The other evening I saw that someone had been directed to my site via the term “homophobe homosexual.” It reminded me of a lot of writing I’d done on conversion therapy in the past, as well as more recent posts I’ve written on homophobia. I believe that you can be homosexual and be homophobic. It’s a breed of self-hatred, sprung on by a society that not only tells you that you need to be better and different and fit in, but a society that tells you that being homosexual is not natural or normal.
Conversion therapy is a style of treatment that hopes to make those who are homosexual become heterosexual. One example would be enabling the participants to abstain from same sex intercourse and to live a heterosexual lifestyle by choosing an “opposite sex” partner. Conversion therapy has proven to be unsuccessful, sometimes to the point of driving individuals to suicide. In cases of success, the individuals may simply lie and pretend as though the therapy worked. (Our Sexuality, 2008) This isn’t very surprising considering we’re taught to either fit in or get out.
Homophobia as defined in terms of anti-homosexual attitudes can relate to oneself just like many other self-hating conditions. One may hate that they are of a specific ethnicity, of a specific background, from a particular family, of a certain illness or disability, and so on. Trying to change something about ourselves that is such a solid part of the foundation of who we are can cause inner turmoil.