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Here's how 20 people got over being homophobic, proving there's hope for everyone

A majority of them said they realized religion had indoctrinated them into hating homosexuality and gay people.

Here's how 20 people got over being homophobic, proving there's hope for everyone
Lesbians in Madrid/Getty Images

We're in the year 2022 and there are still way too many people who continue to be homophobic. Many of them are influenced by their surroundings and peers, with some even being indoctrinated. It's no secret that many religious households still believe homosexuality is a sin and is unnatural. When someone is taught to hate homosexuality and gay people, it's often exposure and widening of their worldview that helps them see past the hate and bias. As Mark Twain famously said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” There is still a long way to go, despite having taken great strides from when gay people were persecuted and ostracized. One Reddit user was curious as to what made former homophobes accept the LGBTQ community and received a host of replies.

Girl holding rainbow flag on sky background - stock photo/Getty Images


Here are some of the top comments that we came across: 

1. I met them

I met some gay people. As it turns out they were just people. u/moolord


2. Mom slapped sense into me 

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

3. I was gay

I came out as gay. u/Pethal

4. Gay is what you are

Realized that, fundamentally, being gay is just “what” you are. It’s not “who” you are. u/Alternative-rain-718

5. Left religion

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

6. Realizing they were just like me

The thing that got me to change was meeting other kids who were openly gay. It was new. I never met anyone my own age, who went to the same school as me, was in some of the same classes, and did some of the same extracurricular activities as me, and even had some of the same friends, that were gay. That's when I realized that homosexuals aren't that different from me. The main difference is that they just like the same sex, and maybe some of the gay boys are a little flamboyant and some of the gay girls are a little butch. Other than that, we were just kids. People. And it didn't really matter. That's when I let go of my prejudice and accepted them, and then eventually came to support them. u/slammer592

7. Getting to know them

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. u/Vefantur

8. Friends came out as gay

Two of my best friends came out of the closet and admitted they were gay and I had a shift: if they trusted me enough to feel comfortable telling me that then I could respect them enough to support them in their aspirations. And even today, almost 7 years later, I became distant with one of them due to busy schedules but the other is still super gay, still one of my best friends, and he's happier than he ever has been. I have no regrets. u/Natasha_T

Couple lesbian woman with a gay pride flag on the street of Madrid city - stock photo/Getty Images


9. It was Lady Gaga

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. u/PlutoforPrez


10. When my Dad banned my gay uncle from visiting us

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 a family full of domestic violence and white-collar drug abusers can't come to Christmas because he's gay? You're both cheating on each other, sanctity of what marriage now? u/Robingames


11. The military opened my eyes

I was in the military during the repeal of 'Don’t ask don’t tell' law. 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 stay in the closet. It pushed me from being disinterested in the subject to siding with the obviously pragmatic stance of pro-gay marriage and gays in the military. u/Pencilowner

12. Education


13. Caught up with time

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. u/Luciferisfallen

Activists with hands clasped on street - stock photo/Getty Images



14. 'They're not hurting me'

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. u/Dirgonite

15. A homophobic film

One of my best friends is bisexual and I knew this pre-un-homophobic-me, and I still liked her like normal but I found it weird when she talked about the girl she liked but I still listened and stayed respectful. I think it's a bit embarrassing that what made me open my eyes was a musical film that displayed homophobia during 1990, but I'm grateful for it. After watching it, I started to get really worked up about my religion being homophobic and started researching homosexuality in my religion and they treat gay people horribly. I realized that they're the complete same as us and just wanna love. I also don't find my bisexual friend talking about girls weird anymore :) u/noodleth_cassette

16. Rob Halford opened my eyes

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 f*cking Rob Halford and he can do whatever the f*ck he wants, even take it in the a$$. 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? u/Cambeiu

17. A teacher opened my eyes

I remember being a little kid and being disgusted by gay people and having strong opinions against trans people. A lot of hate towards queer people was also spread at church. During mass, the priest would often make remarks about gay people. The lady teaching us would also often make remarks saying how the devil tempted people into wanting to be gay and how it was wrong. As I grew older, I learned more about the world around me especially learning from friends who had come out. I especially owe a lot to a teacher of mine who had opened my eyes up to many issues in our world. Now I'm a proud pansexual :D u/davvaz62

18. Shedding religion

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. u/HonestSummer

19. I realized attraction isn't a choice

I was a Bible-thumping, piece of sh*t. I used faith to justify shoving my own anger onto others, falsely believing I was "allowed" to because they made a bad choice. It was a multifaceted undoing. On one hand, I realized I was just wrong on my biblical interpretation, and on the other, I realized attraction isn't a choice, and then extrapolated that if I didn't "choose" to like women, no one "chose" to like men. We just like what we like. u/roguereider1

20. I grew up



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