As members of the LGBT community, gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual individuals deal with many societal issues on a daily basis. A large part of their lives includes learning to handle phobia and disapproval from internal sources such as friends, family, and peers, and even from external sources such as the government and media. Phobia, which is defined in the LGBT community as the fear and/or hatred of certain sexual orientations and gender identities, includes subcategories such as lesbian phobia, biphobia, and transphobia.
For lesbians, ongoing societal issues and widespread misogynistic and sexist viewpoints do much to contribute to the negative social stigma surrounding them. Not only is there concern over homophobic individuals discriminating against lesbians, but a deep-rooted prejudice against the female gender, found in many, also underwrites a large portion of discrimination against lesbians. Bisexual individuals also tend to be discriminated by their straight peers. Moreover, the fact that they are, by definition, attracted to both males and females subject them to scrutiny and rejection by their gay and lesbian friends.
Phobias of transgender individuals also exist. Transphobia defines the fear or hatred of transgender individuals, who can come across as intimidating to the general population because of their new identity. This is in large part due to the socially and psychologically prevalent notion that gender is incredibly specific, and is defined strictly by the sex one is born into. However, transgender individuals may not have felt right in the body they were born into.
Discrimination due to phobias may lead to consequences like getting kicked out of homes and ultimately ending up in the streets. Phobias are not necessarily actively discriminatory, either. Some friends and families discriminate more passively, choosing to ignore those who identify as LGBT, undertaking such actions as disregarding their own attitudes’ effects on LGBT individuals and not accepting the partners of their LGBT children, siblings, or friends.
It is clear that many LGBT individuals unwittingly grow up in communities in which being lesbian, gay, transgender, or bisexual is considered bad or sinful. Many members of society either do not or cannot understand homosexuality and other LGBT identifications, or religion does not allow these members of society to understand them. The aforementioned general phobias are what the LGBT community deals with day to day; to understand more about these phobias and learn how to deal with them therapeutically and curatively, be sure to keep up with Dr. Costine’s websites and videos.