight writers alike is summed up in the explanation a patient of the psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz gave for her father’s disapproval of her relationship: “The bigger the front, the bigger the back.” She had discovered her father was secretly enjoying the kind of affair that he had condemned her for conducting in the open. He was hiding his guilt behind his rage.

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