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Queerphobia is a hatred or fear of people who identify as queer. The term is a portmanteau queer, an umbrella term for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and phobia, a persistent and often illogical fear. The term has been in common usage since the late 1990s.
Queerphobic people may dislike or fear homosexual people, bisexual people, transsexual people, and others who classify themselves as queer.
Queerphobia was originally written queer-phobia, but is more commonly accepted as one word today.
People who are queerphobic may put down people who are queer, stereotype them, discriminate against them, or even assault them. People may demonstrate they are queerphobic openly or internalize their hatred or fear of queer people. Often education is key for dispelling queerphobia and increasing tolerance and acceptance of queer people of all kinds in society.
Queerphobia is often used as a synonym for homophobia. However, there is an important distinction between the two terms. Homophobia is a hatred or fear of gay and lesbian people. While this is part of queerphobia, queerphobic people hate or fear anyone who does not identify as heterosexual.
Queerphobia encompasses homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia as well as the fear and hatred of other groups that fall under the queer banner like intersex people and gender fluid people. Many people like this term as they feel it’s very inclusive. They also feel this term gets to the root of why phobias like homophobia and transphobia exist, because people are uncomfortable with people who not like themselves, or queer.
The term queerphobia is not universally accepted, though. Some members of society do not yet understand this relatively new term. Others do not like the term queer, and queerphobia by extension. They prefer to use more specific terms like homophobia and transphobia instead.
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