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Hidden Roots of Homophobia Against LGBT Community

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Equality for the LGBT community is the statement that will be discussed in the next paragraphs of this LGBT community essay. Throughout the history of America, discrimination against a certain group of people based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation has always been an issue, and still is. 

During the time of slavery, African Americans were not treated as the equals of white people, instead they were treated as objects that one possessed. During a period of time that called for the women’s rights movement, women could not vote, own property, and faced a wage gap when compared to the salary of men. In the instance of both these groups of people, they battled for their rights as human beings to be treated equally. Similarly, another group of people who is also being denied their rights as human beings is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population. This is mostly due to the fact that society does not perceive lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders as a norm. Since the LGBT population is considered a minority group, if they are fully accepted, being a person of the LGBT group will normalize. Once this becomes the norm, it threatens the majority group, being the heterosexual population. This kind of fear is rooted from homophobia. The intolerance to homosexuality and transgender identity affects the LGBT community by “restricting their rights, denying them opportunities, creating intimidating or unwelcoming environments, and even inflicting verbal or behavioral violence…’. For going against the beliefs of homophobic people, LGBT people face prejudice, discrimination, and violence. They do not deserve this treatment; they deserve to be treated equally and have access to the same rights as everyone else.

Hostility and discrimination towards LGBT people are very common, and can be associated with opinions on societal norms. Society tends to have many opinions on what is normal and acceptable, and what is not. Being a homosexual, bisexual, or transgender goes against the norms of societal beliefs, therefore these people are treated unfairly. The backlash LGBT people receive “emerges from a society’s shared belief system in which homosexuality is denigrated and discredited as invalid relative to heterosexuality”. Being homosexual is viewed to be shameful and belittled upon, therefore individuals who refer to any other sexual orientation but straight face different forms of sexual stigma. These “shared belief system” that only condones heterosexuality as normal are the causes behind homophobia.

Homophobia is defined as the “irrational fear, hatred, and intolerance by heterosexual individuals of homosexual men and women”. There are many different reasons behind the cause of homophobic beliefs or attitudes. One reason being that homophobic people fear the full acceptance of the LGBT people. They believe that once the LGBT community achieves equal rights, it will only influence others to think that this minority group is being protected and that being one of them is perfectly normal. They see this as spreading the agenda of being a LGBT person, and giving people the okay to be or “try out” being part of the LGBT community. However, this is not the case. LGBT people do not just see others being someone of the LGBT group and think that they want to test the waters and see what it is like. Being a lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender person is not a trend; these people are making a change in their gender or sexual orientation to achieve happiness and be comfortable being their true self, despite constantly being rejected. They do not need to be scrutinized by homophobia for simply making a change in their lives for the better. The objections to their homosexuality and transgender identity causes LGBT people to suffer from mental health issues like depression, therefore when LGBT people are not discriminated against, they can have a healthier lifestyle. Regardless of the fears and beliefs of homophobic people, which do not justify, the LGBT community has the right to equality.

Another cause to homophobia according to Adams, et al. in their article Putting Freud to the Test, is the “anxiety about the possibility of being or becoming a homosexual.” For some people, the idea of homophobia can be used to help disguise their personal fear of being rejected by society, or their friends, family, or loved ones due to their sexuality. When someone realizes that their sexual preferences or gender identity is different from what is considered normal or accepted, they have a harder time admitting to it, therefore it is common for them to hide it and be in denial. Adams, et al. goes on to further explain in their article the “emotional malaise and irrational attitudes displayed by some individuals who feel guilty about their erotic interests and struggle to deny and repress homosexual impulses”. This goes on to show that one way of being in denial is rejecting homosexuals and treating them with anger or hate, especially when in a situation that confronts them about their true, but unwanted sexuality. A solution to this problem is treating LGBT people equally and accepting them as normal. Once society starts to accepts homosexuals and gender nonconforming individuals and not deny them their rights as human beings, people will no longer have to hide behind the idea of homophobia. People would not have to worry about rejection or discrimination, so they do not need to put up a front acting like they do not tolerate LGBT people.

Those that are opposed to the LGBT population also argue that they should not have equal rights as the rest of the population because their actions or desires goes against God. In the Jewish, Christian, and Zoroastrian religions, a strong hostility exists towards homosexual practices. As homosexuality goes against religions, parents will send their kids to gay conversion therapy or camps, in hopes of converting their sexuality back to straight, or “curing” them. Chitra Ramaswamy’s article in The Guardian, explains that conversion therapy is referred to as treatments “aiming to change a person’s sexual orientation or suppress their gender identity”. One’s sexual orientation is who they are as a person and cannot just be changed. Going to therapy will not change their sexual preferences, instead it will make them feel less of themselves. It will make them feel like they are committing a sin simply for being attracted to a person of the same sex. Conversion therapies or camps take a negative toll on patients, or homosexual victims as it greatly effects their mental health. In the case of 16-year-old Jewish boy, Mathew Shurka, who went to conversion therapy for five years, he says: “I knew that my feelings were not going away. I blamed myself; I wasn’t trying hard enough. My depression was serious. I gained 60lbs. I felt suicidal all the time”. People should have the right to love and be attracted to whoever they want without feeling bad or guilty about it. Denying individuals this right will only cause harm to their health, both mentally and physically.

Another argument in why homosexuality is wrong is that it is not seen as traditional or unnatural, especially when it comes to procreation. It is believed that God created man and women to procreate the “traditional” way. Now, the traditional way is for a man and women to fall in love and have sex to create a life, but that is not how it works, especially in today’s society. Having non-procreative sex or using birth control is not traditional, but people who do this are not discriminated against. Infertile people have sex knowing that they cannot reproduce, and they are not discriminated against. Adultery is also not traditional, but people who cheat are also not discriminated against. So why are just homosexuals being treated unequally. Some will also say that mankind will cease to exists since same sex couples will be unable to reproduce, but in with the advancement in sciences and technology, homosexuals are able to have children through sperm donors and/or surrogates. There are no legitimate reasons to why homosexual individuals should not be treated as the equals of everyone else.

To end up, our Declaration of Independence states that all “all men are created equal,” yet the LGBT community still struggles for equality. They face discrimination in the workforce, in healthcare, at home, or in public, as they are victims of hate crimes. This inequality, hatred, and violence LGBT people encounter has a negative effect to their physical and mental health. The opposition this minority group faces is largely due to homophobia and the violation of religious beliefs that homosexuality goes against God, and that it effects the traditional and natural ways of procreation. People are entitled to their own opinions and beliefs, but these oppositions do not justify for the people of the LGBT community to be denied the same rights and opportunities that everyone else has access to. They should be able to choose their sexual orientation and gender identity without judgment and repercussion. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people are not asking for much; they are not seeking special privileges, they are simply asking for equal rights.

Work Citied

  • Adams, Henry E., et al. “The Roots of Homophobia – Putting Freud To The Test | Assault On Gay America | FRONTLINE.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service,
  • Blondeel, Karel, et al. “Violence Motivated by Perception of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: a Systematic Review.” World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 96, no. 1, World Health Organization, Jan. 2018, pp. 29–41E, doi:10.2471/BLT.17.197251.
  • Herek, Gregory M. “The Roots of Homophobia – Hating Gays – An Overview Of Scientific Studies | Assault On Gay America | FRONTLINE.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service,
  • “Homophobia: SexInfo Online.” Homophobia | SexInfo Online,
  • Ramaswamy, Chitra. “’I Still Have Flashbacks’: the ‘Global Epidemic’ of LGBT Conversion Therapy.” The Guardian, 8 Aug. 2018,   

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