Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).[1][2][3] It has been defined as contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear, and is often related to religious beliefs.[4][5]

Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such as discrimination and violence on the basis of sexual orientations that are non-heterosexual.[1][2][6] Recognized types of homophobia include institutionalized homophobia, e.g. religious homophobia and state-sponsored homophobia, and internalized homophobia, experienced by people who have same-sex attractions, regardless of how they identify.

Negative attitudes toward identifiable LGBT groups have similar yet specific names: lesbophobia is the intersection of homophobia and sexism directed against lesbians, biphobia targets bisexuality and bisexual people, and transphobia targets transgender and transsexual people and gender variance or gender role nonconformity.[1][3][7] According to 2010 Hate Crimes Statistics released by the FBI National Press Office, 19.3 percent of hate crimes across the United States "were motivated by a sexual orientation bias."[8] Moreover, in a Southern Poverty Law Center 2010 Intelligence Report extrapolating data from fourteen years (1995–2008), which had complete data available at the time, of the FBI's national hate crime statistics found that LGBT people were "far more likely than any other minority group in the United States to be victimized by violent hate crime."[9]

The term homophobia and its usage have been criticized by several sources as unwarrantedly pejorative.[10]

Origin of the term

Although sexual attitudes tracing back to Ancient Greece (8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (ca. 600 AD)) have been termed homophobia by scholars, the term itself is relatively new,[11] and an intolerance towards homosexuality and homosexuals grew during the Middle Ages, especially by adherents of Islam and Christianity.[12]

Coined by George Weinberg, a psychologist, in the 1960s,[13] the term homophobia is a blend of (1) the word homosexual, itself a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and (2) phobia from the Greek φόβος, phóbos, meaning "fear" or "morbid fear".[14][15][16] Weinberg is credited as the first person to have used the term in speech.[11] The word homophobia first appeared in print in an article written for the May 23, 1969, edition of the American pornographic magazine Screw, in which the word was used to refer to heterosexual men's fear that others might think they are gay.[11]

Conceptualizing anti-LGBT prejudice as a social problem worthy of scholarly attention was not new. A 1969 article in Time described examples of negative attitudes toward homosexuality as "homophobia", including "a mixture of revulsion and apprehension" which some called homosexual panic.[17] In 1971, Kenneth Smith used homophobia as a personality profile to describe the psychological aversion to homosexuality.[18] Weinberg also used it this way in his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual,[19] published one year before the American Psychiatric Association voted to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.[20][21] Weinberg's term became an important tool for gay and lesbian activists, advocates, and their allies.[11] He describes the concept as a medical phobia:[19]

[A] phobia about homosexuals.... It was a fear of homosexuals which seemed to be associated with a fear of contagion, a fear of reducing the things one fought for — home and family. It was a religious fear and it had led to great brutality as fear always does.[11]

In 1981, homophobia was used for the first time in The Times (of London) to report that the General Synod of the Church of England voted to refuse to condemn homosexuality.[22]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Homofobie
العربية: رهاب المثلية
asturianu: Homofobia
беларуская: Гамафобія
български: Хомофобия
brezhoneg: Homofobiezh
català: Homofòbia
čeština: Homofobie
Cymraeg: Homoffobia
dansk: Homofobi
Deutsch: Homophobie
eesti: Homofoobia
Ελληνικά: Ομοφοβία
español: Homofobia
Esperanto: Homofobio
euskara: Homofobia
français: Homophobie
Gaeilge: Homafóibe
galego: Homofobia
한국어: 동성애 혐오
հայերեն: Հոմոֆոբիա
hrvatski: Homofobija
Bahasa Indonesia: Homofobia
interlingua: Homophobia
íslenska: Hommafælni
italiano: Omofobia
עברית: הומופוביה
ქართული: ჰომოფობია
kurdî: Homofobî
Latina: Homophobia
latviešu: Homofobija
Lëtzebuergesch: Homophobie
lietuvių: Homofobija
magyar: Homofóbia
македонски: Хомофобија
Bahasa Melayu: Homofobia
Nederlands: Homofobie
norsk: Homofobi
norsk nynorsk: Homofobi
polski: Homofobia
português: Homofobia
română: Homofobie
русский: Гомофобия
shqip: Homofobia
Simple English: Homophobia
slovenčina: Homofóbia
slovenščina: Homofobija
کوردی: ھۆمۆفۆبیا
српски / srpski: Хомофобија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Homofobija
suomi: Homofobia
svenska: Homofobi
Türkçe: Homofobi
українська: Гомофобія
Zazaki: Homofobi