The term homophobia is used a lot these days. An awareness of it has grown.
The oxford dictionary definition is: An extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.
In my experience homophobia comprises of:
- External Homophobia
- Internal Homophobia
and even more intrestingly:
- Overt Homophobia
- Covert Homophobia
Is from an outside source.
- Someone preaching to you about sodomy begin a sin and punishable by death
- Being vilified for being homosexual or perceived to be homosexual walking down the street
- People ignoring you and avoiding you due to your sexuality perceived or otherwise
Originates within yourself. Whether you are conscious of it or not. Often an internal struggle, whether you identify as gay or straight is irrelevant. It can be a form of denial., or set, from culture or family values despite being out any proud. Some individuals may have a little or no internal homophobia while others may be greatly tormented and suffering from this form of homophobia.
- When you see same sex couples you panic or feel uncomfortable and want to run away
- Criticising or punishing yourself in your thoughts (shame) after sex with someone else of the same sex
- Depression due to same sex attraction and guilt
Is seen as obvious / easily perceivable. Can be aggressive and consist of bullying, indirect or direct. May include violence or just insulting and offensive comments directly from colleagues, peers, family and strangers.
Cannot be easily noticed or seen or looked over. Often individuals who are generally gay friendly and not overtly homophobic still partake in covert homophobia.
- Being passed over for job position or even a promotion due to your sexuality but you never know why
- Cultural language – thats so gay, your so gay, suck my dick, cock sucker
- You are fraped and the post states that you like cock or that you are secretly gay
Interestingly, the gay community itself suffers forms internal and external homophobia, both overt and covertly.
I have been at the receiving end of all of these types of homophobia in my life. There have been many comments. Its a life long journey to work through your own internal and external homophobia and experiences which can have an impact on you. I have received such as:
- You’ll never know what its like to hold your own child your arms (from a guy who thinks his whole life changed the day his wife gave birth and I would not have any idea what that feels like)
- The same person did not want to put me forward (if it became available) for a job, because it was a boys club and I wouldn’t fit in
- “You should sleep with a girl”
- “If you pray you can change” and then justifying those comments because it happened to someone he knew
- “Who’s going to spoon with me” by work colleagues who were sharing the same room (I was walking behind them out of ear shot)
- Asked if my sexuality changed after point holding sessions (will blog about) as part of Body Electronics
- Told about how my sexuality is wrong because someone else said so- referring to Dr John Ray and the Primal work by Janov
- Being told how I would eventual accept myself and then finally change back to straight by those involved with Body Electronics
- Being told Im one of the girls
- Being told to my face by my dancing partner that her siblings thought i was “so gay” it was important for her to tell me
- Being told that I shouldn’t comment on men if I thought they looked good
- I was told I couldn’t form relationships with women based on a comment I made after a question from Sondra Ray. This guy who I blogged about previously, decided to let the whole seminar participants know that my sexuality was an error of some kind. Here he was thinking he was some important person giving his opinion but not realising it said more about him and his own agenda.
- “Everyone is laughing at you, talking about you and thinks your gay” from siblings
- Being called a faggot and poof by siblings almost daily
- hearing a comment from a co- worker that another co worker didn’t want to go to a gay pub as she didn’t want to be around a club full of “insert my name”
- Your going to get aids by family
- You really are a poof – after falling into the trap of answering a question if I found a nearby woman attractive / sexy
One of the best ways to look at homophobia is to do the Work of Byron Katie. It may help you to find a sense of peace about it. Homophobia will probably be around for ever in some form or another. I wish it weren’t so but I fear its the reality. Some place it seems to improve and others it seems to go backwards. Its just the way it is.
Developing your self esteem can be a long term process. No one just gets over it all and never feels homophobia again. It is a continual process of understanding oneself, educating yourself, learning to stand up for yourself and picking your battles. You may even find that you stop justifying or explaining yourself to those who you have wasted your time doing so in the past. Some people never change. It is also hard to let go of old trauma. You can be willing, and do all the right things but sometimes the baggage will never go away while other things seem to drop off. Keep going. Examine your internal homophobia and be smarter about the external homophobia you have and will encounter (if possible).