Ten Ways Homophobia Affects 'Straight' People

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A guide to help straight students think about the cost of homophobia in their own lives.

1. Homophobia forces us to act "macho" if we are a man or "feminine" if we are a woman. This limits our individuality and self-expression.

2. Homophobia puts pressure on straight people to act aggressively and angrily towards LGBTQ people.

3. Homophobia makes it hard to be close friends with someone of the same sex.

4. Homophobia often strains family and community relationships.

5. Homophobia causes youth to become sexually active before they are ready in order to prove they are "normal." This can lead to an increase in unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

6. Homophobia prevents vital information on sex and sexuality to be taught in schools. Without this information, youth are putting themselves at a greater risk for HIV and other STDs.

7. Homophobia can be used to hurt a straight person if they "appear to be gay."

8. Homophobia makes it hard for straight people and LGBTQ people to be friends.

9. Homophobia along with racism, sexism, classism, etc. makes it hard to put an end to AIDS.

10. Homophobia makes it hard to appreciate true diversity and the unique traits that are not mainstream or "normal."

Adapted from Homophobia: How We All Pay the Price, edited by Warren J. Blumenfeld, Boston: Beacon Press: 1992.