LGBTQ+ Youth face some challenges because of biases against them, called Anti-gay and Anti-transgender biases. They face these in many different environments, including at school, in the community, on social media, and often in their own families. To help explain this, we’ve defined some of the terms below:
Anti-gay bias – This harmful outlook includes a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are thought of as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or pansexual, as well as toward other people who hang out with them. It may include contempt, prejudice, aversion, hatred or antipathy, may be based on irrational fear, and is often related to cultural and religious beliefs.
Anti-transgender bias – This harmful outlook is about hatred, discrimination or aversion to transgender or gender-variant people, people perceived to be such, or the people who hang out with persons who are transgender or gender-variant.
Systemic heterosexism – A wide-held belief system based on the biased idea that heterosexuality is the right way and only way to be. More often than you may realize, signals that members of the LGBTQ+ population do not deserve the same respect or rights as cisgender heterosexuals are given in many different environments and situations.
Internalized Homophobic or Transphobic Shame – LGBTQ+ youth often take in these systemic anti-gay and/or anti-transgender messages and adopt a deep belief that they are unlovable just by being who they are, resulting in challenging mental health symptoms, including depressed mood, anxiety, and low self-esteem, and sometimes make negative choices to try and cope with it, like using alcohol or drugs.