Internalized homophobia (or queer, bi, and transphobia) is a phenomenon that effects LGBTQ people in varying degrees. Internalized homophobia is ‘internalizing’ of negative messages from the environment around us (media, politicians, family members, schools, religious figures) and turning this negativity towards ourselves. It is what happens when negative voices that start outside ourselves are absorbed and turn into something that sounds like our own internal voice. This voice is critical and unkind, can make us feel shame about who we are and can manifest in shame driven behaviours.
I have some things to say on internalized homophobia, and in particular how counselling can help shine a light on the shame and help clients untangle their sense of self from it, which will follow in later posts.
For now I want to share this great resource from Revel & Riot on where internalized homophobia comes from and what can be done about it.