8 September 2002

The Dangers of Internalized Homophobia

Équipe -Pose ta question!-

The idea that sexuality is a choice we're just not strong enough to resist, combined with the conditioning of our childhood and the expectations of our parents and surrounding social environment can create feelings of self-directed hatred, specifically towards the sexual aspect of ourselves.  This self-rejection due to being a homosexual
is called ‘'internalized homophobia.''

Internalized homophobia can mark our lives by leaving us in denial about our basic desires and feelings.  At best, fear and shame follow those uncomfortable with their sexuality, seeing them constantly hiding who they really are.  At worst, a person can fall into a life of complete self-repression, leaving them lonely and frustrated for the rest of their lives.

Internalized homophobia doesn't stop when we finally accept who we are and what we want.  It can continue in the form of shame in the way we choose to express our sexual identity, the people we are friends with, and even the relationships we end up in.  It can hold us back from affection and emotional expression, things that heterosexuals take for granted, if only because they believe themselves to be normal.  Homosexuality is no less normal, and should not be viewed with any more shame or discomfort then heterosexuality.

Adapted from ”I Am Of Many Colors.  Have Pride
in Them All” published by Séro Zéro.