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Homophobia in America

Homophobia continues in our society, urban and rural, which is apparent in Michael Lassell’s poem ‘How to Watch Your Brother Die’ and in Neil Miller’s essay ‘In Search of Gay America: Ogilvie, Minnesota.’ What are homophobic people afraid of? Do they know? Knowledge and awareness of homosexuality is the best way to prevent homophobia. According to Religioustolerance.com ‘Homophobia has a variety of meanings, including hatred of homosexuality, hatred of homosexuals, fear of gays and lesbians, and a desire or attempt to discriminate against homosexuals. The suffix ‘phobia’ is derived from the Greek word ‘phobos’. In English, it means either fear or loathing? (1).

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Gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals suffer from homophobia. Some gays and lesbians suffer from internalized homophobia. Internalized homophobia is the negative attitudes they have concerning homosexuality. It usually occurs more often in gays and lesbians who are unsure or confused of their sexual preference and those who have not came of the closet. Some feelings that they might be experiencing are the fear of being recognized as a gay or lesbian in public, self-hatred, and fear of not being accepted socially. ?Ross and Rosser?s (1996) factor analytic study revealed four dimensions of internalized homophobia: (a) public identification as gay, (b) perception of stigma associated with being homosexual, (c) social comfort with gay men, and (d) the moral and religious acceptability of being gay? (qtd in Szymanski, Chung, and Balsam 34: 28). Some symptoms of internalized homophobia are depression, loneliness, trouble sleeping, nervousness, headaches, and unstableness of one?s self.

Many who suffer from homophobia believe they do no…

…2001. 964-971.

Paris, Matthew. ?Birth of a queer nation.? National Review 31 Aug. 1992: 65. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. SCCC Library, St. Peters. 18 Sept. 2001 .

Rich, Frank. ?Will Bush oppose the cultural wave?? Gay and Lesbian Review May/June 2001: 9-15. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. SCCC Library, St. Peters. 19 Sept. 2001 .

Ryan, Caitlin, and Donna Futterman. ?Gay and Lesbian Issues in Schools.? Independent School Winter 2001: 57-60 Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. SCCC Library, St. Peters. 17 Sept. 2001 . ?Sex Chromosome Abnormalities.? SCCC Library, St. Peters. 17 Sept. 2001 .

Szymanski, Dawn, Barry Chung, and Kimberly Balsam. ?Psychosocial Correlates of Internalized Homophobia in Lesbians.? Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development Apr 2001: 27-34 Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost. SCCC Library, St. Peters. 18 Sept 2001 .

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