Omar Mateen, Homophobic Homosexual? (Too unhappy to be gay)

Victims of shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Victims of shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Some wonder: Is Omar Mateen, who massacred gay men at a nightclub, a homophobic homosexual (too unhappy to be gay)?

I recently posted on a study showing that straight men who aren’t homophobic don’t get too aroused by gay porn. 

But highly homophobic men who call themselves “straight” do, suggesting they are in denial (to themselves and others) about their sexual desire for men.

And that leaves them resentful, angry and lashing out at those who are free to be who they are.

Meanwhile, Occidental sociology professor, Lisa Wade points out that:

Many boys who descend on their schools with guns are motivated by fears that they are perceived as homosexual and that attacking suspected or known homosexuals is a way for boys to demonstrate heterosexuality to their peers.

We will probably never know the true nature of Mateen’s sexuality, but he had used apps to meet men. He had visited the gay bar he attacked many times. And his ex-wife had wondered whether he was totally straight.

Did Mateen fear that if he didn’t do something drastic he might give in to temptation and go straight to Hell?

And did he believe that if he acted as a religious martyr (aligning with ISIL) he would go straight to Heaven, instead?

But does God honor those who harm others in selfish attempts to gain their own reward?

Well, that last question could be posed to anyone who harms others in hopes of gaining Godly reward. Including your run-of-the-mill homophobe who fights against equal rights as a pathway to Heaven.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 17, 2016, in LGBT+, men, psychology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. Even though he’s secreatly gay, I still see this as a hate crime, for the fact of his specific attack on a gay club. He purposely picked that club out. And it’s sad, We talk about oppression with women, blacks, etc. Though things are getting better for gays, there still is resistance. It seems like gays and especially transsexuals are the last line as far as the oppression totem pole. While women still don;t have true equality, strides have come, same for minorities as far as races. And though gay marriage is legalized in many states, as you see with the NC law which was more than about bathrooms, but gays or trans people could be discriminated as far as housing and employment goes, etc. Like it still lingers. While women and minorities are usually protected from law for employment discrimination, it’s still not as clearly set for gays or where there’s a blurry line where employment can discriminate against gays or especially transsexuals. unfortunately there are still hate crimes going on in the US with violence against the lgbt community.

    Homophobia is still real and can cause verbal intimidation often from insecure men or possibly, ironically gay men in secret who internalize out culture which values masculinity and this culture still causes gays to not be valued as equals amonsts straight people. So it’s so sad, but not a surprise unfortunately that in 2016, you can see hatr crimes and violence. Luckily not to this number and extent and hopefully don’t see that again, but our culture with promotion of violence, entitlement and how this culture promotes men to believe they are to be leaders and succeed the american dream. But then they fall flat but can’t talk about it, added with possibly mental problems and you have a brewing concoction waiting to happen and then a group of people feeling the wrath of this hatred. I didn’t realize, but transsexuals apparently deal with a lot of harassment and sometimes physical abuse. So our country still has some progression to go with relations to women, minorities, but also and especially the lgbt community.

    • I guess we will never know for sure whether he was secretly gay, although there is evidence pointing to that. But I agree that it is a hate crime. And people can hate things about themselves, too. But you make some very good points, so thanks for that.

    • And maybe he killed gays because that was his world. We don’t marvel that Afghan terrorists tend to kill Afghans, and British terrorists tend to kill Brits, so why think anything if a gay man kills people in his environment?

  2. What is your definition of homophobic? Since this guy was hanging out in gay clubs, it’s far from clear that he was homophobic.

    • Definition: a fear and hatred of gays. He could have been drawn to, and hated who they were and who he was at the same time. He certainly seems to have hated them, or why would he kill them?

      • So the Boston bomber hated runners? He was a runnerphobe ? The 911 terrorists hated bankers and brokers, they were bankerphobes?

      • Hmmmm, have any studies determined whether people who say they hate runners or bankers get aroused when they watch runners or bankers?

  3. If he’d been hanging out at hetero bars and suddenly decided to kill all the women, I doubt we’d be accusing him of hetero-phobia. We might be speculating that he’d been spurned by too many women.

    • So you think he was angry because he was spurned by too many men? Who knows? I’m not saying that the theory that is out there is definitely correct. But it’s a theory to consider.

    • It suggests homophobia or at least anti-gay for the fact of him targeting and killing gay people. Also the fact of his, whether he’s actually a part of ISIL, but identifying with them shows to me his anti-gay side. ISIL and extreme terrorism sees gays as infidels and wrong and people found out to be gay are killed by such factions as ISIL and Al queda. It’s not being spurned, but being against homsexuality and feeling it’s wrong and a sin, which is ironic considering his behavior and maybe his even more hatred to gays, because he secretly hates himself and takes it out on gay people.

  4. I find the talk about his perceived sexuality to be almost unimportant because even if we find that he has been in a homosexual relationship and had all but admitted in a newly found video that he was gay it doesn’t change the facts of what happened or how it happened. For me, focus on finding out his sexuality or speculation about his homosexuality takes away from not only focus on the victims but figuring out how this happened and preventing future incidents. But more importantly, it seems as though a pattern is appearing whereby as a society, dance around issues of mental health that these mass shooters may have. I am very perplexed that so much time is spent speculating on whether he was a closet homosexual or homophobic homosexual yet so little time is spent on speculation as to whether he may have had some mental health issues that may have led to this. It feels as though our society is so hesitant to talk about mental health when talking about it could provide some solutions that can lead to the prevention of incidents such as this.

    • As it turns out, talking about the fact that the most homophobic men are often gay actually reduces homophobia!

      People who might otherwise promote homophobic hatred and violence stop doing it because they don’t want to raise suspicions. If this guy had known that everyone would start suspecting that he wasn’t straight, he probably wouldn’t have killed all of those people.

      So homophobia ends up ridding homophobia in an odd way.

      • I question whether this is a fact since all the studies have been so poorly done. I think all the people with fear of heights would experience increased blood flow and mental reaction to movies looking down from the empire state building, but I don’t think this means they secretly want to jump.

      • Do men become engorged when they fear heights?

        What you’re talking about are studies of women. That’s a whole different thing. Take a look at all of my discussion with John Claude on that one.

      • Hmm, that could be very well true. However, it’s been proven that people who others suspect as not being of the “group” or pretending to be something they are not, tend to react to that pressure of being discovered often in violent ways. It could be said that he probably killed all these people because people were beginning to suspect he wasn’t “straight as an arrow”. However, it returns to the larger question of why does sexuality factor into the conversation? It factors in because our society still does not accept fully those who do not represent the normative, that is straight as an arrow. It’s why we are so quick to point out that “he has to have been homosexual and hated himself because of course he hated being homosexual because homosexuality is a bad thing”. Why couldn’t he have been homosexual and not had any hate for homosexuals and simply did this because he was a person who had issues or just wanted to specifically kill people in that club? Nope, we only assume that he had to have been a closet homosexual who hated being that way, end of speculation and we definitely aren’t going to discuss how our society or elements of it might breed that sort of self-hate. Or how we can alleviate those who feel this sort of self-hate by being more accepting.

        And I would hesitate to say that talking about the fact that most homophobic men are actually gay only breeds more issues because instead of asking “why do you feel frightened or have a phobia about gay people” we instead say “you must be gay then”. Which then devolves into an argument in which the person will repeatedly deny they are only to have the other person say they are and for the person to figure out that the only way to stop the person from saying “you must be gay ” is to take some drastic measure like possibly killing someone; this is much the same of what happens when someone gets backed into a corner they don’t want to be in.

        Point being, we need to have larger discussions that don’t focus so narrowly.

      • When you are writing a 500 word blog post you must stick to one topic. And that is the topic I chose for this blog post.

        No one is saying that all gay people hate themselves. I’m saying the exact opposite. Gay people who accept themselves don’t have hostile homophobia:

        It is people who get aroused by gay porn + label themselves straight = high levels of homophobia. Versus people who get aroused by gay porn + label themselves gay = low levels of homophobia.

      • “Do men become engorged when they fear heights?”

        Yes, it’s possible. Google “fear boner” or “reflex boner”. Anything stressful or fearful or unusual is more likely to cause it than someone completely uninterested. http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/bamboozled-reflex-boners

        Or in other words, all the so-called research in this area is completely bogus, and just some students mucking around to suit a preconceived agenda.

      • I’m guessing this is possible but unusual. And go ask Alice seems like kind of an odd source.

        Regardless, what does this have to do with a correlation between hatred and arousal? Why would the guys who are hateful get aroused but not the guys who weren’t hateful?

        More likely, men who feel guilt and shame about being homosexual want to cover up their homosexuality, and often despise the men who are free to be who they are. Explaining the hatred.

      • “what does this have to do with a correlation between hatred and arousal? Why would the guys who are hateful get aroused but not the guys who weren’t hateful?”

        You’ve got to remember that “hateful” in modern PC parlance regarding homosexuality refers to any negative feelings whatsoever.

        If one simply doesn’t care, then clearly you won’t have a reaction. If you have negative feelings, then there’ll be some kind of reaction. And increased blood flow indicating a reaction is not the same as true arousal, as the link I showed you said. Stress or fear is not arousal, it’s just an automatic reaction. You claim it is “possible but unusual”, but that’s the entire point of dispute! As a scientist you can’t dismiss an alternative explanation as wrong on the preconceived notion that it is possible but unusual. That’s assuming the very thing one is hoping to prove! And this is where these fake pseudo-science studies always fall down, they never seek to eliminate alternate explanations.

      • So here’s how you would interpret studies which show that men who label themselves straight get engorged by naked women while men who label themselves gay get engorged by naked men:

        Self-labeled straight men who are engorged by straight women are actually afraid of them, not turned on.

        Self-labeled gay men who are engorged by gay men are actually afraid of them, not turned on.

        Yeah, that makes way more sense than what I wrote.

        Meanwhile:

        One of my roommates told me about a gay man who had come out to her. And she was surprised because he told so many anti-gay jokes. It surprises me, too. And then she explained that he explained to her that he had been trying to cover up his gayness.

        And when I was researching the topic I ran across one young man who is gay and who had behaved this way early on, trying to throw people off.

        And a lot of televangelists who have spewed plenty of anti-gay hatred have been revealed to be gay themselves.

      • If you’re doing a scientific study you need to try and eliminate the extraneous variables. So what these fake scientists should have done is compared their results with the same people disgusted at other scenes. Show them a rabbit getting killed or whatever and compare results. Show the control group other sex scenes they find objectionable then compare the results. Show a self-proclaimed homosexual group heterosexual scenes and compare the results. There are so many ways this study could have been made legit.

      • This is just silly.

        So you think that if they showed a scary scene the guys would all get a hard-on?

        The likelihood that the guys are getting hard because of fear instead of sexual arousal is pretty low.

        This conversation is worn out. Readers have seen both sides and can make their own decisions. So I’m closing this thread.

  5. I’m torn. His actions caused a lot of pain to victims and their families. So the assumption that this tragedy could have been motivated by his own personal demons is both relevant and irrelevant. I say this because to those families they’ll will always wonder why did he do this? What caused him to do this? Nobody will really know the truth, except him. Everyone’s imagination will just run wild, they will bring up that it could be an act of terrorism, but we simply don’t know. What was his mental stability? If was all boiled down to his homophobia could the mass shooting have been prevented? I do think that if society acknowledges those who are homophobic, and they talk and try to understand it maybe it could help. We need to welcome homosexuals and heterosexuals. Everyone is throwing labels on this tragedy, terrorism, a hate-crime. Maybe it was homophobia, but I think what our focus should be how could we prevent more situations such as this one?

    • As I mentioned to someone else: As it turns out, talking about the fact that the most homophobic men are often gay actually reduces homophobia! And hate crimes like this.

      People who might otherwise promote homophobic hatred and violence stop doing it because they don’t want to raise suspicions. If this guy had known that everyone would start suspecting that he wasn’t straight, he probably wouldn’t have killed all of those people.

      So homophobia ends up ridding homophobia in an odd way.

  6. Because Omar Mateen is dead, we will never truly know his motives for the Orlando massacre. However, signs do seem to point towards the fact that he was a homosexual, bisexual, or at least curious. I believe that his pledging allegiance to terrorist organizations was just a “smoke screen”, as his computer showed that he researched many groups, even enemies of each other.

    Reports have said that his father was very strict and even had called his son gay disparagingly. Lots of kids throughout recent history have grown-up in similar environments, but I wonder if it may have been “easier” for them to stay closeted (not that I think that was in anyway a good or healthy thing). With LGBTQIA becoming more accepted by mainstream culture, especially in cities, people have less reasons to stay closeted. For most, this is a good thing! For others, who grow-up in a family whose culture would forbid this and would suffer extreme consequences, I think the inner conflict must be so difficult. It must also be pointed out that there seems to be mental health issues with Omar Mateen, even showing signs of aggression since elementary school. Perhaps is inner-struggle with sexuality, mixed with his unstable mental health was the deadly combination. This is a true hate crime – hatred of homosexuals, hatred of himself, and perhaps hatred of a culture that is finally taking steps to accept everyone.

    • If we didn’t teach so much hatred, Which people can even internalize toward themselves, we wouldn’t have so many problems among those with mental health problems and otherwise. Thanks for your thoughts.

  7. One of the main differences between Omar Mateen other homophobic homosexual is that he acted in his self-hate of many extreme groups. There is so much horrible rhetoric out in the world about people who are different. One the ways we see of public self hate groups is Westboro Baptist Church that stages protest that are homophobic where they carry signs that say “God Hates F*gs”. So if Mateen used religion to some how redeem himself for being gay then I truly blame those who use extreme ideals of certain type of religions for the right to kill. If there is a God that will allow him to go to heaven for supposedly “doing his work” then I think that God must really approve Westboro Baptist Church and I will gladly return my ticket to any after life with this god. However, for those who look at this as a man who decided to take 50 innocent lives and see the true injustice of this situation will bring people of all faith to change how respect and appreciate each other more no matter of faith, gender or sexual orientation. Then we are closer to path of progress.

  8. Ariyonne Marshall

    The tragedy in Orlando was more than a LGBTQ+ tragedy, it was Human tragedy. While Omar Mateen’s actions were disgusting and reprehensible, he is also a victim. Even in 2016, it is difficult for closeted gay people to come out. The social stigma, fear of losing family and friends, and potential judgement from outsiders creates a swarm of negative emotions. In my opinion, Mateen’s violent actions on years of repressing his fear of coming out as gay.

    Mateen could have been aligned with ISIS. However, what is interesting is, we have not heard anything from ISIS regarding the attack. Usually ISIS claims responsibility for their crimes especially where there are high amounts of casualties.

    There has to be a way for us, as a nation, to truly come together and figure out how to reconstruct some of the social constructs that lead to so much hatred, which in turn leads to violent crime.

  9. I think it’s pretty clear he was a homosexual. That makes this crime so much more twisted, convoluted, and ugly. Similarly, there was a shooting a week prior to that that is still unexplained where a man with no history traveled across a couple states to walk up to a contestant from the show “The Voice” and shot her in the face. Anytime that you witness people killing others — let alone for no apparent reason or where the reasoning is not obviously clear to others — it is the sign of an individual who is disturbed, irrational, and out of touch with society.

    Of course there could be counter-theories, perhaps he was paid off by big politicians to stage this event to divert media attention, perhaps he has been working with ISIL all along and they are using him being a homosexual as some type of diversion, but what probably happened is as was described — he was a disturbed, socially-alienated individual who was struggling with homosexuality and erratically reached for the first thing he could find to try to relieve his emotions.

    What I fear is with all of this media attention mass-killers have been gaining, especially as technology connects us more and more — and with seemingly little done to attempt to fix this issue at root by educating the masses in the proper way — that future troubled individuals might be more tempted or feel more comfortable moving forward and performing such acts — because at least they know they are getting attention, at least they know they will be heard, at least they know others have done it before them.

    Looking at each isolated incident and analyzing what went wrong is of utmost importance, but we need to start drawing parallels, connecting dots, and realizing patterns — having discussions about what we are going to do looking forward to address this issue, otherwise I fear it will only get worse with time…

    • And if I our society weren’t so homophobic, creating self-hatred among men who prefer people of their same-sex — and harming their mental health in that way, I’m sure that would help too. But we certainly need to support greater mental health in our society.

      • To relay upon what you just wrote there. I saw this from huffingtonpost. It’s so damn disgusting and to me, this is why I think people like mateen and others can internalize this hatred or anti-gay as being inferior and wrong to being a straight man. And have this hatred upon gays from the hate for themself. Because society though going in the right direction still has hatred for different groups and the lgbt community still feeling it. This is an example of how America still lingers in homophobia and anti gay ways, with conservative of bible belt parts of america. The hypocrisy of it all. These same people believe they are good people and righteous, yet they are so heartless and if there is a GOD, you’d feel these are the type of people god would not want in heaven. Ironic that some of the more religous people can be the most callous and some who are otherwise non religuous and those bad gay people, having more heart and compassion than those big ass hypocrites waving the bible and calling them sinners. This is what I’m talking about here. here’s the link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tennessee-anti-gay-sign_us_57682a71e4b015db1bca13ec

        “Days After Orlando, Church Defends Its Horrific Anti-Gay Sign”

        The church had a sign posted outside the church saying “God’s wrath may be getting started to fall on the gays,” local NBC affiliate WBIR reports. ”
        That’s upsetting to see as it is, but then the fact that 49 people died in orlando and this was reference about it and regardless, just deplorable. Such shit heads.

        “Pastor Jesse Price said he and his parish didn’t intend to condemn the LGBT community by posting the sign. Instead, he said he would like to encourage them to be “saved” — something he says he’s suggested in previous signs.”

        “The homosexuals got shot down in Florida,” he told WCYB.com. “We’re not trying to kill them. I’ve had a lot of signs up here that homosexuals need to be saved, but they didn’t say anything about that one.”

        lol He had a sign up that they need to be saved and was so nice to do that, but he says yet they didn’t say anything about that one. Probably because it was a waste of time and nothing to say anything about. Those times when someone tries to defend themselves but is so ignorant and clueless, he is unaware about how offensive his thought and remarks are. Newsflash to him, the gay community doesn’t need to be saved and most likely find it offensive that he feels they need to be saved in the first place, because that insinuates they are “wrong’, “sinners” “abnormal”. As if the family isn;t suffering enough or the community whether the lgbt community or people in general as many people have friends, daughters, sisters, sons, uncles who are gay or lesbian and love them or maybe support them and can’t be too fond of seeing such crap, though unfortunatley I know it’s not that unusual from certain areas.

      • This is so sad and ignorant.

        I grew up in a religion that is focused on obedience. And I find that it makes people lose their conscience. They do things that hurt others in the name of God.

      • “The church had a sign posted outside the church saying “God’s wrath may be getting started to fall on the gays,” …and this was reference about it and regardless, just deplorable. Such shit heads.”

        Is the world view that a God might exact wrath on sinners inherently more offensive than the world view that a godless universe simply doesn’t give a shit about good people getting killed?

        You don’t like the Christian world view. I get it. But you don’t really have an objective basis for saying your world view is better.

      • I love the Christian worldview, actually. After all, Jesus Was a Feminist https://broadblogs.com/2015/04/03/jesus-was-a-feminist/

        And here’s my objective basis for how the world is best:

        Must We Be Nazis to Criticize Them?
        https://broadblogs.com/2010/07/29/must-we-be-nazis-to-criticize-them/
        ISIL Rape Theology: When “God” Erases Conscience
        https://broadblogs.com/2015/08/17/isil-rape-theology-when-god-erases-conscience/

        By the way, I’ll be in Washington DC next week and not checking my blog a lot during that time.

  10. We can only ever guess at mateen’s reasons for what he did. I think the act against the club was his way of showing he wasn’t gay. Maybe he knew he was gay or possibly bisexual and in realizing that, he did not want to be that. Today, times have changed, there is a lot more love and acceptance towards everyone. Him growing up before all of this acceptance made him think that if he didn’t seem masculine and straight, he would be made fun of. He already had a wife, and possibly leaving her for man, maybe he did it to show he wasn’t going to leave her and that he’s straight and a man. That there shouldn’t be speculation from anyone of who he was.

    • If he is like other self-hating homophobic homosexual men (too miserable to be gay) he was probably super afraid that God would punish him, too. And he had probably internalized homophobia, leading to the hatred of himself and those like him.

  11. Like all closet homosexuality stories, it is apparent that the more one forces themselves inside the closet, the bigger the outburst. As far as I’ve seen in defense to sexuality a huge retaliation is religion, and in my opinion his alignment with ISIL is what pushed him over the edge to conceive this idea of massacring this club. “attack your fears head on to destroy your fears” is something Ive heard time to time and I’d say that this what he was doing. He was so afraid that he was homosexual that he hated it, hated it so much that he went was willing to kill for it. So sad to see that this was the result.
    Now he’s a martyr for a radical religion when he was just a confused man who couldn’t open up.

    • I like these points you made:

      the more one forces themselves inside the closet, the bigger the outburst

      and

      “attack your fears head on to destroy your fears”

      And the harm that can come from such an unnecessary fear.

  12. This is an interesting take on the incident. Most explanations that surfaced various media outlets have concluded to some kind of generalization of an entire religion based on the action of one disturbed individual. Homophobic is not only a fear of people who are gay or bi, but it also includes hatred. We will never find out the true reason for his actions, but him being homosexual is something we should definitely not ignore. Ultimately, his hatred was strong enough to kill innocent people…. His hate crime can be interpreted as an action that was meant to spread and confirm a notion that he was not homosexual.

  13. I think this post is highly eloquent.. the way our innate instincts might act is not usually related to the way they are expressed… being gay and homophobic seem something common, so to speak… at least to a certain extent if we assume that accept being gay might be still a hard thing, particularly given certain circumstances…
    In this particular case, it seems the shooter´s family was Orthodox when it comes to muslim traditions… well, I felt so after listening the his dad…
    Also his ex wife suggested that he had taken her to a gay night club once – not Pulse, but other one- and It seems Mateen used to chat in gay rooms on line….
    When I first heard about the homophobic theory I remembered something I have once read… Specificially… the theme Intrusive thoughts, meaning `an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate´… source wikipedia.
    This in the shape of a particular groups of symptoms linked to homosexual anxiety (HOCD). Here is a useful link which explains what this is http://www.brainphysics.com/hocd.php
    Let me know if you believe this could have been the case, in your opinion…
    All my best wishes, dear Georgia… Aquileana ⭐

    • Sure. What’s explained in the article could happen.

      But this article isn’t talking about what I’m talking about. They don’t discuss or explore whether the men feel aroused by looking at gay porn.

      Maybe you’re referring to Fred’s suggestion that fear, not sexual arousal, is making the men engorged. Yet there’s no good reason to believe that fear, and not sexual arousal, explains it.

      Here’s what I wrote to Fred:

      So here’s how you would interpret studies which show that men who label themselves straight get engorged by naked women while men who label themselves gay get engorged by naked men:

      Self-labeled straight men who are engorged by straight women are actually afraid of them, not turned on.

      Self-labeled gay men who are engorged by gay men are actually afraid of them, not turned on.

      Yeah, that makes way more sense than what I wrote.

      Meanwhile:

      One of my roommates told me about a gay man who had come out to her. And she was surprised because he told so many anti-gay jokes. It surprises me, too. And then she explained that he explained to her that he had been trying to cover up his gayness.

      And when I was researching the topic I ran across one young man who is gay and who had behaved this way early on, trying to throw people off.

      And a lot of televangelists who have spewed plenty of anti-gay hatred have been revealed to be gay themselves.

  14. Men who are so afraid of their heterosexuality being questioned are a result of our polar gender roles. from the beginning boys are taught that straight men are tough and successful. But it doesn’t stop there. You need to be a super solider. You have to be a killer. Your muscles need to be bigger than your head. If you can’t bench press a full grown woman than you are essentially worthless. Things like this would put anyone on the edge. Then you throw in the concept of homosexuality which creates a massive grey area. Confusion consumes these men and the only way they have been taught to deal with their emotions is through violence. When you look at it objectively you can see how they could adapt the mindset of “I’m a real man and must prove so”. By all means this doesn’t make killing innocent people right. All I’m saying is that the issue is ingrained into the fabric of our society. Its not okay and it needs to change. I do believe its possible. Each generation has become more accepting than the last. If we continue to teach our children to accept who they are not not try to be what others tell them, I believe that less shooting will emerge.

  15. I understand the argument that the most vicious homophobes might be compensating for their own homosexuality. I’m not even going to argue against it given a history of anti-gay activists, politicians, and conversion therapy providers being outed or coming out as gay. I’m not sure how productive it is to dwell on Mateen’s sexuality because it comes dangerously close to making fun of him for possibly having been gay while condemning his hatred of and violence towards gay people. Self-hating bigots make for entertaining stories. It might be fun to point out the irony in their behaviors. Having said that, recognizing that some homophobes aren’t exactly straight means believing that helping people accept themselves will help them be more humane towards others. That is reasonable. However, I want to make sure we don’t leave potentially dangerous straight homophobes out of the equation. It’s easy to hate people who are different from you.

    • I wrote about this because the more that men learn that homophobic men are often gay, the more homophobia and hate crimes decrease.

      If this guy had realized that his action would create huge speculation that he might be gay, he probably wouldn’t have done it.

      • Anirban (aka Abner) Bhattacharya

        I want to comment on something I have found talking with gay bashers. Gay bashers are not dumb people. I’ll give a case I knew from 1989. @ 1 place I worked for 7 weeks in summer 1989 (LA Times telemarketer), there was an 18 year old boy who was there for 2 weeks or so (telemarketing jobs trying to sell newspapers bores alot of people). This boy talked of how he & friends would bash gay men. I asked him how he did it He told me that what he & friends had done before was go to a park where it’s known for gays to have sex in bathrooms & public places.

        He & friends would go to a park or park bathroom & when a gay solicited them to have sex in the bathroom or the park, then they’d bash the gay. Yes, the boys committed assault & battery, along with what could be a hate crime. The gay men were committing a crime (public indecency) having sex in bathrooms & parks. Since then, I have read of cases where men have gone on gay websites posing as 15 year old boys. Gay men reply, thinking they’re going to pickup a teenage boy, but instead get bashed by men who pretended to be teenagers.

        Yes, that is wrong. It’s the job of cops to arrest gays who have sex in bathrooms & molest teenage boys & courts decide their punishment. But you know the gays in these cases were committing crimes. There are gay bashing cases which don’t get reported to cops such as these because the gays know that they will incriminate themselves. Gay bashers who do this know the gays don’t want to go to jail for trying to pickup teenage boys on Internet or indecency for trying to have sex in parks. The gay bashers have no right but in these cases, the victims were not innocent.

        My guess with the Calif. case, those gays likely had an unreported history of having sex with teenage boys, were hoping in those cases to have sex with 16 or 17 year old boys but instead got bashed by them. Yes by law, the teenage boys & the men committed assault & battery. But these homosexual hate crime victims are usu. not going to report that because they don’t want to self-incriminate.

      • Okay. I’m not quite sure what your point is. Plenty of LGBT+ people are bashed and no criminal activity on their part is involved.

  16. Is the world view that a God might exact wrath on sinners inherently more offensive than the world view that a godless universe simply doesn’t give a shit about good people getting killed?

    You don’t like the Christian world view. I get it. But you don’t really have an objective basis for saying your world view is better.”

    My family is catholic. So I grew up christian, and obviously don’t have anything wrong with a christian world view. You just did a broad stroke there, saying and thinking, that all christians feel this way, which they don’t. There are actually many open minded christians who don’t have problems with gays. A christian world view can have the belief in God and doctrines and actually still respect, believe in gays rights and not think they are wrong or sinners. There are christians who actually are open minded like I said. Nothing wrong with that world view. And I’d say, a world view that’s open minded and respects people and others lives in a much better view than one that condemns others who are different. Do I really have to explain the difference between a view that a god exacts wrath on sinners vs a godless universe where good people can get killed?

    A relgious person in a bigoted sense, sees that “gays deserved this’ in the sense that a gay person or gay people died, despite the fact it totally ignores their humanity, which it shouldn’t. Gay people are not bad or any worse than straight people, but that view puts them there and that’s wrong. If they believe a god is out to punish gays, then that’s a spiteful, out for gay people view. A godless universe where people can get killed is not the same, because it’s not out for people based on their race, gender or sexuality. But simply what can happen to people, and sometimes good people dying. This has nothign to do with anyone “deserving/” to die. Simply put, this is not bad, because in a godless universe, it doesn’t discriminate and it’s a roll of the dice where good people, bad people, old, people, young people can die. That’s just what happens, but it has nothing to do with anyone deserving to die because of their orientation.

    • Some good points, Bob.

      I always look out where harm is caused. Harm is my metric.

    • Hang on Bob, you’ve written this big essay about your feelings on this, but you’ve lost track of the topic. Regardless of your personal feelings, surely you have to admit that the idea that homosexuality is a sin is very much a Christian viewpoint. (I would have thought it was “the” Christian view, since it’s what the bible teaches, but for the sake of discussion, let’s just say it’s “a” Christian viewpoint.) Furthermore, it is very much a Christian view that God punishes sin, and sinners. This is a recurrent theme in the Bible, from Noah and the flood, on to Revelation.

      So Bob, since you claim to be so accepting and tolerant of this world view, why are you vilifying some Church who happens to express a very typical Christian world view? I get it you disagree, your prerogative. But why the vilification, like “shit heads” etc? If this guy is a shit head, then so is everyone who wrote the bible, and everyone who ever believed what it said. Make up your mind, are you an anti-Christian extremist, or are you accepting of Christian views? Because so far you’ve only demonstrated you are the former whilst giving lip service to the latter.

      • I know a lot of Christians who have no problem with gay people.

        The Bible contradicts itself. Given a choice between harming gay people and following the greatest commandment, love thy neighbor, these Christians opt for the latter.

        AND the latter was prescribed by Jesus, the gay hatred by a mere apostle — Paul — who didn’t
        T like any sort of sex. Jesus trumps Paul.

      • So what you’re saying then is because some Christians interpret the bible differently, supposedly because.. through no fault of their own, “the bible contradicts itself”, they can be vilified, being called “shit heads” etc etc? Since when did believing in a religion differently to you, in a way you admit is actually a valid way of interpreting its holy text, a reason for being vilified?

        BTW, would you approve in your blog postings calling gay people “shit heads”, or is vilification of Christians acceptable, whilst not being acceptable for your interest groups?

      • I assume he didn’t mean that all Christians were shitheads. Just the ones that were. Ha, ha. Just like some women, men, and kids can be.

      • That’s your justification that he was only vilifying some Christians, not all? Why does interpreting the holy text of your religion more literally than you do, make you a “shit head”? Apparently vilification is all good if you are not believing what you believe. The crime? Different textual exegesis. If that’s justification for vilification, then anything justifies it, and your hypocrisy is exposed.

      • I can’t find exact quote. You need to put it into context. I assume that Bob meant that people who hurt others are shitheads.

      • Didn’t Jesus say this: Matthew 10:15, “Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”

        No doubt you’ll come back with some new interpretation of this verse that is different from what the obvious interpretation is: namely concerning the sin we all know is associated with Sodom and Gomorrah. But then again there is less wiggle room in this statement than the one we’ve discussed “God’s wrath may be getting started to fall on the gays”. But I guess you must consider ok to call Jesus a “shit head” for making a back handed stab at gays.

      • Right again. Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t so horrible for homosexuality as for rape and abuse. The men would rape and abuse women, too, sometimes until they died.

  17. I think that the whole going to heaven or to hell thing isn’t apart of why he did it. None of us will really know. In this type of situation I wouldn’t really wonder if he thought making a one last big sinful thing will eventually either put him in heaven or hell. I think it was just a hate crime due to being either upset at the fact that he is confused. Maybe things in Omar’s life was falling apart to the point he could care less. Maybe he felt lonely and was jealous of the fact that everyone there was so free and happy, but he couldn’t get the same. I agree that he was probably in denial and he just lashed out with anger to try to prove a point. We really do not know. I hate the fact that this massacre occurred with the unknown reason that a man decided to kill a bunch of people at the nigh club on a random night, a reason left unsaid for the families of the people Omar has murdered. People may hate me for saying this, but yes this man did very wrong. A night everyone will remember and devastated, but none of us know why. He has only left everyone with a mystery, no one really knows what he personally has been through, but of course this does not make it alright. People have a different way of coping with their problems, and some just end up going insane. Maybe it was a cry out for help and it just got too carried away.

    • Yeah, I don’t know either, and I don’t mean this as a diagnosis so much as a vehicle to think about perspectives and possible outcomes of different ways of seeing, like hatred and self-hatred.

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  18. We shall never know the true reason why Omar Mateen did what he did when he opened fired on many innocent people in that night club. Whether he was secretly gay or not, this was still a horrible act of violence and a hate crime. It will never be known if he did this because of the hatred he had for himself. Or if he just really was homophobic.

    When you say that being secretly not able to be who you are or open about your sexuality makes a person lash out, have resentment and be angry, I totally agree with this. I was married to a man who decided that he was gay, or bisexual (he wasn’t quite sure) he was just completely confused. He was always angry, and resentful of me and always lashing out at me. He was only truly happy once he was able to be his true self.

    It is a shame that in this day and age people still feel like they have to hide who they truly are.

  19. I know a lot of Christians who have no problem with gay people.

    The Bible contradicts itself. Given a choice between harming gay people and following the greatest commandment, love thy neighbor, these Christians opt for the latter.

    AND the latter was prescribed by Jesus, the gay hatred by a mere apostle — Paul — who didn’t
    T like any sort of sex. Jesus trumps Paul.”

    Speaking of religion. Though I;m not always a fan of too liberal or it depends on the extent and it is and can be good many times. Either way, it proves though that it might not always be a contradiction for religion and liberal views or open mindedness and acceptance. I have to say, he most likely gets flack from the ultra conservatives. But I’ve liked the Pope and have since he’s been pope. I like that he’s open minded. Here’s a link though, and I wonder if you like Pope Francis too or not, regardless if you’re religions or not. I think he’s one, where people can be non religious and respect his acceptance, whereas, many times religious folks in high positions are not open minded and ultra conservative with views of gays, women, etc. Here’s a link though.

    https://www.yahoo.com/style/pope-said-something-incredible-apologizing-200628792.html

    Here’s a quote from him ““[The Catholic Church] shouldn’t just apologize to a gay person whom it has offended,” he continued. “It should ask forgiveness also from the poor, from exploited women, from children exploited as laborers. It has to ask forgiveness for having blessed so many weapons … Christians should ask forgiveness for not having accompanied so many persons, many families.””

    Religion has caused problems and has a bad side. I think if religion could have always or been like in the way he views things more, I think you could have a world of religion, but also acceptance and people simply loving each other, being spiritual, having faith and in an afterlife and such. There are good things of religion and theism in the pure sense. It gets muddied up by the doctrines from the bible and some going by it word for work or their own agenda based interpretation to use against others.

    • Love Pope Francis! He understands Christianity the way I do.

      I suppose anything can be used for ill purposes.

      • Hmm, Pope Francis. Is this the guy who is head of the church that condemns homosexuality? Where Pope John Paul called it part of the “culture of death”, and “an intrinsic evil”, or where Francis himself called same sex marriage “an anthropological regression”? But I guess he is just a “shit head”, right? You’ve condoned that phrase for Christians who disagree with you.

      • Pope Francis does not have the power to change the church overnight, and he may even have some ingrained biases (we all do). But his heart is in the right place and he is moving toward greater love and partnership vs hatred and domination.

        Shitheads aren’t people who disagree with me. Shitheads are people who harm others.

      • If Pope Francis “understands Christianity the way you do”, then I guess you agree that Christianity teaches what Pope Francis said on this topic. He said “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. It is unacceptable that local Churches should be subjected to pressure in this matter”. You agree, right?

      • As I said before, I don’t agree with everything Pope Francis says.

        Pope Francis has been working to move the church from domination culture to partnership culture: been loving and seeing others as equal. As I said, he has some biases — or institutional constraints so that he may need to speak more conservatively than he actually is. What I like about him is his openness to greater love and equality.

        btw, I didn’t answer your other two comments because like this one it’s all repetition. Things we had already hashed over. Plus, you were rude. Don’t even expect me to bother reading something that is rude.

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