Allies & Advocates

Exploring Personal Homophobia

Homophobia may be defined as an irrational fear or hatred of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuals or perceived homosexual behavior. Homophobia may be experienced by heterosexuals as well as by gay and lesbian persons. Homophobia is manifested at the personal level, as well as being widely institutionalized within our society. The following is intended to help individuals explore their personal experience of homophobia.

1. Have you ever stopped yourself from doing or saying something, because of a concern that someone might think you are gay or lesbian?

2. How did you respond the last time that someone around you told a joke about "fags" or "dykes" or made a derogatory comment about gays or lesbians?

3. Have you ever intentionally done or said something so that someone will think you are not gay or lesbian?

4. Do you believe that gays or lesbians can influence heterosexuals to change their sexual orientation?

5. Do you believe someone could influence you to change your sexual orientation?

6. How would you feel about having a gay son or daughter? How would you feel about having your child's same sex partner in your home? How would you feel about introducing your child and their partner at your church or at your place of employment?

7. How would you feel if one of your parents or parent figures, or one of your siblings came out to you as gay or lesbian?

8. Are there any jobs or professions which you think gays and lesbians should be barred from holding? What is your rationale for this belief?

9. Have you ever been to a gay or lesbian bar, social club, party, church, or civil rights march? If not, what has kept you away?

10.How would you feel about wearing a tee-shirt that says, "How dare you presume I'm heterosexual"?

Source: Safe Zone resource manual - Southern Mississippi University

Page last modified December 22, 2010