Stop Homophobia


Editorial 41 - Cost of Homophobia

I realize there are homophobes who base their discrimination on moral positions. They may feel their morality gives them the undisputed right to voice homophobic rage. Well, in my opinion, health trumps religious beliefs. Health concerns have a higher priority than religious beliefs. You have a right to voice your religious beliefs, as long as those religious beliefs do not harm the health of other people. Homophobia harms the health of gay and bisexual people. David Scasta, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Temple University writes, “Gay people who are able to affirmatively acknowledge their sexual orientation to self and others tend to be happier, healthier, and better able to bond and develop a social network than their closeted counterparts.”(1)

As I reflect on Dr. Scasta’s comments, I cannot help but wonder what the social, health, and economic costs of homophobia. Health costs are obvious. The homophobia-related cost of counselling and psychotherapy is high. Some people feel closeted gay people are not as creative as gay and bisexual people who are open about their sexuality. Lost creativity in art, drama, music, writing, engineering, architecture, business, science, research, and public administration could cost society millions of dollars. How many prize-winning novels or films, gold records, scientific or technological breakthroughs, and medical discoveries have we lost due to homophobia?


(1) David Scasta. “Issues in Helping People Come Out.” Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy. Vol 2 (4), 87.