Internalized homophobia

It is not news that the word “homophobia” is really misleading. Much has been said on this and there is nothing I have to add. But there is one situation in which the “phobia” part might be less inadequate: when homophobia is internalized and directed against oneself. I am so used to use the word for people who are just terrible, hateful human beings that I lost sight of how subtle homophobic prejudice can be and how often even LGBT people direct it against themselves.

For me, the eye-opener was the realization that I have real difficulties to attribute a potential romantic interest in me to other women. In a way, thinking that or even starting a flirt feels very disrespectful. Well, I might be such a person, but surely they aren’t! Absurdly, even so if we met on a gay dating app (which probably makes everything as easy as it gets).

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