May 17
International day against homophobia and transphobia
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Phobias are irrational fears


LGBTQPhobias are irrational fears

Yet ¼ of the world’s population believes that being an LGBTQ person should be a crime.
Let’s fight against
drapeau inclusif LGBTQPHOBIAS
drapeau acephobie acephobia
drapeau arophobie arophobia
drapeau biphobie biphobia
drapeau enbyphobie enbyphobia
drapeau gayphobie gayphobia
drapeau homophobie homophobia
drapeau interphobie interphobia
drapeau lesbophobie lesbophobia
drapeau polyphobie polyphobia
drapeau sérophobie serophobia
drapeau transphobie transphobia
Irrational fears

The term LGBTQphobia is applied to phobias and other forms of rejection toward LGBTQ+ people. They consist of all negative attitudes, actions and words toward sexual and gender diversity. It can be defined as the irrational fear of LGBTQ+ people or those perceived to be LGBTQ+, which can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate.

Real consequences

Based on a report from a study that was conducted by ILGA World and Stonewall’s International Work in 2020,
one quarter of the world’s population views LGBTQ+ people as criminals.

Irrational fears of asexuality

The irrational fear of people on the asexuality spectrum or those perceived as such can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate.

Real consequences

Asexual people can suffer several forms of violence, including the invalidation of their sexual identity. Asexual people are often judged for their lack of libido and sometimes their loved ones and even their health care professionals try to “correct” their level of sexual attraction.
45% of asexual people indicated that people had tried to cure them or had given suggestions on how to cure them. 1 “You can’t not feel sexual attraction, all humans do; if you don’t have it, it’s because you have a trauma or a hormone problem. You should see a doctor.”

1 2016 Asexual Community Survey Summary Report, Bauer et al. 2016
Irrational fears of Aromanticism

The irrational fear of people on the aromantic spectrum or those perceived as such can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate.

Real consequences

This phobia can be manifested in a variety of ways in the everyday lives of aromantic people, including negative attitudes, discrimination, violence, harassment and invalidation.

Irrational fears of bisexuality

The irrational fear of bisexual people or those perceived as such can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate. It is often caused by prejudices such as the idea that bisexual individuals are more sexually active than the average person, that they are more unfaithful, that they don’t know what they want or that their identity is just a phase.

Real consequences

57.7% of bi men have experienced verbal harassment in the workplace 1 46% of bisexual women have been raped. 2 “I couldn’t date a bisexual; I’d be too afraid he’d cheat on me.”
“He’s clearly a repressed gay man.” 

1 THE ROLE OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IN WORKPLACE EXPERIENCES of Cisgender LGB Employees (2022) Williams institute. Available at: (Accessed: February 16, 2023).
2 NISVS: An overview of 2010 findings on victimization by sexual orientation (2010) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Irrational fears of non-binary gender

The irrational fear of non-binary people or those perceived as such can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate. It is based on the belief that gender binary is natural and undeniable.     

Real consequences

Nearly 1 in 5 non-binary people reported that they experienced bullying at school in 2021. 1 “There’s no such thing as non-binary. You’re either a guy or a girl.”

1 SAVIE-LGBTQ research team (2022). Portrait des personnes non binaires du Québec. Savoirs sur l’inclusion et l’exclusion des personnes LGBTQ (SAVIE-LGBTQ), Université du Québec à Montréal
Irrational fears of gay men

Irrational fear specifically directed toward gay men or those perceived to be gay can also lead to contempt, disgust and hatred. This fear is often based on the misconception that gay men are feminine and therefore inferior (misogyny), or that these types of relationships are unnatural.  When talking about the fear and rejection of feminine gay men, the word “sissyphobia” is sometimes used.

Real consequences

This phobia can be manifested in a variety of ways in the everyday lives of homosexual men, including negative attitudes, discrimination, violence, harassment, invalidation and even death. “I don’t want to go to a gay bar, I’d be too afraid the gays would be all over me.”

Irrational fears of homosexuality

The irrational fear of homosexual people or those perceived as such can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate. It is often related to misconceptions and certain religious beliefs.

Real consequences

More than 50% of countries around the world still criminalize homosexuality. “A family is a mom and a dad; anything else is unnatural and bad for the child.”

Irrational fears of intersex variations

The irrational fear of intersex people can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate. Intersex variation is a medical diagnosis that indicates that a person’s sex characteristics don’t conform to medical and social expectations for the appearance of a female or male body. These variations may be reflected in primary (genitalia) or secondary (skeleton, body hair, fat and muscle distribution, etc.) sexual characteristics that are influenced by chromosomes and hormones. About 1.7% of the world’s population is born with intersex characteristics.

Real consequences

Since 2015, more than 1,385 surgeries have been performed on children under the age of 14 who had a variation in sexual development; 838 of those surgeries were performed on children under the age of two. (Source : la Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec 1 )

69 % of intersex people surveyed reported that they had experienced some form of discrimination in 2021. 2 . (According to the Center for American Progress)

3 out of 5 intersex people stated that they avoid medical appointments because of fear of prejudice.
"There are only two sexes: XX or XY!”

Irrational fears of lesbians

The irrational fear of lesbian women or those perceived as such can also lead to contempt, disgust and hate. Lesbophobia is found at the intersection of sexism and homophobia.

Real consequences

This phobia can be manifested in a variety of ways in the everyday lives of lesbian women, including harassment, assault and invalidation.

15% of lesbians in Canada experienced physical violence based on their sexual orientation between 2015 and 2020 and 12% experienced sexual violence.
“You two are really hot together, can I join you?”

Irrational fears of polyamory

The phobia of people who are polyamourous (practice ethical non-monogamy) or are perceived as such. Polyamourous people have multiple partners and practice non-monogamy in an ethical and consensual manner. Polyamory is not part of the LGBTQ+ acronym, but polyphobia often appears in forms of LGBTQphobias.

Real consequences

Much in the same way as LGBTQphobias, polyphobia can be found in laws (such as legal recognition of polyamorous families and protection from discrimination) and in social interactions. For example, on the television show Touche Pas à Mon Poste that aired in January 2019, a participant stated, “Love between three people doesn’t exist, it was invented by ... it was clearly created by nutcases. Love is one person, we love one person, and for me those people have a problem in their brain. (…) it’s disgusting and that’s all.” 1

Polyphobia also appears in homophobic discourses, especially when the question of marriage is brought up, particularly by threatening that if we legalize marriage between two men or two women, we will have to legalize polygamy.

Irrational fears of people living with HIV

Being HIV positive is not part of the LGBTQ+ acronym, but serophobia often appears in forms of LGBTQphobias. HIV-positive people are people living with HIV; because this disease is not well understood, they can be victims of rejection and of various types of violence. In addition, homosexual or bisexual men are often lumped together with HIV-positive people, which means that homophobia and serophobia are often connected. Some people even go so far as to say that HIV is a divine punishment, a consequence of homosexuality, which is considered to be against nature. 1

Real consequences

1 in 5 people living with HIV in Canada are denied health care services due to stigma and discrimination. 2 “Being gay is unhealthy; the proof is that they all have AIDS!”
Available resources include: RÉZO, Quebec AIDS Foundation, Portail VIH/SIDA du Québec

Irrational fear of transgenderism

The irrational fear of trans people and people who don’t conform in terms of gender identity or expression, or who are perceived as such, can also lead to contempt, disgust and hatred. Transphobia is especially fuelled by the portrayal of trans women as “men dressed up as women" and the classification (until recently) of trans identity as a mental illness.

Real consequences

327 trans people were murdered in 2022

95% of them were women 1
“It’s dangerous to let trans women go into women’s locker rooms.”


Irrational fears, real consequences

Although LGBTQphobias are still based on irrational fears and these communities present no real danger, the consequences of these phobias are very real.
LGBTQ+ identities are often framed as a choice, and that this decision (considered to be wrong) can be influenced by the education and representation of LGBTQ+ people. Fear of "LGBTQ+ indoctrination" tends to lead to censorship. Many countries have adopted various censorship practices to impede LGBTQ+ representation and education on LGBTQ+ issues.
LGBTQ+ identities are frequently reduced to exaggerated sexual practices (LGBTQ+ people are seen as sexually obsessed or predatory), which leads to fear and often violence.
Some forms of LGBTQphobias are linked to the idea that LGBTQ+ identities are unnatural and that they are some kind of disease or sin to be fought against. This can lead to what is called conversion therapy.

Learn more: it’s the rational thing to do

Did you know that people who are allies of LGBTQ+ communities have their own flag?

We’ve prepared all the information you need to learn about it! Let’s move toward a more inclusive future together and deconstruct our irrational fears.


Help us fight against LGBTQphobias