Homophobia means fear of homosexuality and Internalized homophobia is when you feel it in yourself.
Internalized homophobia makes you feel negative about yourself creating low self- esteem. This happens when you take a negative message given to you by society, your culture, religion etc.
A homophobic person is interested in same-sex. It is an uncontrolled desire by lesbians and gay men. Actually, it is a self- loathing of the person who is gay, lesbian or transgender and doesn’t want to be.
The reason behind it is where LGBT individuals are subjected to society’s negative perceptions. This situation is directly linked to depression among gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals.
As we grow we used to be taught the moral values by our elders and society. Generally, people have negative ideas about homosexuality and same-sex attraction. Along with we all have many negative stereotypes about gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in our culture.
This is one of the main reasons behind the LGB are the most stressed people in our society. Their feeling of uncontrollable anxiety thinking about the situation of exposed to homosexuality.
Internalized Homophobia Symptoms
Internalized homophobia is also known as internalized sexual stigma variates from person to person. Due to it depends on the different factors like the pattern of thinking, the images, movies, sounds, etc.
These all depend on the internally associated homosexuality. They are ready to do everything and anything about homosexuality. Unable to behave normally due to the anxiety. And aware of your fears are unreasonable, but feel powerless to control them.
How do I know I am not a gay or a lesbian? Give a brief read to the following internalized homophobia symptoms:
1. Hide their sexual orientation
A homophobic person always hides his sexual inclination from family and friends. He makes excuses that the partner living with him is just a good mate.
2. Make short time relationships
The person working for long hours has a hectic lifestyle. They try to make things simple by making the excuse of a busy lifestyle.
3. Attached to the people who are not available
The continuous pattern of attracted towards unavailable men is the sign of internalized homophobia.
4. Hesitates to speak with other gay men
The gay men don’t prefer to socialize and not like to speak to other gay men at work. Because they are small in numbers and cannot be kept together by their superior.
5. Superior behavior
The gay people are better as compared to heterosexual like attitude, dressing sense and gay men are good listeners as compared to straight men.
Simply when you are closer what you are afraid of, the greater your fear will be. Due to the fear is a physical response to patterns of thinking about homosexuality. The homophobic people can create a strong reaction due to their own thoughts
What causes Homophobia?
This primarily caused by misinformation as racism and sexism, people are taught to be homophobic. The LGBT community is no stranger to this abuse. Still, this crime occurs all over the world. Even the UK has special laws to punish the people who commit homophobic hate crimes. Here are the reasons why people may be homophobic.
1. Religious beliefs
The religious beliefs don’t allow homosexuality and it is a sin as per the old testament. Every religion like Islamic and Jewish against homosexual activities.
2. Lack of knowledge
Many people are homophobic because they don’t understand LGBT. That’s why they believe what they hear in spite of the accurate information. The lack of knowledge and education makes people doing things without realizing the effect of them.
3. Lack of proper information or misinformation
A homophobic person often spread wrong information or lies about the LGBT community. Even people find it difficult to separate what is true or false. Small lies quickly become the biggest rumors and they are acceptable by the people.
4. Social media
Even with social media like Facebook and Twitter now made this kind of material to attract the audience. These contents are used by different hate groups, not just homophobic.
5. Historic attitude
Some people have a homophobic attitude due to the prevalent attitude in which they are grown up. Homosexuality was illegal in the UK until 1967 thousand of gay men were convicted for it. People who grew in this time period may struggle to change their thoughts. The passage of time has helped to reduce the number of people with this attitude.
6. Closeted LGBT
Some Closeted LGBTQI people commit homophobic acts as they are unable to accept their own sexual orientation. This problem has a complex psychological and social theory behind these types of crimes. For example, if a person has been told that being gay or trans is wrong in this case, that may struggle to understand their own feeling.
Negative Effects of Homophobia
Society has put great efforts to accept the LGBT community in a positive manner. Still, homophobia is a problem around the world. Because why should anyone suffer at the hands of someone’s intolerance.
- Happy and fulfilling life becomes a dream
It becomes difficult for an individual to live a happy and fulfilling life. This is due to the perpetual shame, stress, and anxiety. These all take you on the path of bitterness, anger, and loneliness. This also stops you from coming out and stops to be social.
- Makes shorter life span expectancy
When compared to the peers the gay and bisexual people living within the community have a shorter life expectancy. The reason behind it that their peers are fortunate to live in more open-minded communities.
- Makes the person mentally ill
LGBT community, as well as the young adults, are likely to suffer from mental illness due to homophobia. The depression and anxiety are the culprits behind it.
- Makes you a victim of violence
Because of the rampant hate crime against gay, the LGBT community becomes the victim of violence and crime. It encourages them to become cruel at heart and takes them towards the crime like brutal murder, torture etc.
- Makes you a drug addictive
The Center for Disease Control says that the people regularly facing homophobia are 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs. This is harmful to the physical as well as mental health. The use of illegal drugs is an easy way to escape the daily pain from the environment.
Don’t worry if you are suffering from Internalized homophobia. This is a curable disease, but takes time and depends on the particular strain of homophobia on you. Taking the help of mental health professional can solve the problem. This problem can also be dealt with by a therapist or a counselor who understands your issue and helps to resolve it.
Keep in mind it takes some time to feel ok, don’t get frustrated as you may not feel better overnight.