Monday, May 16, 2011

May 17: International Day Against Homophobia

A Definition of Homophobia:

"It's all the negative attitudes that can lead to rejection and to direct or indirect discrimination towards gay men, lesbians, and bisexual, transexual or transgender people or toward anyone whose physical appearance or behavior does not fit masculine or feminine stereotypes."


Consequences of Homophobia:

'Self-hating homosexuals are in a state of emotional conflict.  Guilt plunges them into an "approach-avoidance" pattern, as psychologists call it.  As they approach a lover, get to know him, they are happy and hopeful.  But once the affair looks as though it might work, they back away and avoid the beloved, because the intimacy upsets them.  As they withdraw, they breathe a sigh of relief, glad to be rid of this latest entanglement...but then they are once again alone and miserable.  Loneliness drives them to attempt a new affair, with the same disastrous results.  These dynamics are seldom expressed at the conscious level of a person's life.  There's always something wrong with the new lover: He's lousy in bed; he's too young, too old, to extroverted or introverted.  But the real reason such a man rejects his lover is self-hate for not being the man his parents (and society) demanded that he be."

(From The New Joy of Gay Sex, Dr. Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano, p. 96)  

A World Overview of Homophobia

'...Quite often, living conditions for gays, lesbians, and transgenders in today's world remain very difficult.  Homosexuality seems to be discriminated against everywhere: in at least seventy nations, homosexual acts are still considered illegal (e.g.: Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Lebanon, and Senegal) and in a good many of these, punishment can last more than ten years (India, Jamaica, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Syria).  Sometimes the law dictates life imprisonment (Guyana and Uganda), and, in a dozen or so nations, the death penalty may be applied (Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan).  In Africa, many nations' leaders have brutally reaffirmed their will to personally fight against the "scourge," which is, according to them, "anti-African."  Even in countries where homosexuality is not illegal, or explicitly named in the penal code, persecution is on the rise.  In Brazil, for example, death squads and skinheads spread terror: 1,900 homophobic murders have been officially reported during the last twenty years, without having prompted any real action from either police or legal authorities.  In such conditions, it is difficult to imagine that the world's "tolerance" of gays, lesbians, and transgenders has gained much ground, if at all. On the contrary, in the majority of these nations, homophobia appears to be more violent than ever.'

(From The Dictionary of Homophobia: A Global History of Gay & Lesbian Experience, Louis-Georges Tin, ed., copyright 2008, p. 11)

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