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The hatred/dislike of and discrimination against homosexual identities and any individual who experiences attraction to people of the same sex as them and/or identifies as homosexual (see ‘homosexual’ for more info). It’s worth noting that while the word ‘homophobia’ is used to describe this type of prejudice, people who are subject to this prejudice are more likely to refer to themselves as gay, lesbian, queer, or otherwise (rather than ‘homosexual’).

This word tends to be used to describe the systematic discrimination and homophobic abuse (physical, psychological or otherwise) levelled at people who are, or who are perceived to experience sexual and/or romantic attraction to people of the same sex as them. This could range from a gay couple being subject to homophobic verbal abuse while walking in public, to the systematic implications of a heterosexual couple being able to marry but a homosexual couple not being able to until legislation changed in 2013.

However, it is sometimes used as a blanket term to describe discrimination, prejudice or harm toward any member of the LGBTQ+ community. For example, a young person might experience homophobic verbal abuse (based on the assumption that they are gay), while they are, in fact, pansexual. 

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