What Is Homophobia?

As lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity Stonewall state, homophobia is; ‘The irrational hatred, intolerance and fear of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.’

Homophobia is often the term used for intolerance toward bisexual people, but the bisexual community also struggle with biphobia. This is when their sexuality is seen as invalid. Biphobia comes from a belief that you are either straight or gay, and that sexuality is not a spectrum.

How are people homophobic?

People can be homophobic in many different ways. Homophobia takes the form of insults, discrimination and even includes violence. Such abuse is motivated purely on the fact someone is of a different sexual orientation.

This bullying is born out of ignorance, fear and, in many cases, immaturity. Homophobia isn’t always obvious either. If you are ignored or not treated with the same respect as a heterosexual person this is still homophobia.

Everyday Homophobia

Many phrases and words may appear as harmless but can also be homophobic. Phrases you might hear used on the playground such as ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ can be offensive to those identifying as gay and it’s easy to understand why if you’re using their identity as an insult.

More Information & Support

If you are the victim of homophobic bullying, in sport, at work or school help is available.

If you’re the victim of or witness a hate crime, find out how to report it.

LGBT Youth Scotland is Scotland’s national charity for LGBTQI+ young people aged 13-25. Find out more about the work they do here.

Head back to the LGBTQI+ campaign page.

Other content you might be interested in

All ages

What is Asexuality?

Find out what it means to be asexual as we answer some common questions about asexuality.

What is Asexuality?
All ages

What Is Transphobia?

Find out what transphobia means, ways people are transphobic and organisations trying to make a difference.

What Is Transphobia?
All ages

Coming Out as Lesbian, Gay Or Bisexual

Find out how to come out to friends and family, what coming out means and things to consider before revealing…

Coming Out as Lesbian, Gay Or Bisexual
All ages

Am I LGBTQI+?

Questioning your sexuality can be difficult and confusing. Here are some tips to help you figure it out and be…

Am I LGBTQI+?
HIDE PAGELeave this site quickly
Back to top of the page