What is homophobia

Homophobia is the term used to describe the irrational fear, hatred, aversion to or discrimination against people who are homosexual, or who are perceived to be LGBTQI.

There are a few different types of homophobia: internalised; interpersonal; and institutional.

Internalised Homophobia

The fear or hatred of homosexuality that exists inside one’s own mind. Examples include:

• Making a determined effort to dress or act in such a way as to not appear to be queer
• Having low self-esteem because of concerns around being queer
• A gay man discriminating against another gay man for acting ‘too feminine’ or ‘too gay’

Interpersonal Homophobia

The homophobic speech and or actions of an individual towards others who are, or who are perceived to be lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer. Examples include:

• Violence, physical harassment, name calling, anti-queer hate crimes
• Jokes that misrepresent or put down queers, the suggestion that we should ‘understand’ when we are treated differently

Institutional Homophobia

The ways in which government, business, churches and other organisations discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other intersex (LGBTQI) people. Examples include:

• Policy or legislation that actively prevents same-sex couples from being able to adopt or marry
• Ignoring sexuality as a category on data collection sheets
• Being prevented from career opportunities or being fired from a job for being queer or being perceived as queer
• Being prevented from taking a same-sex partner to a school dance.

Sourced from: www.acon.org.au

Impact of homophobia

Homophobia can be extremely hurtful and harmful, not only to your physical well being and safety but also to your mental health and happiness and to society as a whole. If you are in immediate danger of physical harm please call your local police or 000.


Report homophobia

Reporting makes a difference – to you, your friends, and your community. By reporting homophobia when it happens, you can help stop it happening to someone else. By speaking out and sharing your story you are standing up for your rights and helping work towards a culture that does not dismiss homophobia.

Report homophobia

Respond to homophobia