Whether you belong to the LGBT community or a supporter, it is likely that you will come across a few homophobic people in your life.
Homophobia can manifest along a broad spectrum; while some people just show a mild discomfort to the concept of homosexuality, other people might have acts of physical or verbal abuse.
You might encounter homophobic family and friends, who you love, and you might also confront homophobic strangers.
No matter the situations, there are a few things that you can apply to deal with their homophobia and keep your dignity.
1. Believe in yourself and be confident
The most important thing you need to do when confronting a homophobic person is to keep your head up high.
The words of a homophobe don’t reflect who you really are – he or she speaks to the intolerance of the homophobic perspective.
You don’t have to meet the standards of anyone, and you don’t have to pretend to be someone that you are not.
To defeat a hater, you should always believe in yourself, even though it might seem impossible at first.
2. Do not be afraid
Homophobic people could be bullies.
When they act aggressively, you can’t show that they are hurting you because all they want to see from you is a reaction.
If you cry and show them that they have been successful in bullying you, they will keep going simply because that is what they want to see.
It might hurt to see what they do or hear what they say, but you need to stay strong and don’t let them see that you are hurt.
By doing that, it is likely that they will back off.
3. Learn how to defend yourself
It is a good idea to study a martial art or take a self-defense program.
This will make sure that you are equipped well and can handle any violent acts from homophobic people.
This is particularly important when you are living in a neighborhood which is known for harassment and violence to homosexuals.
You might not know when the self-defense skills would be useful.
4. Report homophobic violence and threats to the authorities
If a homophobic person is violating your rights, you might need to seek support from trustworthy authorities.
When you are at school, then speak with a counselor, a teacher, or anybody who you trust and respect.
As the situation turns bad, do not be afraid to report to the law enforcement because sexual harassment is basically a hate crime.
5. Be patient
Give homophobes a chance to know more about you.
You might have experienced a difficult time with your sexuality, and the same would be right for your friends, family, and other people in the community.
Try to be non-judgmental and open during this time.
If they are close with you, it is highly likely that love can prevail and triumph over any discomfort.
Give them enough time, and always show your love.
You don’t need to take their insult seriously, but ensure that they understand you are waiting when they are ready to change their mind.