What is homophobia?
The word homophobia comes from the Greek ‘homo’ (meaning ‘same’) and ‘phobia’ (meaning ‘fear’). It is used to describe a fear or a negative attitude towards gay people.
It can take many forms including insults, discrimination or more extreme levels of intimidation and even violence. With 2 out of 5 victims of homophobic bullying attempting or contemplating suicide this is a very serious issue. Homophobia can be subtle. You may feel you’re being ignored or treated with less respect than your peers. It can also be very obvious.
It’s a sad truth but if you’re gay, you may encounter homophobia at some point. Being picked on for your sexuality can be upsetting and embarrassing but remember you’re not the problem, they are.It may be comforting to know that the majority of homophobes act out of ignorance and fear. Often it’s a question of immaturity.
Like bullies, homophobes get satisfaction and power from putting others down. You could try taking the wind out of their sails by refusing to rise to the insult, e.g. “Yes, I’m gay. So what?” As with bullying, you shouldn’t suffer in silence. Secrecy is likely to empower them in their mistaken belief that being gay is something to keep quiet about. Seek out support from anyone you trust and let them know what’s going on. They may be able to intervene or just help you feel supported.
Kindly re-printed from www.stop-homophobia.com