Is there a term that is similar to sexist or racist but refers to gay people? "Homophobic" comes to mind, but that's more a fear or disgust of homosexuals versus discrimination based solely on sexual orientation.

To be specific, I'm looking for an -ist/-ism word, but I'm not sure if one exists.

  • discriminative or prejudice might work, though they are not specific to anti-homosexuality.
    – Othya
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:48
  • 5
    Although the morphology of "homophobic" suggests the meaning "Fear of homosexuals", it is often used in common parlance to refer to the discrimination you describe. A person who exhibits this can be called a "Homophobe".
    – Sawbones
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


heterosexism might be what you are looking for. According to M-W:

: discrimination or prejudice by heterosexuals against homosexuals

This idea is expanded in the wiki article under the same name that states:

Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior.

Interestingly (also on the wiki page - I highlighted the single-word terms):

Given this lack of semantic transparency, researchers, outreach workers, critical theorists and LGBT activists have proposed and use terms such as institutionalized homophobia, state(-sponsored) homophobia,[9] sexual prejudice, anti-gay bigotry, straight privilege, The Straight Mind (a collection of essays by French writer Monique Wittig), heterosexual bias, compulsory heterosexuality[10] or the much lesser known terms heterocentrism, homonegativity, and from gender theory and queer theory, heteronormativity. However, not all of these descriptors are synonymous to heterosexism.

  • But what homosexuals against homosexuals? Girls can say sexist remarks about other girls; there's no directional quality there.
    – VampDuc
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:03
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    With the expanded definition in wiki (I know, a reliable source </s>), one can tell that this term, heterosexism, would also include bias against asexual persons and bisexual persons. (And any other permutations not involving a heterosexual relationship).
    – Andrew
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:12
  • @VampDuc,There's nothing particularly unusual about a member of a particular group insulting their own group; a homosexual can still make "heterosexist" remarks just as a Jew can make anti-semitic remarks.
    – Hellion
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:16
  • @Hellion I understand, but the definitions of racism and sexism (I looked them up) are more general, while heterosexism is specifically from heterosexuals to homosexuals. The wiki article is more spot-on.
    – VampDuc
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:17
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    @VampDuc, I suppose that I am really taking issue with the dictionary's assumption that it must come from a particular group of people; that's like expecting that only men can be sexist against women, or that only Asians can be racist against Mexicans, or that only Burkina Fasoans can be anti-semitic.
    – Hellion
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 19:25

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