Types of Homophobes
Internalized homophobia refers to homophobia that is directed inwardly at yourself. This type of homophobia can arise from a few different situations and can be the most self-destructive from an internalized standpoint.
You Identify as LGBTQ+ But Feel Ashamed of Your Sexuality
The first situation is one in which you yourself are a person who identifies as LGBTQ+, but who has internalized homophobia projected upon you by other individuals or society.
In this case, you may not believe that you deserve the same privileges as those who are heterosexual, or you may settle with accepting less than you deserve.
As an example, you might feel uncomfortable holding hands or kissing your significant other in public, despite the fact that this is a privilege enjoyed by heterosexual individuals without giving it a second thought.
You Identify as LGBTQ+ But Ignore Your Sexuality
The second situation of internalized homophobia involves a person who has experienced a same-sex attraction but who has repressed that attraction because they deem it to be unacceptable (for whatever reason).
For example, a person raised in a family in which homosexuality was not accepted for religious reasons might choose to ignore their preference and instead live life as a heterosexual individual.
Interpersonal homophobia refers to homophobia that takes place between individuals. People who engage in interpersonal homophobia do so based on prejudices that they hold with regard to sexual orientation that result in them experiencing feelings of discomfort or dislike for individuals.
As an example, a person may experience being shunned by a particular relative when that person learns of their sexual orientation. Interpersonal homophobia may also show up in the workplace, either in the form of discrimination from superiors or hostile or dismissive attitudes from coworkers. The same could be said for a student who might experience homophobia in the classroom or on a college campus.
Finally, interpersonal homophobia may also show up in more discreet ways. For example, you might be good friends with someone but that person may treat you differently because of your sexual orientation. For example, a friend might openly share details of their heterosexual relationship with you but then not want to hear details about your relationship.
Institutional homophobia refers to homophobia that originates within institutions, organizations, governments, businesses, etc. This type of homophobia generally leads to discrimination through the enforcement of policies, allocation of resources, and protection of rights in ways that put individuals with a non-heterosexual orientation at a disadvantage.
For example, a photography business that refuses to take wedding photos for homosexual clients would be engaging in homophobia and discrimination. A law prohibiting marriage between two same-sex individuals is another example of institutionalized homophobia.
Cultural homophobia refers to homophobia that is transmitted through popular culture in the form of norms and social standards that reinforce the idea that all individuals should have a heterosexual orientation.
For example, television shows, magazine ads, and movies tend to portray mostly heterosexual characters and models.