Social Question

prolificus's avatar

For those who are either LGBT or Q or (XYZ), have you ever experienced internalized homophobia? If so, how did it affect you?

Asked by prolificus (6583points) May 14th, 2010

Also… How did you realize you have internalized homophobia? How did you (are you) overcoming it?

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7 Answers

Kayak8's avatar

I vaguely remember it, but gratefully I have now been out for ⅔ of my life. Back in the day, I think my internalized homophobia was manifest by keeping secrets and knowing that if my Mom found out . . . but once I came out to near about everybody, it went away.

The story that best summarizes it happened when I was about 20 or so (I came out at 18). An old family friend who really did work for the CIA (don’t mod me please) indicated that he thought I would be very adept at some of the then-new mapping and satellite work the agency was doing. Some time later, Mom asked me if I had applied.

I responded that I had not and she inquired as to why. I explained that they wouldn’t want me because I was gay. She asked me how that would have anything to do with it. I think I looked at her quizzically and tried to explain the thinking at the time: “Well, they fear I could be blackmailed by the enemy who might threaten to tell someone about my sexual orientation.”

I never loved my Mom more than when she replied, “Well that’s stupid, they couldn’t blackmail you, who doesn’t already know you are gay?”

Draconess25's avatar

Ummm…...what’s internalized homophobia?

prolificus's avatar

@Draconess25“Because there are so many negative stereotypes about gays, lesbians and bisexuals in popular culture and religion, gays and lesbians often turn that into hatred for themselves. This is called internalized homophobia” (source).

Draconess25's avatar

@prolificus Thanks!

When I was about 9, I saw a lady on TV & said she was hot. My grandma rtold me that “you’re only supposed to say that about boys, & only when you’re older”. After that, It never really came up until I was 11. My mom frequently made homophobic remarks around me (not about me), & I had to hide my sexuality from her until about a few weeks ago. When I was 12 & 15, I had nervous breakdowns. I still budge. During a recent argument, I told her. She never metions it, but she gives me this look when I’m with my girlfriends. And she blames all of my faults on them.

tinyfaery's avatar

Do you feel shame over who you are and who you are sexually attracted to? Do you think you don’t have the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just like everyone else? Do you feel the need to hide the parts of your life that others might find uncomfortable? Do you believe that your sexuality is unnatural and/or a sin? Well, that’s it.

I’d say it’s a process, just like coming out. You don’t rid yourself of internalized homophobia in one fell swoop. You deal with it as it comes. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any of those thoughts. In the beginning it manifested as me being fearful to let people know I am queer, that I had a wife. I was scared of being rejected. But after you live in it awhile, it becomes easier.

Nullo's avatar

“LGBT” always reminds me of the BLT, and from that, the MLT sounds like a sandwich. Throwing the “Q” in there gets one thinking along the lines of a sandwich whose meat has been barbecued.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo thanks for sharing
No, I never felt internalized homophobia – I thought everyone was like me and it took awhile for me to understand that people had categorized sexuality and thought some were ‘normal’ and some were not. Fuck that noise, I said and spent my life being an activist pretty much out of my teens.

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