Iniciatíva Inakosť launches Homofobia.sk website, designed for reporting, monitoring
and prevention of homophobic incidents, provision of information for victims of attacks
and discrimination in Slovakia.
Causes and Examples of Homophobia
Common causes of homophobic behaviour include religious conviction denying sex
and/or homosexuality, minimum social contact with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual
(LGBT) people, or fear from instability of one´s own sexual identity.
Examples of homophobia include statements that LGBT people should heal from their
sexual orientation, that homosexuality is a disease, offensive language used against
LGBT people, or refusal to employ people on grounds of their sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, homophobia is also expressed by physical attacks (e.g. at 2010
Bratislava Rainbow Pride), or refusal by Government bodies (not acknowledging of
lesbian and gay partnerships).
Report on Discrimination and Homophobia by EU´s Fundamental Rights Agency
(FRA) of November 2010 showed that LGBT people are forced to live their lives in
silence and invisibility, must bear violent attacks and are discriminated, for example
at the workplaces, when looking for accommodation or when moving into other
Member State. “Slovak politicians are directly responsible for infringement of binding
EU Directive on free movement of citizens, applicable since 2006. This is a State-
sponsored discrimination of foreign or mixed homosexual couples,” comments Július
Kolenič of Inakosť.
Homophobia Harms All
Consequences of homophobia are negative for the LGBT minority, but also for a
heterosexual majority. LGBT people often undergo stress from non-acceptance by
their neighbourhood, which can lead to an increased number of depressions and
exaggeratedly low self-evaluation. They are often forced to pretend, must waste their
energy for undesired “double life”. Young LGBT people may have problems with study
results due to homophobia, leading to truancy or pre-matured termination of studies.
Disadvantage of LGBT people in comparison with other minorities is they often cannot
find support with their own families. Unfortunately, some are even driven by their
homophobic neighbourhood to commit a suicide.
Homophobia, however, harms heterosexual people as well. This is because it forces
all to rigorously respect gender roles and lead many young people, regardless of their
sexual orientation, to pre-mature sexual activities – to confirm themselves or to others
they are “normal”. It can also lead to stigmatization of heterosexual people, perceived
by others as homosexuals.
Homofobia.sk Website is designed to provide lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, their
friends and families, a tool for reporting and monitoring of homophobic incidents, and to
provide them with a basic consultancy, contacts and links for more information on fight
Inakosť wants to monitor the reported cases and support competent authorities, such
as police, Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, Ombudsman and others, to help
victims in adequate and timely manner. “We would like to offer at least the minimum
support within our voluntary possibilities to the LGBT people and their families and
friends in Slovakia. Discrimination and attacks against this minority cannot be ignored,”
explains Ján Benec of Inakosť.
Online form is a part of Homofobia.sk, which can be also used for anonymous reporting of
homophobic incidents encountered by reporting persons themselves, their friends, schoolmates
or family members. Should the reporting person wishes so, his/her report may be forwarded
to the competent institutions.
“When you are a member of majority, you feel like the whole world and all the people
are like you, or should be like you. We know a little on members of a minority – “the
other people”, we do not try to understand them, we are prejudiced or feared, this
maybe due to the fact we do not know them. Insensitiveness, attacks, misapprehension,
these may very well arise from the fear of unknown, unwillingness to change our
opinions, or get rid of stereotypes. This project may be a great help for all those
concerned – all of us,” comments on the Homofobia.sk launch Hana Smitková, a
Iniciatíva Inakosť, Bratislava,
5th April 2011