3.2 Homophobia

European culture can be described as „hetero-normative“, meaning that heterosexuality is regarded as the “normal” psycho-social identity. Other forms of sexual orientation became subject to medical science and have been labelled as "deviant", “abnormal”, “against nature” and finally “against God’s will”. Homosexuals have been regarded as ill and as criminals. They had been medically treated, had been prosecuted and killed in German concentration camps. Nowadays the acceptance of same-sex lifestyles is increasing and people are increasingly aware of discrimination. Nevertheless LGBT people still experience social exclusion and violence. The experience of exclusion and marginalization is internalized by every homosexual and may lead to self-hate, self-depreciation and low self-esteem. It is further assumed that internalized homophobia is a cause of experiencing violence - either as a victim or as a perpetrator (Margolies/Leeder 1995; Tylor/Chandler 1995; Byrne 2001).

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European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

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