December 18, 2023

How Can I Be Homophobic?

Homophobia is a hatred or prejudice towards people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBTQIA+). It's a culturally produced fear of homosexuality that often manifests itself in legal restrictions and sometimes even bullying or violence against homosexuals. It's important to note that homophobia is not a phobia; the suffix 'phobia' designates an irrational fear. It's a hate or prejudice that is based in hostility, bias and sexual stereotypes.

While homophobia is mainly directed at LGBTQIA+ people, it also hurts those who aren't LGBTIA+: children of LGBT parents; friends and family of LGBTIA+ people; heterosexual people who are aware that they have a gay relative or coworker; and heterosexual people who live in homophobic cultures, which can lead to repression and other negative outcomes, such as gender discrimination, AIDS, depression and even suicide. Those who are homophobic should take the time to educate themselves on what it means to be LGBTIA+ and why their behaviour is wrong, particularly if they are experiencing some form of internalised homophobia.

Some of the common ways that homophobia can be displayed include putting down or avoiding heterosexuals, thinking of homosexuality as a phase or assuming that someone is straight when they are not, and using derogatory language about homosexuals. Educating yourself about LGBTQIA+ culture and history can help you understand why your prejudice is wrong, and the best way to change it. It can also help you realise that being homophobic is as harmful as being a racist, and places you on the wrong side of history and further away from a world where everyone's sexuality and gender identity are accepted.

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