Ways to Tackle Homophobia

09 Jun, 2019
In some medical cases, doctors often talk of prevention rather than cure – this could well be the ideal solution in tackling what is almost an epidemic amongst the LGBT+ community.

We can prevent homophobia, discrimination and prejudice developing if we catch it early enough. This is why it’s vital to start educating children at primary and junior age, teaching them about equality and diversity, and introducing equality lessons which cover LGBT+ themes in an age appropriate way. We must teach new generations to respect one another, regardless of preferred identity or orientation.

Over the years I have learnt that while it is enormous fun to excoriate homophobes for their ignorance and stupidity, it is probably more humane to help them see their problem without insulting them.

The dictionary gives us the definition of homophobia as an intense hatred or fear of homosexual people or homosexuality. Homophobia can also be defined as the dread of being in close quarters with homosexual men and women as well as irrational fear, hatred, and intolerance by heterosexual individuals of homosexual men and women.

The several books and documentaries, it is clear that while homophobia on the surface seems to be about rigid moralistic beliefs, sexual ignorance, and fear of homosexuality, it can also be a manifestation of an anxiety about the possibility of being or becoming a homosexual. In other words, homophobia can be a result of repressed homosexual urges, or a form of latent homosexuality.

One way out of this morass is for the gay community to go on a charm offensive and do whatever they can to educate the public, and especially opinion shapers about homosexuality and homophobia. It will often seem like a hopeless mission, but history of other movements elsewhere teaches that in the end right will prevail.

In addition to enacting new laws, States should have to adopt comprehensive cross-Government action plans to: protect the rights of LGBT and intersex people; set up consultative bodies that include LGBT and intersex people; and partner with civil society organizations to jointly tackle these challenges.

• In response to homophobic and transphobic violence, States should also adopt an array of new laws to tackle hate crimes and hate speech, public leaders have spoken out, special prosecution teams have been set up, police officials should be given relevant training, reporting helplines should also be established, steps also taken to tackle bullying in schools, and policies will also be taught to respect the rights of transgender people in detention.

• To protect LGBT and intersex people from unfair treatment, States will have to amend or pass anti-discrimination laws, and also take specific steps to curb discrimination in education, employment and health care and recognize and protect the rights of same-sex couples and their children.