Homophobia is the fear of a person just because of their sexuality, because they happen to like the same sex. It also could mean that you feel uncomfortable or uneasy of a person simply for this reason.
There are many different convictions about whether this kind of lifestyle is okay. These convictions are based on your upbringing. However, with that aside all people should be treated equally no matter how they live and no matter their sexual orientation.
Why the Fear?
Sometimes people are homophobic because they themselves are unsure of themselves sexually. They may also have been told that homosexuality is a result of a severe mental illness or they may fear that a person like this would in some way harm another person.
Steps to Combat Homophobia
There are several ways to get rid of homophobia. It starts with a greater understanding, and then blossoms from there.
Here are some ways to fight against homophobic feelings and actions:
- Figure out where your fear of homosexuals has started. Perhaps a parent or other person who you were close to was a very judgmental person and loudly spoke against people like this. That is, in a way that is very demeaning as if the homosexual individual is not a human being.
- Be objective, even if you do not agree. Not everyone is expected to agree with another person’s sexual orientation and there are many different views about homosexuality. Even if you do not agree with the sexual preference of another person be objective when speaking to that person.
- Talk to that person like you would anyone else. That is, if you know a person who is homosexual or even bisexual speak to them as you would anyone else. Do not always bring up topics related to their sexual orientation. Instead talk about sports, music, or even business matters.
- You can learn from a non-homophobic person. Perhaps you have a straight friend who knows people who are gay. Socialize with that straight friend and his or her gay friends. This is one way to learn how to talk and interact with other people who like the same sex.
- Do not tell cruel jokes or make rude comments. Any joke that is targeted towards individuals who like the same sex is not recommended. These types of jokes are similar in impact as a racist joke would be to say a Jew, African-American, or Polish person.