Skills Required for Being Homosexual
1) EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL RESILIENCE
The ability to ignore passing hateful comments in public will be required in order to survive a regular day. You will be subject to verbal abuse which will not be challenged by others, and if you wish to avoid conflict you will need to be able to resist the hatred and judgement inflicted on you. This will require emotional resilience and the ability to ignore any emotional feelings caused by this kind of harassment.
You may be subject to physical abuse as a result of homophobic bullying and will need to have certain levels of physical and mental resilience to survive.
2) SELF CONFIDENCE AND COURAGE
In spite of consistent overt or covert comments that damage your self esteem, when you are publicly humiliated you will need a high level of self confidence in order to avoid embarrassment and further internalising self hatred.
You will need to remain self confident in public situations when people stare at you because of the way you sit or talk, or because you may be with somebody else of the same sex, in order to avoid believing that you are less of a human being than they are.
Because of possible lack of self confidence as a result of a damaged self esteem, you will need extra levels of courage in your life to perform tasks such as speaking in crowds, sharing your thoughts with others, or just relaxing in public.
3) PROBLEM SOLVING
You will be surrounded by hetero-orientated social norms and marketing. You will feel confused about your place in society, with shower gels that are deigned to attract women, family members that regularly ask if you have a girlfriend, and media that defines women as sexual objects for men and men as sexual objects for women. You will see only male/female couples in advertising. You will find clues in some soap operas that same sex couples exist. You will need to work out for yourself that this is because society has been designed for a heterosexual norm and that in fact you do not fit into this norm. There will be small clues around you that homosexuality exists, however it will be often painted as a bad thing. You will require further problem solving to discover that this is just a further red herring, and it is not a bad thing.
You may discover an LGBT+ or other welcoming community, however you may not identify with its own set of norms, and be further perplexed as to where you belong in society.
In cases where you are rejected by your family because you are not the person they want you to be, you will need to develop the ability to survive on your own from a young age.
Alternatively, you may require the ability to be highly covert about your real self in order to avoid the rejection for fear of not being able to survive independently of your family.
If you decide to share your sexuality with friends, there may also be rejection and you may be required to become more socially independent as a result. You may well be the victim of bullying at school and will need to develop a wide skillset at a young age including independence and others listed above and below, particularly because the impact of bullying at this stage could affect grades that you will be particularly reliant on when receiving discrimination at the employment level. The same skillset of being covert and good at hiding your true activities, feelings and self applies if you decide not to share with your friends for fear of rejection.
5) HIGHLY RESOURCEFUL
You will need to be highly resourceful in order to meet other homosexual people that you may form a relationship with. You will need to find ways to communicate with others in a world where it may not be easy to be open about your sexuality for fear of further allowing your self esteem to be damaged, or options limited, that allow you to find other homosexual people in normal life contexts.
You may also receive discrimination in the work place due to your sexual orientation, and need to put resources into challenging this legally or where this is not possible, being extra resourceful to find alternative work. Of course you will require the aforementioned skills not to allow this rejection to further impact your self esteem and sense of self worth as a person.
Because of the likely impact on your mental health, you will need to extra resourceful in seeking help to deal with any potential depression, anxiety or other mental health issues that may arise. This is further complicated that some local health services may not full understand your health needs.
You will require the ability to be graceful when somebody tells you that they “don’t mind” that you are the person that you are. They are trying to be nice.
You may also from time to time be required to perform the role of a novelty “gay friend”, or having your sexuality mentioned when introduced to others, even though it is not relevant. Remaining graceful in these situations is useful, or perhaps asking everybody else to discuss their sexual orientation to keep things balanced.
7) INTELLIGENCE AND ARTICULATION
You will be bombarded with absurd comments justifying why your human rights are of less value than others, and you will be at the receiving end of implicit homophobia in society. Unfortunately, you will need to find rebuttals to challenge these status-quos, which will require intelligence and articulation and can be extremely difficult.
8) SELF-SOOTHING ABILITY
You will often be alone when at the receiving end of homophobia and may not have anybody to talk to, at least immediately. You will need to be highly skilled in the ability to self sooth, caring for your own emotions and sense of isolation. You will need to stop yourself from being upset when nobody else can, and remind yourself that you do have self worth.
You will need to be very aware of your own emotions and thought patterns in order to have any chance of undoing the damaging effect of any homophobia you receive. You will internalise judgements and hatred and these can become difficult to spot later in life when you become prejudice against yourself.
10) SOLIDARITY (OPTIONAL)
The ability to stand up for one another in a world that is intrinsically homophobic will help people in situations where they have not yet acquired the full skill-set listed above, or may realise much less basic rights and freedoms that your country may have adopted. You will be able to show others that their human rights, self esteem, and self worth are of equal importance to every other person, and they do not need to isolate themselves, internalise self hatred. You may appeal to those that wish to end their life just because of who they are. You may campaign at government level to provide human rights internationally to those suffering the atrocities of human rights failure globally.