David Brock, a former gay Republican, has called gay members of the GOP “self-loathing.”

The journalist behind progressive watchdog Media Matters for America and the nascent gay rights watchdog Equality Matters defected from the conservative movement after coming out gay.

Brock and Richard Socarides, president of Equality Matters, appeared Wednesday on MSNBC's Hardball to discuss the recent repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” the Clinton-era law that bans gay and bisexual troops from serving openly.

During the roundtable discussion, host Chris Matthews asked his guests, “Why do gay Republicans put up with their party being so homophobic?”

“I used to be one,” Brock announced.

“Why did you put up with it?” Matthews asked.

“I'll tell you. Self-loathing. I wasn't confident enough in myself to come out.”

“So you joined a party that hated you?”

“That's exactly right,” Brock responded.

Brock also suggested that many in the GOP don't agree with their party's anti-gay rhetoric.

“It's a phony wedge cultural war issue,” Brock said. “They exploit gay people and they exploit the fear of gay people to gin up their base. That's what they do. It's a totally cynical thing. Half of them don't even believe in it. I know, I was in the right-wing.”