Former NFL player, Michael Westbrook, says that the "Gay tag" still "haunts" him! He denies being Gay, and makes it a point to say that his former girlfriend "went nuts" when she heard about the "allegation," and that "Everybody that knows me knows that's the farthest thing from the truth. For about three years, I wanted to lock myself in the house and never come out."
Notice the hateful epithets associated in the minds of some concerning Gay people; the fact that being a gay man indicates that he's "soft," taking for granted the fiction that there is something wrong with that; the perceived negative stereotypes associated with being Gay are of such a magnitude that Westbrook wanted to lock himself "in the house and never come out."
The macho image of many, if not most, men, certainly contributes to the discrimination against Gay people, especially gay men, and those perceived to be gay men, and has men like Westbrook wanting to escape from the world, be it by locking oneself "in the house and never com[ing] out," or by escaping through solely enmeshing oneself within a gay subculture.
The only way the destructive stereotypes will be abolished is by the acceptance of all human beings, and the recognition that there is a full spectrum of humanity that requires acceptance, lest discrimination be visited upon each and every person who occupies this planet.
Yes, some gay men are effeminate; some straight men are effeminate too! Some lesbians are "masculine looking"; some straight women are "masculine looking" too!
People are tall, short, fat, thin, and all places in between on the whole continuum of the human creation! If we discriminate against any one group of people, all groups of people are ripe for being the targets of discrimination, as we currently see in most segments of society.
The major source of discrimination is the inexplicable need to stereotype others, our inexplicable need to pejoratively view those stereotypes, and the affirmation an reinforcement of those seemingly negative stereotypes by all sorts of rhetoric that range from the seeming "allegations" of a teammate concerning one's sexual orientation to the hateful negative stereotype-affirming rhetoric of your neighborhood pastor regarding sexual orientation.
Even if the stereotype fits, its negative connotations must be fought against by all people of good will, as even the fulfillment of that stereotype represents part of God's creation, and we must all come to realize that everything created by God is good!
However, most Gay people don't fit the stereotypes that are foisted on the public by such people as those behind pulpits and those behind and within the mass media! Life is far too complex, and people are far too multifaceted for that!
Each of us possesses many dimensions and, save for predatory people, those dimensions must be embraced by ourselves and by others. We all have height, so some of us are short and some of us are of statistically average height, and some of us are tall. We are to embrace people of all heights, and not discriminate against them based upon that one characteristic.
Similarly, as with height, the same is to be true of weight, sexual orientation, gender identity, skin color, ethnicity, religion or lack thereof, and any other feature of human beings and of the human condition.
One reason that Gay people are discriminated against is that, since we are all sexual, it can be profoundly psychologically disconcerting to many people when they are forced to confront sexual orientations that they feel they do not share. However, if that were the sole reason behind negative stereotyping and hateful rhetoric against Gay people, even a little bit of reflection would show homophobia to be irrational, even to the person who discriminates against Gay people!
The fact is that homophobia does not appear irrational to most homphobes precisely because very few of us can be put in neat and tidy boxes in any one dimension of life, and one's sexual orientation is no exception. Deep down, most homophobes are threatened by Gay people precisely because consciously and/or unconsciously they can identify with Gay people and their sexual desires, and they are scared to death of that level of identification, so they engage in what we call "reaction formation." (In this context, the truth of the song, "You Always Hurt The Ones You Love," is quite apt.)
In this connection, "Reaction formation" is evidenced when someone who feels some level of homosexual desire unconsciously represses that desire by turning it into a hatred for all homosexuals; he/she often makes that hatred publicly obvious so as to "fool" oneself and others into thinking and believing that he/she is not like "those people," when, in fact, he/she at some level knows that he/she is like "those people."
It's no accident that we have seen so many "moral crusaders" shown up for their hypocrisy, after it is found out that the behavior (and people) they have been so vociferously condemning is manifest in their own lives. They, like Westbrook, are profoundly embarrassed by viewing themselves, and by being viewed by others, as Gay, with all the baggage of fictitious and perceived negative stereotyping associated with it, so they seek a means of escape from that label and, short of locking oneself in the house and never coming out, what better way to escape than to spew venom against, and pejoratively stereotype, Gay people?
Macho culture, heteronormativity, the stereotyping of, and assumptions concerning, what are viewed as "normal" gender characteristics, and the taken for granted belief that marriage requires one man and one woman, are irrational beliefs, considering the diversity of the human creation; the multidimensionality of each human being; the fact that what ever God creates is good!
Jesus tells all those who will listen: "For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb...." (Matthew 19:12)
Gay people were and are made by God, and those who in any way seek to demean or who discriminate against any of God's creation is committing a grievous offense against God!