Hey Janice Daniels, science says the closet, not homosexuality, is real health hazard
July 6th, 2012, 9:04 AM
Psychology Today: The connection between self-concealment and pathology makes more sense when one considers that, psychologically speaking, secrecy is a lot like lying. Keeping a secret in an interview, for instance, will often set off a polygraph machine, because it triggers the same physiological responses as lying, such as increased sweating and accelerated heart rate.
Secrecy, it turns out, is taxing. In one study, subjects were asked to conceal their emotions by maintaining a perfect poker face for a set period of time. Immediately afterward, they were given a test of intellectual capacity. As it turned out, they performed worse on average than control subjects whose emotions had been given free rein. Psychologists have dubbed this kind of exhaustion, “ego depletion.”
Which brings us back to Troy’s nutter of a mayor. Daniels first made her “homosexuality is unhealthy” argument at a meeting of Troy High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance this year. The consequence of her actions is any gay or lesbian student duped by Daniels’ dubious assertion is less likely to be honest with themselves and their loved ones about their sexual orientation. That dishonesty, science suggests, is extremely unhealthy.
In truth, the “concern” Daniels and her ilk feign for the health and well-being of gay people has nothing to do with the health or well-being of gay people. They simply would be more comfortable if gay people were gay like Roy Cohn instead of gay like Anderson Cooper. The price of shielding the adults like Janice Daniels from something they find icky is a shame cycle that threatens people’s health.
Daniels once falsely compared being gay to smoking, but in truth homophobia apparently is a lot like second-hand smoke—just being around it makes people sick. And Daniels is smoking down Virginia Slims at the end of the bar like their going out of style.
We told smokers to take it outside, it’s time homophobia received the same treatment.