Just like sexism or racism, homophobia is something which can be relatively subtle, yet unrelenting and persistent.
A few people think that not having physical violence or calling gay people “faggots” and “dykes” means that they are completely free of homophobia.
However, they don’t realize that what they do and say might keep continuing and encouraging negative attitudes, which lead to homophobia.
In this post, we’ll show you all the necessary about homophobia and how to know if a person is homophobic.
What is homophobia?
By definition, the homophobia is the mistrust, discomfort, hatred, or fear of those people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
The word is originated from Greek words: homos means ame’ and phobos means aversion or fear.
It was not until the 70s that this word became common.
However, it now affects the lives of thousands of women and men all over the world based on the severity of the symptoms and their sexual orientation.
Both straight and gay people could suffer from homophobia.
Homophobic people might use name-calling and mean language when they’re talking about gay or lesbian people.
In the extreme form, homophobia might cause people to abuse, bully, or inflict violence on other people in the LGBT community.
Personal and interpersonal homophobia
In general, homophobia could be classified into two different types, including interpersonal and personal.
Personal or internalized homophobia is often shaped by the individual belief that homosexuality is caused by deranged minds or sickness.
This means anybody can be homophobic regardless of their sexual preference or orientation.
Interpersonal homophobia can be a result of the personalized type which might result in name-calling, telling unkind jokes, or even physical bully.
The good news is that the LGBTQ groups are doing good work to combat – especially the one in DC.
The common causes of homophobia
Homophobia can be caused by many reasons, from personal to social.
The most common cause is that personal Homophobia often comes from the same reasons as racism or sexism.
This means people are taught to be a homophobe by their parents since they were a child.
Some religious institutions also teach this hatred and prejudice of homosexuality.
They always try to promote lies and make up stories about gays, lesbians, or bisexuals, which can spread quickly like a virus.
Many victims of an abusive childhood, sexual assault, or rape can be likely to have a fear of homosexuality for the rest of their life.
Psychological factors are also important as many people often feel ashamed, embarrassed, or threatened about their true feelings or sexual orientation.
How to know if a person is homophobic or not
Homophobia is a negative condition that can affect the whole society.
Though most doctors and specialists have proclaimed that being lesbian or gay is naturally normal like being female or male, many people are still fearful about homosexuality.
There are a few ways to help you detect a homophobic person.
- Homophobes often try to avoid meeting or talking to those people who are gay, lesbian, or have a homosexual tendency.
- Being around gay people can bring out a disgust or fear response in homophobic people because they feel such women and men are either sinful (immoral) or sick (abnormal).
- People who belong to the LGBTQ community themselves might attempt to change the sexual orientation or deny what they really feel, which might end up committing suicide in many cases due to extreme fear.
Symptoms of homophobia
Even though the representation of homophobia can vary from people to people, there are many symptoms that are common to most homophobes.
Homophobic symptoms would be physical, mental, and emotional.
Mental symptoms include obsessive thoughts, really bad movies or images of homosexuality, fear of fainting, fear of going crazy or losing control, feeling of being detached from yourself or unreality, trouble thinking about other things except for fear.
Physical symptoms include palpitations, shaking, dizziness; smothering sensation or breath shortness; increased heart rate or pounding heart; chest discomfort or pain; shaking or trembling; choking feeling; sweating; stomach distress or nausea; feeling faint, lightheaded, dizzy, or unsteady; tingling sensations or numbness; cold or hot flashes.
Emotional symptoms include guilt, hurt, fear, sadness, anger; persistent worry about upcoming events which involve homosexuality; an overwhelming and persistent fear of homosexuality; desire to leave a situation that involves homosexuality.