Can a homosexual be homophobic? This
seems like an oxymoron to me, but my friend thinks otherwise. Thank you.
What a good question! The answer,
unfortunately, is yes.
The world often teaches us that gay,
lesbian and bisexual people are sinful or depraved or abnormal. If you grow up
with those messages and then realize you are one of those people, it's natural
to feel badly about yourself. Fortunately, it is possible to change those
feelings. In my psychotherapy practice, I frequently treat people with "internalized
homophobia." I try to introduce them to situations where their sexual
orientation will be accepted, and I work with them on developing positive
alternatives to the negative messages they're giving themselves.
One very useful book I recommend as part
of this work is Positively Gay, edited by Betty Berzon.
It's helpful for both people who are struggling with internalized homophobia and
for their friends and families. Thanks for asking this important question.
Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein,
Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks
and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional
audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT
HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.