We live in a society which is guided by norms, stereotypes, attitudes, traditions, etc. Psychologists have a special term for this - - "socialization" - the formation of a certain member of the human society, "a social unit". That is, we try to educate children and to follow ourselves all the standards that are considered normal and correct in this particular society. And so, without even noticing, we get accustomed to behave in accordance with these rules which do not always correspond to our inner feelings and ideas.
Historically so happened, that homosexuality became a taboo topic or has been discussed only in certain circles; all with regard to homosexuality or bisexuality is determined as incorrect, the facts got distorted.
Homophobia - is the fear, disgust or discriminatory behavior to homosexual people or homosexuality in general. It also means feeling hatred or condemnation of gay people, women and men, their lifestyle, sexual behavior or subculture.
There are institutionalized (external) and internal (internalized) homophobia.
External homophobia - a concept that refers to a situation where the social institutions (family, education system) discriminate against lesbians, gays, bisexuals.
Internal homophobia - one's negative attitude toward homosexuals in their own sexuality that is formed in the process of socialization. In fact, homosexuals from the moment of realization of their "otherness" are also aware that it is "bad", since society does not approve such form of sexuality.Negative self-attitude does not necessarily mean that homosexuals do not like their sexuality - generally refers to any negative feelings, emotions, thoughts about their "other" sexuality - anxiety, restlessness, incomplete acceptance of, etc.
Internalized homophobia can consequence in strongly suppressed homosexual desires and behaviors. This is when "I want to, but won't let myself, because it's wrong..."
Many people try to solve the internal conflict, resorting to celibacy (chastity), at least for a while. This is a relatively convenient option because most religious systems do not condemn the presence of homosexual thoughts and desires, and their expression, ie homosexual behavior. In other words, people in a state of celibacy on religious grounds guided by the motto "better than wrong! "
Symptoms of internal homophobia - this is also when
- "I'm not like her/him"
- "I'm not a lesbian, i just like women, to sleep with them, but in general I'm a normie, just like everybody else"
- "Sometimes I am ashamed to admit that I have a girlfriend and not a boyfriend, I am ashamed to hold hands with her, because I myself believe that it's not right. Or even worse - I think that I did not all right in the head, and I go to a psychologist "to be treated for homosexuality"
Internal homophobia - is a serious condition that interferes with enjoying life. But LGBT people do have opportunities to tackle with their internalized homophobia.
One of the simplest steps is to expand your social circle with other LGBT (without sacrificing the rest of your contacts - one communion shall not interfere with another). This can be done both in person and remotely - for example, interacting on forums, blogs, elsewhere online. This can enable you feel the community, support and encourage each other in difficult situations, be aware of the latest developments in the field of LGBT rights - and, in the end, a better understanding of yourself.
Another way to overcome internal homophobia is to be acquainted with adequate information on the issue of homosexuality/bisexuality. Therefore it is necessary to read the specialized professional literature.