Queer Ear for the Straight Clinician:
As I work on my third book, "Gay Affirmative
Therapy for the Straight Clinician: The Essential
Guide", I am offering some of my thoughts and
research as sneak previews of what will be coming
with this book for clinicians.
Assessment of Personal Homophobia
Homophobia, an unrealistic fear of
gays/lesbians, affects all of us in this culture
straight and gay alike. Its
characterized by a generalized negative attitude
towards homosexuals, if not outright feelings of
hatred. Gays and lesbians experience internalized
homophobia as a result of growing up in a culture
that allows/encourages discrimination against
homosexuals. Internalized homophobia can cause or
contribute to lowered self-esteem, intense shame,
chemical dependency, and a generalized alienation
from ones true self.
Whether you are gay or straight, spend a little
time with the questionnaire below. There are no
correct answers just what is
true for you.
This survey was adapted from the work of A.E.
Moses & R. D. Hawkins, Jr.
1. Do you stop yourself from doing or saying
certain things because someone might think
youre gay? If yes, what kinds of things?
2. Do you ever intentionally do or say things so
that people will think you are NOT gay? Like
3. Do you believe gays/lesbians can influence
others to become homosexual? Do you think someone
could influence you to change your sexual and
affectational preference? Do you believe
homosexuality can be imprinted on children and thus
influence their orientation?
4. If you are a parent (straight or gay), how
would you (or do you) feel about having a gay
5. How do you think you would feel if you
discovered that one of your parents, parent
figures, or siblings were gay or lesbian?
6. Are there any jobs, positions or professions
that you think lesbians/gays should be barred from
holding or entering? If yes, which ones and
7. If someone you care about were to say to you,
I think Im gay, would you suggest
that person see a therapist?
8. Have you ever been to a gay/lesbian bar,
social club, party or march? If not, why?
9. Would you wear a button that says, How
dare you assume Im Heterosexual?.
10. Can you think of three positive aspects of
being gay? Three negative things?
11. Have you ever laughed at a queer
©2009 by Joe Kort
Joe Kort, MA, MSW, has been in practice since 1985.
He specializes in Gay Affirmative Psychotherapy as
well as IMAGO Relationship Therapy, which is a
specific program involving communication exercises
designed for couples to enhance their relationship
and for singles to learn relationship skills. He
also specializes in sexual addiction, childhood
sexual, physical and emotional abuse, depression
and anxiety. He offers workshops for couples and
singles. He runs a gay men's group therapy and a
men's sexuality group therapy for straight, bi and
gay men who are struggling with specific sexual
issues. His therapy services are for gays and
lesbians as well as heterosexuals. His articles and
columns have appeared in The Detroit Free
Press, Between the Lines Newspaper for
Gays and Lesbians, The Detroit News, The
Oakland Press, The Royal Oak Mirror, and
other publications. Besides providing therapy for
individuals and couples, he conducts a number of
groups and workshops for gay men. Now an adjunct
professor teaching Gay and Lesbian Studies at Wayne
State University's School of Social Work, he is
doing more writing and workshops on a national
level. He is the author of 10
Smart Things Gay Men can do to Improve Their
Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real
(gay'.dahr, n.): (1) The
ability that lets gays and lesbians identify one
other. (2) This column--where non-gay readers can
improve their gaydar, learning more about gay men's
psychology and social lives. Also, (3) a regular
feature where gay readers can discover the many
questions and hassles their straight
counterparts--and themselves--must face!
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