Internalized homophobia affects us on a more personal level and it can leave long lasting scars. Its self hate. It is all the societal issues of homophobia and heterosexism, but it is incorporated into our views of our self. Its homosexual prejudice against homosexuals. It can cause us to lose our sense of community, have poor body image, lowered self worth.
Websites like AIDSMAP show us how internalized homophobia can put us at risk. Homophobia silently bombards us with negative attitudes about who we are and what we do. It makes us second guess ourselves and deny our own true worth. It can affect us in our homes, in our offices, in schools, churches, governments, advertising campaigns, music videos, television, movies, books, and even our friends. All quietly bombarding us with negativity, stereotypes, and heterosexist ideologies that can affect our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves; and all potentially making us internalize their beliefs about being second rate. One way to be in control of your future is to take care of yourself and survive it. Stand up to homophobia and show them they are wrong. Try things like: having a regular, queer-positive service provider or health professional in your life, or a group of peers to meet with on a regular basis or reading material that proclaims that being gay is great. The bottom line is, we all need people to be on our side, lift us up off the ground and get to know us as the wonderful people we are.
When we feel good about ourselves, and are comfortable with our sexuality, it affects how we act and how we relate to others. Being comfortable with your sexuality goes beyond accepting your attraction to other men. It means overcoming stereotypes and prejudices, it means being able to enjoy our sexual orientation, our own bodies, and being out and proud; maybe even joining a gay community. The following link is a document written by Planned Parenthood Alberta, PFLAG, titled Be Yourself. It answers questions concerning sexuality and might help you feel more comfortable coming to terms with your identity.
Once we accept ourselves we can expect others to accept us too. It's like the old saying "you've got to love yourself before someone can love you". Just don't forget, you are the coolest, hippest person because you are you. You rock! Just be true to yourself, and learn to trust your own feelings, you know what's best for you. You go sister.