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Dealing with homophobia

Roamers Therapy | September 2023

Whether you live in a major city or a rural town, homophobia still persists. Depending on where you are in the country or who you have in your circles, it likely looks a lot different but can still hurt just the same. As LGBTQ+ individuals, we unfortunately must endure experiences of homophobia throughout our lives. It may come in the form of familial rejection, an offensive slur, being misgendered, or an invalidation of your relationship. Many times, we can still carry a lot of internalized homophobia within us as well. 

If you experience a homophobic encounter or repeated exposure to homophobia, first make sure you are safe. If your safety is immediately threatened, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible and reach out to a trusted person, local LGBTQ+ center, or another crisis hotline for support. Once you feel you are safe, remember who you are. You are a beautiful and full being who deserves to love and express yourself in any way you want. Someone else’s small mindedness and discrimination does not define you or invalidate you. If you are feeling upset, hurt, or lonely in these times, lean on your circle of support or other queer community members. If you don’t have access to other queer people in your area, you can turn to social media or other online spaces to get connected with your community. If you feel it is necessary, practice self-care and be gentle with yourself as you process the experience. Whatever level of intensity or difficulty homophobia presents in your life, you are not alone and there are circles of queer folks out there to lean on. It is unfortunate and unfair that we must endure such discrimination. 

It is also important to keep in mind that homophobia can affect queer people differently. What might be incredibly hurtful for someone to hear or experience might not impact our queer peers in the same way. This does not take away from the validation and emotions around each of our personal experiences of encountering homophobia within our lives. Even though we may share a similar community and identity, we are all our own human beings. Whichever way you react to experiencing homophobia is up to you and your level of comfort. And if you find yourself experiencing a great deal of internalized homophobia and you want to process it further, consider bringing it up in therapy or reaching out to a therapist for help.

While our physical offices are located in South Loop and Lakeview neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois for in-person sessions, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois and Washington, D.C. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more.