the process of making a particular trait or label one with negative connotations, in such a way that a person is judged by that trait and label unfairly, without regard to any other aspect of their personality or ability. Stigma results in people feeling shame about who they are.
Stigma has played a large part in the mental health of Queer-identified people; society has stigmatised Queer sexuality and gender identity by referring to it as a mental illness and a perversion, and as such, a wide variety of negative connotations are associated with Queer identity – such as labeling Queer people as psychopathic, sexual predators that are a risk to people’s safety.
Religion has often stigmatised Queer sexuality and gender, such as referring to it as a sin, and therefore, an ungodly act for which Queer people should be ashamed, shunned or cured of (leading to abhorrent practices like conversion therapy).
Originally published: 4th December, 2020
Last modified: 4th December, 2020