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Old 09-11-2018, 08:22 PM #1
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Default internalized homophobia

Does anybody else who identifies lesbian/gay/bi+ or non-binary etc. suffer from internalized homophobia? I can admit to myself my sexuality and gender and even to others, but I can't accept it no matter what happens. It's not like I just started questioning. My gender/sexuality identity has been pretty stable for the last decade or so. I'm not sure how to get over it at this point. It is one of the reasons I have severely low self-esteem.
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Old 09-12-2018, 03:10 PM #2
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Well... this is an interesting subject. Thanks for posting it! I'm an old man now. But I've had a life-long struggle with what I've now come to realize was gender identity dysphoria (along with depression, anxiety, anger issues, etc.) Way back when I was growing up no one I ever knew would have even been aware there could be such a thing as GID. And sexuality, in general, was considered to be not a fit topic for conversation... except for smutty jokes shared between men. Consequently it has only been the last few years I've really come to develop any kind of understanding with regard to what was up with me all those many years.

In addition to having life-long gender identity issues, I have also been decidedly heterosexual (in terms of my AGAB). So that made the whole thing just that much more confusing & added significantly to my sense of shame. I do have internalized homophobia. Whenever I see scenes in TV programs of two men kissing, etc. it makes me uncomfortable. (I don't seem to have the same reaction to seeing women in same-sex relationships although, as I think about it, I rarely if ever see women on TV kissing romantically, etc. Maybe it's just the type of programs I watch?) I've never had any same-sex inclinations of my own. I've actually always been pretty uncomfortable around other men.

Seeing two men being romantically involved, so to speak, shouldn't bother me I guess. After all, although I don't identify with the LGBTQ community, I am at least in a sense a part of it at least technically. But I was brought up at a time, & in a place, where men were men, women were women, & romantic relationships were between men & women only. And if you didn't happen to fit neatly into that sort of arrangement, you darned well kept it to yourself if you knew what was good for you. So no matter how much I might feel like I should feel otherwise, or want to feel otherwise, when it comes right down to it... I can't

I don't know how one gets over this sort of thing. Perhaps other members will have some suggestions. In my case, it no longer matters since I'm old & I live a pretty-much thoroughly reclusive lifestyle. I do think, though, that getting to know people who we don't naturally feel an affinity for helps us to learn to appreciate them. So perhaps that's the answer. Perhaps getting to know people whose sexual orientation is different from our own (or like our own if we're uncomfortable with it) is the best way to overcome our homophobia. At least these are my thoughts with regard to your post.
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:14 AM #3
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

Hey, I've just come to this site because of similar reasons and happened on your post. I'm bi (not open at all) and my sexual orientation is based around shame. Funnily enough the gay part doesn't bother me (or maybe I'm just in denial as I can't talk about it lol) but I find being turned on by things I perceive as shameful has been crippling to my self esteem. I think I'm a good person but I can't stop hating myself when I think of those things... Though there's differences in our situations I hadn't heard of internalised homophobia, thanks for your post it helped me learn a little!
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:21 PM #4
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

This still plagues me and no matter what I've read, I still don't see a solution. Other people get over it, so how do they? My ex-best friend told me I could never act on same-sex desires. It's wrong. Never acting on it is killing me. There doesn't seem to be an opportunity for me, but even if there were, I'm not sure I could...I'm not convinced it ISN'T wrong.

But maybe it goes deeper than that because I'm often ashamed of being sexually attracted to men as well and usually go out of my way to avoid men I'm really attracted to. I can't imagine anything worse than them finding out. I mean, how humiliating. And then there's more fear involved with having sex with men than there used to me. Too many bad experiences. I'm really uncomfortable with the thought of penetration after experiencing a lot of pain due to an infection and my previous partner's inability to penetrate me gently or stop if I'm in pain.

So what do I do? Having sex with the people I'm supposed to (men) scares me and I'm rarely very attracted to them and when I am I'm very embarrassed about it. And I can't come up with a valid reason why same-sex attraction ISN'T wrong to act on.
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:11 AM #5
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

Are you saying you are gay or homosexual but have some kind of inner self hatred over that fact?
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:21 AM #6
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

I identify with this. I say I'm bisexual, but the fact is that intercourse with men does nothing for me. It doesn't hurt (after the first time), but I get no more pleasure out of it than I do out of inserting a tampon. I read up on it, and the vagina is pretty numb. Most women need clitoral stimulation, but a lot of straight men don't understand that. Also, I like looking at men except for the genitalia.

I would like to try sex with a woman, but women in general are not interested in me. I tried online dating as bisexual, but I only got interest from creepy straight men and couples. Some men seemed to think that "bisexual" means "nymphomaniac" I'm not sure what the solution is to your problem, but I do understand what you're going through.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:17 PM #7
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

I just want to reiterate that what I experienced wasn't normal pain. It was a combination of a bacterial infection and possibly an allergic reaction. I had to change my entire lifestyle around my period, how I wash/dry my underwear, use steroid cream and antibiotics, etc. I have health anxiety as it is and any insertion at this point causes anxiety to even think about. Unfortunately, I did get something out of it if it didn't hurt and actually lasted more than a minute or two (very rare). Hell, I think anything more than a few seconds to 30 seconds was pretty uncommon.

And clitoral stimulation does nothing for me unless I'm doing it myself. I've never liked the idea of a guy performing oral but I put up with it hoping I would get something out of it eventually. Being touched otherwise makes me anxious because I sometimes get burning irritation from that and how would I know that wouldn't turn into finger penetration without warning? Even if I'm attracted to men, how could I ever trust one to not be as dangerously inept as my former partner? How would I trust that he wouldn't hurt me or shame me in some way since that's the norm?

Also, a lot of my attraction to men is from a male perspective. I'm not sure how to explain this to people who don't understand/recognize gender, nor do I want to get too explicit.

With women, I might be able to trust easier, but I think I might do better if I was solely the giver and maybe even just stay dressed so I'm not touched in a bad way or shamed about my body. It's too bad it has to be this way. If I had a body that worked properly, I would be interested in all kinds of things sexually.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:22 PM #8
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Are you saying you are gay or homosexual but have some kind of inner self hatred over that fact?
Probably more accurately bisexual with possibly a same-sex preference. But I would say that I have self-hatred over the fact that I'm sexual at all. Imagine how much better my life would be if I had no sexual thoughts and desires. I'd be able to concentrate better and not get distracted. I could get more work done and not have sexual thoughts/attraction to people. I could be in relationships with no expectations of having sexual needs met because I wouldn't have any. I could just meet their needs and not feel any resentment towards them.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:11 AM #9
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skull&Crossbones View Post
This still plagues me and no matter what I've read, I still don't see a solution. Other people get over it, so how do they? My ex-best friend told me I could never act on same-sex desires. It's wrong. Never acting on it is killing me. There doesn't seem to be an opportunity for me, but even if there were, I'm not sure I could...I'm not convinced it ISN'T wrong.

But maybe it goes deeper than that because I'm often ashamed of being sexually attracted to men as well and usually go out of my way to avoid men I'm really attracted to. I can't imagine anything worse than them finding out. I mean, how humiliating. And then there's more fear involved with having sex with men than there used to me. Too many bad experiences. I'm really uncomfortable with the thought of penetration after experiencing a lot of pain due to an infection and my previous partner's inability to penetrate me gently or stop if I'm in pain.

So what do I do? Having sex with the people I'm supposed to (men) scares me and I'm rarely very attracted to them and when I am I'm very embarrassed about it. And I can't come up with a valid reason why same-sex attraction ISN'T wrong to act on.
I am gay and relate to you very much. I am a gay man who is turned off by gay men even though I find men (and only men) sexually attractive.

I was raised in a very gay negative environment. And, frankly, my experiences in the LGBTQ community have not been good at all. Despite friends and counsellors advising me to be promiscuous, I never liked that aspect of gay sexuality and avoided it as much as possible. It saved my life when the AIDS plague struck. I lost many good friends. In many ways, I never recovered as having sex became very dangerous. I never seemed to enjoy sex anyway. I was raised in a sex-negative home with parents - especially my mother - who was cold and often mean. She did not like me being effeminate and bullied me into being more straight acting so that she would be less embarrassed by me. She rejected me my entire life. As I failed to bond with my parents, the result was I did not bond with anyone else either. Plus, being gay was dangerous. There were bashings and ridicule and shame. Religion was no help - even gay friendly congregations really were not very welcoming. And, people in the community gave me a hard time too, to the point that I stopped being involved in it entirely.

There's a lot more to negotiating gay sex that straight people don't realize. I find people to be embarrassed to ask potential partners if they are a top or a bottom or if they practice safe sex. My being versatile was a big turnoff for almost all potential partners. And, frankly, I did not find the sex to be that great. I often regretted having sex because people just wanted to come and go, which did not meet my needs as I naturally seemed to gravitate to the hope that having sex would build a bond with my partner. That led to a lot of disappointment. I also met a lot of emotionally scarred and dysfunctional people who liked to live dangerously. I was an outsider who did not use drugs or smoke cigarettes and who practiced safe sex. People used to laugh in the pre-AIDS world when I said that I was seeking a relationship.

All this led to a lot of self-loathing and internalized homophobia. I isolate a lot.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:29 PM #10
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Default Re: internalized homophobia

Yes,I have internalised homophobia.I am most definitely bisexual,I like and am turned on both by men's bodies and women's bodies.I have a deep shame though when trying to express my sexuality and can't accept my feelings or desires for sex with either men or women.Basically I fear getting hurt,by the physical act of intercourse and penetration either by a penis or someone's fingers and intimacy of the emotional kind scares me.

In my younger years I had a great deal of difficulty admitting sexual attraction to someone and my parents policed my sexuality and ensured I did not get involved emotionally in any sort of relationships.Lesbians scared me as I found them invasive in their interests in me both emotionally and sexually and both men and women objectified me and I felt empty and used and also I had excess weight which when I lost it caused me to be more attractive on the outside but no one was interested in who I was on the inside or how I felt.I was shamed a lot for my sexuality and couldn't own it,I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't.

I can't share sexuality or have sex or fall in love.I have never had problem pleasuring myself and I have experienced multiple orgasms that way.I do want to accept my bisexuality and have sexual relationships but cannot overcome my intimacy fears with either sex.Men and women scare me.I have been wounded and I feel vulnerable unable to expose myself and unable to trust.

My experience of the gay community was that they were very unwelcoming and just the fact that a lesbian was interested in me meant that I was expected to jump into bed or a relationship with them,whether I was into them or not,I found lesbians to want to force me into it,and men were only ever into me for sex.It was scary and humiliating and one experience made me deeply distrustful.

I had joined a co-counselling group where inexperienced amateurs played at giving each other therapy,one woman when it came to her turn to counsel me,Made me lie on the floor and kick a pillow with my feet and shout No at the same time,each time I shouted no,she made me get louder and louder until I was as loud as a loud hailer and screaming at full lung capacity, the whole house stopped and took note and I was shamed as a women who had no sexual boundaries and had been abused because of her inability to say no.I was asked by several people quite coldly if I felt better after that.It was not long previous to that that I had been sexually harassed and bullied by a group of students at university and I had been date raped by one of them.I was left raw and shaken by the whole ordeal of both the rape and the amateur counselling and no one had properly taken care of my emotions that day of the counselling session,and I never dealt with the rape incident.I just shut down and never wanted to get involved with man or woman after that.

So yes I have internalised shame about my sexuality and internalised homophobia as well as difficulty with my opposite sex attraction.

My experience is that of being rejected for my bisexuality by both society in the mainstream and by the gay community which itself has its bias and prejudices against bisexuals.I know that if society didn't have such a hard time accepting my bisexuality I wouldn't have struggled so much with accepting it myself.
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