+
upworthy
Identity

Here's how 18 people got over being homophobic, proving there's hope for everyone

"I looked for logical reasons to be and couldn't find any."

lgbtq, homopbobia, overcoming homophobia

Homophobia? Get over it.

There are many different reasons why some people are homophobic. A lot of them are raised in religious households where homosexuality is seen as sinful and they never get over their indoctrination.

A study from 2018 found that people who foster homophobic attitudes are less intelligent than those who accept people regardless of their sexuality. For the study, researchers asked subjects if they agree or disagree with the following statement: “Homosexual couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples do.”

After comparing data sets, researchers found that the lower a person's cognitive intelligence, the more likely they are to be homophobic.

An older study from 2016 using an eye-tracking device found that some homophobic men seem to have an impulsive, automatic attraction to other men.

Homophobic attitudes are more prevalent in people with authoritarian personality types. Authoritarians have “submissive attitudes toward strong leaders, a desire to punish all who violate conventional moral codes, and strong fear that conventional morality is breaking down.”


There are also some who believe that humans evolved to be homophobic because it favors the propagation of the species. "In its simplest form, parents who showed a concern for their child’s sexual orientation may have left more descendants than those who were indifferent,” Gordon Gallup, a human sexuality researcher, wrote.

(It should be noted that Gallup formulated his theory in the ‘80s.)

Regardless of how people become homophobic, the good news is that Americans are slowly becoming more accepting of LGBTQ people. A Reddit user by the name of aestheticbear wanted to prove that everyone is capable of losing their homophobic views by asking the subforum, “What happened that made you stop being homophobic?”

According to the posts, growing up and meeting people who are LGBTQ was one of the most effective ways for people to get over their homophobia. It also helped when they got away from religious parents and began to see the world with their own eyes.

Here are 18 of the best ways that people got over being homophobic.

1. 

"I met some gay people. As it turns out they were just people." — moolord

2. 

"Not homophobic, but I woke up at about 10 when my mom said my uncle was banned from coming to our vacation condo by my father because he was gay. Before then I kind of let the arguments and both sides bit wash over me, but that was a crystalization point where I started noticing it as pure bigotry. I'm sorry the nicest dude in the family full of domestic violence and white-collar drug abusers cant come to Christmas because he's gay? You're both cheating on each other, sanctity of what marriage now?" — Robin_Games

3. 

"My mom slapped me and told me everyone has a right to be happy. That was in 9th grade 13 years ago." — Bloodllust

4. 

"Homophobia was the norm when I was growing up, then I got older and the political landscape changed which made me question my belief and I came to the conclusion it just didn't make any sense to be homophobic." — LuciferIsFallen

5. 

"I came out as gay." — pethal

6

"Realised that, fundamentally, being gay is just 'what' you are. It’s not 'who' you are." — Alternative-Rain-718

7. 

"I wasn't super homophobic, just a 'love the sinner, hate the sin' kind of guy. On my last day in high school, someone said 'Why do I care? They're not hurting me.' Cured me in three seconds. I still remember how magical that moment was for me." — Dirgonite

8. 

"Stopped listening to my homophobic family and left their religion. Oh and also realized I myself was pretty gay." — Raidden

9. 

"There are 20 years between myself and my youngest brother. I (and my SO) was raised in an explicitly homophobic/biphobic/transphobic fundamentalist religion (that I left with my SO in my early 20s) so I had a lot of internalized, conditioned, toxic beliefs about the LGBTQ that needed to be deconstructed. My little brother was obviously either gay or bi and it was obvious from the time he was six imho. He came out to my sisters, SO, and I as bi when he was 11 and we were like "tell us something we don't know lol." I think watching him just grow up, it was obvious that he hadn't chosen to be that way, it was just how he was. This false narrative that LGBTQ are somehow defective or sinners became more disgusting to me over time.

I can't remember exactly when it happened but my SO and I were like 'if our future child happened to be LGBTQ, could we teach that child the things we were taught about the LGBTQ?" We were like "no, that would be evil.'

Now, we have an 18yo niece that recently came out as a lesbian and we feel honored to be the only family that she trusts enough to introduce to her first GF. Spending time with her just reaffirms the fact that there is nothing wrong with the LGBTQ, it was our upbringing that was defective." — Jormungandr91

10. 

"I was in the military during the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell. I wasn’t pro-gay whatever that might mean but sitting in those mandatory command meetings really opened my eyes. There were some legit homophobes trying every trick in the book to justify everything from moving sleeping arrangements to outright violence out in the open with gay people in the room.

I may not have been super sympathetic before that but after I realized just how difficult it was for a gay person just to go to work. Or how many precautions they were taking on a daily basis to keep in the closet. It pushed me from disinterested in the subject to siding with the obviously pragmatic stance of pro-gay marriage and gays in the military." — Pencilowner

11. 

"Went off to college, started meeting gay people, quickly realized that their awesomeness was no different than any straight person’s awesomeness, stopped bothering to “otherize” them as I had in high school." — hailnaux

12. 

"I became good friends with someone who came out to me a year or so after we got to know each other. Turns out he wasn't the abomination that my Christian parents/church had taught me all gays were. Indoctrination of children is a bitch." — Vefantur

13. 

"Honestly I think it was Lady Gaga. I was young and impressionable and she was cool and so LGBT+ friendly that I just started accepting people. And then it turned out I was a lil gay too so things worked out well lol." — plutoforprez

14. 

"I grew up and met some openly gay people." — polkavert

15. 

"I became an atheist. Through a painful experience of getting through serious depression, I came out the other side with a different worldview. As soon as I shed religion I began to question a lot of things including how I really feel about LGBTQIA people vs what I'd been indoctrinated to believe. They are just people trying to go about their normal routine like myself. There's no vast conspiracy or 'gay agenda.'

Years later, I suspect I'm one of them now. I might be asexual but I'm not sure yet." —HonestSummer

16. 

"As a teen I loved to make fun/bash gay people and listen to heavy metal. Then one day Rob Halford from Judas Priest came out as gay. Well, he is fucking Rob Halford and he can do whatever the fuck he wants. He is Rob Halford and being gay did not make him any less amazing in my eyes. After that I stopped caring about people being gay or not. Who am I to second guess or mock Rob Halford's life choices?" — cambeiu

17.

"I looked for logical reasons to be and couldn't find any." — theyellowmeteor

18. 

"I grew up." — jthomas287

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Gen Z is navigating a career landscape unlike any other.

True

Every adult generation has its version of a “kids these days” lament, labeling the up-and-coming generation as less resilient or hardworking compared to their own youth. But Gen Z—currently middle school age through young adulthood—is challenging that notion with their career readiness.

Take Abigail Sanders, an 18-year-old college graduate. Thanks to a dual enrollment program with her online school, she actually earned her bachelor’s degree before her high school diploma. Now she’s in medical school at Bastyr University in Washington state, on track to become a doctor by age 22.

a family of 6 at a graduation with two graduatesAll four of the Sanders kids have utilized Connections Academy to prepare for their futures.

Abigail’s twin sister, Chloe, also did dual enrollment in high school to earn her associate’s in business and is on an early college graduation path to become a vet tech.

Maeson Frymire dreams of becoming a paramedic. He got his EMT certification in high school and fought fires in New Mexico after graduation. Now he’s working towards becoming an advanced certified EMT and has carved his career path towards flight paramedicine.

Sidny Szybnski spends her summers helping run her family’s log cabin resort on Priest Lake in Idaho. She's taken business and finance courses in high school and hopes to be the third generation to run the resort after attending college.

log cabin resort on edge of forestAfter college, Sidny Szybnski hopes to run her family's resort in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Each of these learners has attended Connections Academy, tuition-free online public schools available in 29 states across the U.S., to not only get ready for college but to dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well. These students are prime examples of how Gen Zers are navigating the career prep landscape, finding their passions, figuring out their paths and making sure they’re prepared for an ever-changing job market.

Lorna Bryant, the Head of Career Education for Connections Academy’s online school program, says that Gen Z has access to a vast array of career-prep tools that previous generations didn’t have, largely thanks to the internet.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, young people largely relied on what adults told them about careers and how to get there,” Bryant tells Upworthy. “Today, teens have a lot more agency. With technology and social media, they have access to so much information about jobs, employers and training. With a tap on their phones, they can hear directly from people who are in the jobs they may be interested in. Corporate websites and social media accounts outline an organization’s mission, vision and values—which are especially important for Gen Z.”

Research shows over 75% of high schoolers want to focus on skills that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. However, not all teens know what the options are or where to find them. Having your future wide open can be overwhelming, and young people might be afraid of making a wrong choice that will impact their whole lives.

Bryant emphasizes that optimism and enthusiasm from parents can help a lot, in addition to communicating that nothing's carved in stone—kids can change paths if they find themselves on one that isn’t a good fit.

Dr. Bryant and student video meeting Dr. Bryant meeting with a student

“I think the most important thing to communicate to teens is that they have more options than ever to pursue a career,” she says. “A two- or four-year college continues to be an incredibly valuable and popular route, but the pathways to a rewarding career have changed so much in the past decade. Today, career planning conversations include options like taking college credit while still in high school or earning a career credential or certificate before high school graduation. There are other options like the ‘ships’—internships, mentorships, apprenticeships—that can connect teens to college, careers, and employers who may offer on-the-job training or even pay for employees to go to college.”

Parents can also help kids develop “durable skills”—sometimes called “soft” or “human” skills—such as communication, leadership, collaboration, empathy and grit. Bryant says durable skills are incredibly valuable because they are attractive to employers and colleges and transfer across industries and jobs. A worldwide Pearson survey found that those skills are some of the most sought after by employers.

“The good news is that teens are likely to be already developing these skills,” says Bryant. Volunteering, having a part-time job, joining or captaining a team sport can build durable skills in a way that can also be highlighted on college and job applications.

Young people are navigating a fast-changing world, and the qualities, skills and tools they need to succeed may not always be familiar to their parents and grandparents. But Gen Z is showing that when they have a good grasp of the options and opportunities, they’re ready to embark on their career paths, wherever they may lead.

Learn more about Connections Academy here and Connections’ new college and career prep initiative here.

Joy

Sorry, Labradors. After 31 years, America has a new favorite dog.

The American Kennel Club has crowned a new favorite.

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

A body temperature expert explains why some people are always freezing

And there's a scientific reason that it's more common for women.



You wear extra chunky sweaters. You've never met a mitten you didn't like. You may even keep a lap blanket at work.

You're one of those people who is always cold. And you are not alone.

Inside or outside, you just can't seem to get warm. This characteristic of yours manifests itself in extra blankets, wild heating bills, and enough complaints that you start going hoarse.

Keep ReadingShow less
@geaux75/TikTok

Molly was found tied to a tree by the new owners of the house.

Molly, an adorable, affectionate 10-year-old pit bull, found herself tied to a tree after her owners had abandoned her.

According to The Dodo, Molly had “always been a loyal dog, but, unfortunately, her first family couldn’t reciprocate that same love back,” and so when the house was sold, neither Molly nor the family’s cat was chosen to move with them. While the cat was allowed to free roam outside, all Molly could do was sit and wait. Alone.

Luckily, the young couple that bought the house agreed to take the animals in as part of their closing agreement, and as soon as the papers were signed, they rushed over to check in.
Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Teacher tries to simulate a dictatorship in her classroom, but the students crushed her

"I’ve done this experiment numerous times, and each year I have similar results. This year, however, was different."

Each year that I teach the book "1984" I turn my classroom into a totalitarian regime under the guise of the "common good."

I run a simulation in which I become a dictator. I tell my students that in order to battle "Senioritis," the teachers and admin have adapted an evidence-based strategy, a strategy that has "been implemented in many schools throughout the country and has had immense success." I hang posters with motivational quotes and falsified statistics, and provide a false narrative for the problem that is "Senioritis."

Keep ReadingShow less

Coworkers having a communications problem.

It’s interesting how the little things we say in our day-to-day conversations can sometimes seem harsh, even without us meaning to be. Sometimes, even when trying to be friendly, we can say the wrong thing and come off as passive-aggressive or condescending.

John Bowe, a speech trainer, award-winning journalist, and author of “I Have Something to Say: Mastering the Art of Public Speaking in an Age of Disconnection,” recently wrote an article for CNBC on commonly heard phrases, especially in the professional world, that can unintentionally make us come off as rude or condescending.

Here are 3 of those phrases people commonly use that may be considered rude.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Teen bullied for loving books gets an avalanche of support from those who love reading, too

A tweet from his sister has already been liked more than 180,000 times.

via Analysees Consulting / Twitter

Callum Manning and his favorite books.

This article originally appeared on 03.04.20


There are few more fulfilling hobbies than having a love of books.

Reading isn't just a great way to have a good time. Reading increases brain connectivity, makes people more empathetic, reduces depression symptoms, improves vocabulary, and may even cause you to live longer.

It's a huge benefit for a child's development as well. According to Parent.com, reading "stimulates the side of the brain that helps with mental imagery, understanding, and language processing, and that brain activity."

Sure beats wasting time playing video games.


Keep ReadingShow less