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PHOBI▲: the definition

irrational fear aggression violence

Hostility and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals are the result of what is often called “homophobia” or “transphobia” and the effects of these negative attitudes are evidenced by acts of violence and even murder against members of the LGBTQ community.
by Bryson Kelpe
published: poniedziałek, 08 Mar 2021
photo by: Agencja Gazeta
Robert Bąkiewicz / ONR leader

‘Police confirms: a participantin the Warsaw
Equality Parade fell victim to an attack’
Read more ->// OKO.PRESS 22 June, 2019

key messaging

Homophobia, transphobia etc. are not real phobias. These are negative attitudes which are lived out as violence.


These negative attitudes may lead to hostile verbal and physical acts against LGBTQ individuals with little apparent motivation except a strong illogical dislike. More than 90% of LGBTQ community report being targets of verbal abuse or threats, and more than one-third report being survivors of violence related to their sexual orientation
or gender identity. Rates of murder are highest among the transgender

Theories of “why” range from homophobia & transphobia being a” fear of what is unknown or fear of what is different” to “fervent religious convictions” and “sublimated feelings”.

Strong hostility exists as an offshoot of religiosity, because all non-heteronormative activities were associated historically with religious idolatry and heresy, and so were condemned by way of laws and customs that had their roots in religion not science or reason.

A 1996 study by Adams et al showed that individuals with homophobic beliefs demonstrate “significant sexual arousal” to male homosexual erotic stimuli such as pornography.

Sigmund Freud (1906) even theorized an exclusive heterosexual orientation does not only result from biological causes, but also is influenced by societal prohibitions on homoerotism and by early experiences with parents.

Some big effects of these “phobias” include less opportunities for connectedness to community which is part of good mental health; poorer health outcomes; higher rates of experiences of violence; and lower socio-economic opportunities.

affected groups

The biggest groups stigmatized according to Dr. Goffman:

  • different backgrounds (religious, ethnic, sexual orientation);
  • experiencing mental health distress
  • physical deformation

triangle of fear

  1. DOUBT or worry results as a low-level anxiety, to highly dysfunctional anxiety that impairs our ability to relate to self and others and which is a result of our perceptions. The doubt that we feel stems from the confusion that arises between our beliefs and our experiences. Somehow the beliefs we hold and our experience of life do not always match, hence the confusion. Those with a high degree of self-awareness can be doubtful of something without experiencing anxiety. This is mainly due to their detachment from the outcome. These people are simply going to do their best at the moment and let everything unfold as they choose to learn from the experience. However, those with less self-awareness often doubt their abilities, their circumstances, and the worth of others. This type of doubt separates us from our innate wisdom and diminishes our talents.
  2. JUDGMENT assessments are necessary for safely and successfully navigating our world. Where judgments become limiting is when we believe that our assessments are correct.  That somehow we actually know what is really going on with our children or other people, in all their complexities.  The child refuses a common request and we make a judgment. Our judgment is based on our perceptions and from that perspective, we react with our emotional content. We may think that we know what is going on inside that little person and sometimes we might be bang on, or we could be completely off the mark. More often than not, our judgments carry emotional content that is coming from fear, thus we react angrily rather than responding with grace to the situation. Listening to our child with the intent to create understanding and connection are typically bypassed for expediency sake and parental control rather than for learning. Because learning and connection have been sacrificed the chances of this behavior happening again are certainly very high.
  3. FEAR or false events appearing real is a natural emotion for us all. After all, fear is a prerequisite emotion that must be felt for us to practice courage and a host of other positive character traits. Most fears are our false notions appearing as a real threat. When in reality most fears fail to materialize, leaving us with the painful memory of anticipating a negative outcome. The majority of our pain is in the anticipation of the painful event, not in the event itself. Our ability as parents to distinguish between our fears and actual danger is very liberating. The more skills we develop in this area the more authentically we can coach our children about fear.
  4. SEPARATION is the result of ego’s ongoing attempts to be recognized and elevated above others in worth and status. Ego wants desperately to be special, more special than others. Ego has a desire to be right, to compete for love, to have respect and admiration from others even at their expense.
    When we seek unity or connections with all beings, we become aware of our ego. As we practice seeing everyone as an extension of ourselves and ourselves as an extension of everyone, we judge less and love more. Seeing your God or higher power in everyone you meet, allows us to let go of the need to be that special one.
    We are all special. Regardless of how others behave we can train ourselves to hold the highest potential for those that we observe are acting poorly. As we move from separation to unity as a thought pattern, it becomes senseless for us to think harmful thoughts about another, for we see them as part of us. Our compassion and acceptance flows from a place that recognizes that we are all in this together as one person expressing ourselves in different roles for the ultimate benefit of personal growth.


  • Clements-Nolle K, Marx R, Katz M. Attempted suicide among transgender persons: The influence of gender-based discrimination and victimization. Journal of homosexuality. 2006;51(3):53–69.
  • Gregory M Herek. “Beyond ‘Homophobia’: A Social Psychological Perspective on Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men” Journal of Homosexuality, Vol. 10, No. 1/2 (1984), pp. 1-15.
  • Henrey E. Adams, Lester W. Wright Jr., and Bethany A Lohr, Is Homophobia Associated With Homosexual Arousal? in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 105., No. 3 (1996), pp. 440-445.
  • Lombardi EL, Wilchins RA, Priesing D, Malouf D. Gender violence: transgender experiences with violence and discrimination. Journal of homosexuality. 2001;42(1):89–101.
  • Sugano E, Nemoto T, Operario D. The impact of exposure to transphobia on HIV risk behavior in a sample of transgendered women of color in San Francisco. AIDS and behavior. 2006 Mar;10(2):217–225.
  • Wilson, E. C., Chen, Y. H., Arayasirikul, S., Raymond, H. F., & McFarland, W. (2016). The Impact of Discrimination on the Mental Health of Trans*Female Youth and the Protective Effect of Parental Support. AIDS and behavior, 20(10), 2203–2211.

PHOBI▲: the definition

Hostility and discrimination against LGBTQ individuals are the result of what is often called “homophobia” or “transphobia” and the effects of these negative attitudes are evidenced by acts of violence and even murder against members of the LGBTQ community.