Since I came out to my close friend group, they've sort of known me as the gay who doesn't have any gay friends, doesn't like any stereotypical gay stuff and cringes at the idea of going to a Pride event. Over the last year or so I've managed to change that a bit. I started with some stereotypically gay media, like Drag Race. To be honest, I love it. I see a lot of gays bashing stereotypical stuff and 'straight-passing' gays saying that they have a tougher time than more feminine guys and - although I was never that vocal about it - I admit I definitely used to hold some of those opinions too. I even watched Brokeback Mountain! It's crazy to think I'm the same person, actually. The same person who could watch a [hetero] couple on-screen and feel nothing can now feel the whole range of emotions the director and actors intended when watching a film about homosexual relationships Moving away has helped. So has coming out to my parents (by letter, and they were fine btw, and so was I after a brief period of self-loathing that I think is quite common). Also hanging around with more female friends (my friend group at home is 100% straight men). At times my newfound pride has bordered on heterophobia (is that a word?)- feeling a bit annoyed seeing yet another film about a straight couple, or seeing straight couples openly PDA-ing without getting stared at etc. But I've kept it under wraps mostly, aside from a few jokes to my bi housemates. One of my mates texted me yesterday complaining that the nearest city to our hometown is holding a Pride event even though he " thought all that pride shit was done with months ago". I didn't reply. A few months ago I would have pretended to side with him. Before that I would have sided with him. I still don't think I'm ready to go to a Pride event of any kind (dancing and loud music literally make me shudder) but I'm getting there. Not sure why I made this post but I wanted to try to balance out the more desperate posts I've made- the last few months [years] have been pretty rough, but at the moment I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not an expert but if anyone else is struggling with internalised homphobia (or has been told they are and doesn't know what that means) then I recommend exposing yourself to gay media. Start small! Give yourself permission to enjoy it, too.