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Internalized homophobia

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Nukeproof1, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Nukeproof1

    Nukeproof1 Guest

    Have you ever experienced internalized homophobia? Specifically feeling like being gay is wrong, or unsure if it's wrong (after years of having already accepted yourself), feeling like you don't want to be gay anymore and you'd rather just be straight and "normal" because you're tired of dealing with the everyday issues of being gay? How did you overcome it? I could really use some feedback with this.
     
  2. Ruby Dragon

    Ruby Dragon Well-Known Member

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    I'm not gay (lesbian), but I am bisexual, and I've definitely experienced internalized biphobia. At one point, I even wished to be completely gay (lesbian) instead of somewhere in the middle. I live a pretty heteronormative life, and have only had a few girlfriends, nothing serious (no sex), but most of the people I've dated (and had sex with), are men. That's all I know, and since I am straight-leaning, it doesn't bother me to live a "straight" life. There's still a part of me who wishes to be attracted to women, and only women.

    Somehow I don't feel like I fit into the LGBT community, even though there's a B in LGBT. I feel like the odd one out. I don't want to be completely straight. For the most part, I'm content with my sexuality and I'm fully out, but there's still that longing to be more gay than just bisexual. Maybe it's like the proverbial carrot swinging in front of my face. The want of the unknown, even though it's scary due to being unknown.

    I just want to be a bigger part of the LGBT community in the form of being fully gay. That way I can cut my hair as short as I want, and people will still find me attractive. My hair grows very fast, and I don't like it when it gets longer than about an inch. That's not the point though.

    So to get back to the point: Yes, I've experienced (and still do sometimes) internalized homo(in my case, bi)phobia. It sucks. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone. So many people in the community struggle with it on a daily basis, even after being fully out for many years.
     
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  3. Nukeproof1

    Nukeproof1 Guest

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I've been struggling with this a lot recently and it's new for me, so I do appreciate it.
     
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  4. smurf

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    Yep, it used to happen a lot when you are in the process of coming out and figuring stuff out. Its rare for people to just be able to jump right into being gay and out so it make sense.

    What usually helps is surrounding yourself with other lgbt people for reassurance. Venting to people that just get it helps. When you feel that way, vent on here in the "what are you thinking?" thread. It helps a bit.

    If you have a recurring problem post here and learn how other people deal with shit. It will make you feel less alone.

    But the biggest thing is time. Keep your friends who know close to you, vent to them if you can, and the more you accept yourself the easier it gets to deal with the shit that sometimes comes with it.

    Good news is that it won't always feel so hopeless. The pain does end and you do come to a time where you wouldn't trade being gay for anything in the world. Sounds crazy, but keep at it :slight_smile:
     
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  5. OGS

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    I think, like Smurf said, surrounding yourself with gay and affirming folks really helps. The other thing I would really look at is what in your experience really are "the everyday issues of being gay"? Is there a way you can confront or change the issue? Are the issues rooted in being gay or in being closeted or uncomfortable in being gay? Are you able to change the way you think about these issues? I'll be honest with you. When I first read your post the first thing that came to my mind was: what are the every day issues of being gay? I honestly don't feel like I really experience this any. I'm still really gay but I've worked through stuff over the years, adjusting my environment and myself as I went. It's not always easy but it's definitely worth it.
     
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  6. Filip

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    This, to me, was really the big one. Even when I was struggling with it a lot myself, just hanging out with my friends (yes, even the straight ones!) would make it a lot easier.
    Some nights I'd make a big deal out of it and yet be met with their total acceptance.
    On other nights I'd be just fine about being gay, along with laughing along at a joke at my expense.
    And on yet other nights, one of them would have big drama and I could help THEM by being totally accepting of their shit (and occasionally even offer a unique perspective).

    Because in the end, the whole internalised homophobia is in your head. The more you "bleed it out" by interacting with people, the less it haunts you. The more you see others not making a big deal of it, the less of a big deal it becomes to you.


    Of course, that DOES mean the other main factor is time.
    You spent years in the closet, convincing yourself the sky would fall. That you can't be gay. Or if you are, that you should change for the sake of others.
    Effectively you practiced and practiced those thoughts until they become natural. Like a train, your mind tries to roll along the tracks.

    So do grant yourself some time. You'll have bad days, but those aren't a failure. You're not a bad gay for having these thoughts. You'll work on them and they'll get more manageable.

    At first I had them daily. Then weekly. Then monthly. And now, ten years out of the closet, I just have the odd panic attack every half a year or so. But there's progress. And that's what counts more than immediatly achieinvg the goal.
     
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  7. LittleLamb

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    I don't have a 'success story' so to say but I still thought I'd comment. To be completely honest with you I'm still struggling with internalized homophobia. I grew up in a conservative Christian household, in the south, where being gay was a sin and I'm not out to anyone, unless you count the forums and sites I belong to that are lesbian friendly. I recently asked for some help with this issue and was told it was possible to be religious and belong to the LGBTQ religious community, I don't know if this is something you're interested in. I don't have a church like this in my area but I feel that if I did I'd probably feel like it was helping me. I was also told counseling could help, unfortunately, I can't afford this but I've been trying to find a hotline or something that can help me, the last one I talked to kept tellling me they didn't understand why I had this. Their answer hurt my feelings and made me feel like I was a bad person. I don't have any friends or family members I can talk to this about, I have no friends period and my family is homophobic, conservative and doesn't understand. But I'm taking baby steps with this and maybe one day I'll be over this.
     
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  8. Nukeproof1

    Nukeproof1 Guest

    I guess by "everyday issues" I mean knowing you're "different" and that there's a significant population of people that don't accept/don't agree with who you are or even hate you, having to hide the fact that you're gay from some or most people, potentially losing friends if you tell them, liking people you can't have, dealing with things like internalized homophobia, etc.
     
  9. out2019

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    I don't know if it's much help since I am just starting to come out (started in September) and I deal with this internally too.

    I haven't fully overcome it yet, but what keeps me going it realizing and accepting that when I remove all the baggage, I want to be with a man physically and romantically way more than a woman it's not even close. When I think about the love I can share and give to another man it motivates me to want to come out.

    Someone here made a comment that was earth shattering for me - I repressed things a lot and was mainly thinking about sex but they made a comment what 'changed' it for them was imaging who they would want to come home to... I let myself do that and I immediately imagined a kissing a man..

    this looks like great advice!
     
    #9 out2019, Dec 19, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2018
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  10. OGS

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    I guess what I'm saying is that you shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that because this is what you're experiencing now that it's what you will always experience. There are ways to adjust your thinking and your context that ameliorate or even eliminate these things. I can honestly say that none of the things you mention are part of my everyday experience. It's not always easy but don't cede control of your life. Fill it with thoughts, people and things that make you happy. Being gay doesn't mean just taking whatever thoughts, things and people are thrust upon you, if anything it makes it all the more essential to consciously build a life for yourself--what a gift that can be!
     
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  11. konigsberg

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    Interacting with other LGBT people, being accepted by them without criticism, and learning I'm not alone really helped me overcome my internalized phobia.
     
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  12. swingthatway

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    Yes, I know exactly how you feel! I often feel like I just want to be 'normal' like everyone else. Especially when I see all my straight friends ending up in happy, heterosexual relationships -- while I'm struggling to find a single girl I like that happens to also be gay. I'm pretty tired of the gay dating scene and I wish I could just walk up to a guy in a club and hit it off like everyone else.

    I'm not sure what to say that will make you feel better, but just know that I'm going through the same thing. You're not alone xx
     
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  13. Devil Dave

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    I think internalized homophobia can occur in lots of different ways.

    I never wished I wasn't gay, but I did spend a long time thinking I deserved to be made fun of, and that gay jokes were just something I had to put up with on a regular basis. Some of these jokes and comments came from members of my own family, and putting up with them was just normal for me.

    So even though I had a positive attitude towards being gay, I still accepted negative attitudes from people around me. And I think that can be seen as a form of internalized homophobia - the lack of will to stand up for my sexuality, and accepting homophobic remarks. However light humored these comments may have been intended, every joke and snide comment about being gay was actually hurting me and causing me further depression.

    I think the way you overcome this is to start thinking that you deserve better. You deserve to be respected and have your voice heard. You're not harming anyone by being gay, or speaking and moving in a way that can be perceived as obviously gay, therefore you don't deserve to have those aspects of your life being made fun of. The friends I have now don't make fun of how gay I am and I don't comment about how straight they are.
    Putting up with gay jokes and homophobic comments on a regular basis is no longer normal for me. I don't tolerate negative attitudes towards my sexuality, I did that for long enough.
     
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