The Effects of Homophobic Language

Throughout our lifetime, no doubt we will hear the phrase ‘That’s so gay’. 

In fact, in schools in the U.K., 95% of students heard the word ‘gay’ as an insult or used to describe something they didn’t like.

Sadly, it isn’t surprising. Throughout our lifetime we will all hear homophobic language, it could be in the workplace, school, public… everywhere.

Homophobic language could be seen as ‘Banter’ but to those who are within the LGBTQ community, this banter cut deep. Below is an infographic showing the effects of homophobic language and bullying.

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These stats are upsetting as it highlights the effects that being homophobic has on the youth of today. Something has to change.

To raise awareness we have asked the Unite UK community for real life submission. Enjoy! 🙂


Zee

Homophobic phrases make me feel like I should be ashamed of who I am, like it’s wrong that I have a loving girlfriend. I have grown up in a (mostly) homophobic family and have been closeted since fourth grade. I hear them make these comments and I want to cry.

I had to learn that it doesn’t matter what others think, even though those comments still hurt… I love being who I am and I want others to love who they are regardless of sexuality or gender.  I started LGBT__Youth on instagram, to let others know that they are loved and that someone cares because homophobia hurts.


Sapphire

JayHow Homophobic phases effect the LGBTQ community (1)

Homophobic phrases may or may not be intentional but it induces shame, guilt and embarrassment to the LGBTQ community. It devalues the character of a person and make one think negatively about one’s self. These statements are indirect insults to an individual’s personality and it can make the person question his value to others. Homophobic phrases hurt the LGBTQ community because it implies that one is innately a bad person or one should be ashamed one’s self.

Using phrases like “That’s so gay!” as an insult is like telling a gay person “You should be ashamed of yourself!”. These phrases can discount one’s character and can greatly impair the LGBTQ community’s self-esteem.

Thatgaylifestyle

Homophobic phrases have always made me feel like there was something wrong me. They made me feel that the feelings I had for people of the same gender were wrong and I started to believe them. I began to hate myself, because everyone told me I didn’t deserve love solely based on my sexuality. Homophobic phrases made it even harder to come to terms with my sexuality and accept it.


Lesbiango.als

How would you feel if you are walking down the hall or a busy street and people stare at you. People give you nasty looks. How would it make you feel if people spit at you and cussed at you. Because I feel that. I witness it. And I am the victim of it. Being lesbian does not mean I AM different. It just means I’m myself. 

If you hear homophobic language, ignore it and do not let it get to you.


Reef


Jaydn

Jaydn.png

So, my view on transphobic language, obviously as a trans person myself, is not a happy one… Not that anyone should look at any sort of hateful language towards the LGBTQ+ community as a positive thing.

I think the thing that bothers me the most is when people don’t seem to understand why certain things are taken as offensive or inappropriate to say and I’m all for educating people who are open to listening and being educated, but this often isn’t the case. When someone says something and they don’t realise it is offensive or hurtful and then say something like ‘lighten up’ or ‘it’s just a joke’ it’s not a joke unless the person it’s aimed towards finds it funny. In that case it’s just you saying something offensive to and laughing at someone else.

A few examples may be saying to a transman (FtM) ‘well, technically you’re a girl’ or ‘yeah, but you still have a vagina’ and in the same respect saying to a transwoman (MtF) ‘well, technically you’re a man’ or ‘yeah, but you still have a penis’. I could go on forever about how and why saying things about people’s bodies are not okay, but for one, no one is ‘technically’ anything, they are who they are and you can’t tell someone they are anything, only they know how they feel inside. Also, as I feel I always have to reiterate and I don’t understand how this is seen as acceptable by anyone, but making reference to, asking about or pointing out things about other people’s bodies, is NOT okay (unless you’re complimenting them, then go on ahead). This rule especially applies to trans people, since a lot of people are very uncomfortable with and dysphoric about their bodies, pointing out that something that makes them seem more masculine when they are female or more feminine when they are male, is likely to make them very uncomfortable.

Basically, if you want to ask someone a question, as them if it’s okay to ask about something and accept and respect their response, if they’re not comfortable just leave it at that and change the subject. If you say something that appeared to offend someone or make them uncomfortable, apologise, if you don’t understand why it’s offensive, ask them and accept that it’s offensive, don’t then make out like it’s not because you don’t think it should be, show some empathy and treat people how you would like to be treated.

Spread love, not hate. ❤


Jay

Jay,

Homophobic language effected me the most when I was trying to come out. People would use the word gay as an insult and it would shy me away from being who I was cause I didn’t want to be looked at as something bad.

I constantly hear the word fag in such a negative way and it just terrified me to be called that. I just wanted to love who I wanted without the harsh language.


Moni and Bedou

unnamed (2)

We live in a really strict community where the simple things could be really wrong…
 for us as an LGBTQ+ community we don’t stand a chance here, we have some phrases and some words that can have the same meaning as the phrases “that’s so gay” or “don’t be such a girl”, we do have them but it’s not the saddest thing here because most of us don’t even get the chance to live according to our true selves.
We hide, we act properly according to their measures because we are afraid for our lives. We don’t get to be lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender.
 
The alternative for no insults is simply we would get killed. They don’t give us a chance, they don’t think that we deserve to be alive and they think of us as an abomination. 
 
Speaking from a personal experience I told my parents that I am gay, the result was ignoring me, till this day they don’t  accept  the fact that I am gay, they pretended I didn’t even say anything about it. One day I was watching TV with my little sister and cousin, her name is Gwen and my mom was sitting with us. When she heard her name she looked at me and then looked to my sister and told her she has a really horrible name, when my sister asked her why, my mom again looked at me and then looked at her and she said trust me the meaning of her name is really a horrible thing and then she left. The name meaning LESBIAN in French. Not necessarily the same spelling but the same pronunciation so that hurts me a lot I guess I don’t give it much thought. 
 
About the effect of the words on us – well since we don’t have many cases with the insulting words I’m going to give you the effect on us hiding in the closet because we are really really afraid for our lives.
 
The law makes us criminals, they put us in jail for being gay and lesbians and I am sure if someone killed one of us for being who we are they are going to look the other way. We end up getting married to the opposite sex hating ourselves. We won’t be comfortable in our environment therefore we would never be productive and many cases will end up killing themselves or destroying themselves not SURVIVING
Sometimes we forget that even us in the UK and USA are somewhat privileged to have our rights acknowledged. Some countries are still fighting for the right to be LGBTQ+ without a death or prison punishment. Putting things into perspective sometimes shows how important it is to fight for those who don’t have the same rights as us.

It’s important to understand that homophobic language and homophobia affects the LGBTQ+ community massively.
We need to respect everyone as equals and treat everyone as you’d like to be treated. That person you’re calling a ‘faggot’ is someone’s child. Everyone has a purpose in this world, don’t dim someone else’s light to brighten yours.
The Unite Team

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4 thoughts on “The Effects of Homophobic Language

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