A guide on internalized homophobia for gay men. Internalized homophobia is a phenomenon where homosexual individuals adopt homophobic attitudes and shame due to their lived experience of discrimination.

Winner of DDC – WAS IST GUT 2023.


editorial design,

ux / ui

Structural oppression can not only be seen as a state, but also as a process. Different factors all come together that consolidate structures of social hierarchy. One of them is internalization: Victims of discrimination unconsciously take in messages of inferiority and prejudice that then dictate their own perceived self worth.

Wanting to overcome discrimination also means to understand how discrimination affects one's own personal actions. This project is based on my own self reflection and a survey held with 100 homosexual men on how they experience being marginalized. It aims towards communicating why gay men sometimes tend to reproduce homophobic behavior within their community and what messages they might have internalized about gay men.

The central medium of my work is a guide that explains the psychological dimensions of oppression through personal accounts, scientific research, and infographics. Additionally, this publication provides a map of all topics contained within. This way, one can easily see how different factors of homophobic discrimination are intertwined. The aim is to understand why heteronormativity and oppression can result in gay men internalizing negative resentments towards femininity, other homosexuals and their own sexual identity.

When communicating the problems and needs of marginalized communities, a multifaceted and cooperative approach is necessary. As part of the project, I conducted a survey with 100 gay men, providing valuable insights into the extent and effects of internalized homophobia. The responses were visualized as charts within the reader, offering a diverse representation of individual experiences and perspectives. Their statements also impacted the design choices.

I added a concept for an ongoing digital survey. In queer safe spaces, it will be possible to engage new participants in the study. Through their active participation, awareness of this issue will be raised, ultimately creating a realistic picture of internalized shame due to discrimination over the long term.

The project aims to increase visibility and understanding of the psychological consequences of discrimination by promoting discussion, self-reflection, and self-acceptance within the queer community.

Traditional notions of masculinity and gender roles are among the primary causes of homophobic attitudes, both within and outside the gay community. My work takes a queer-feminist stance, highlighting why men (especially queer men) suffer under patriarchal structures. Although this work was largely motivated by my personal experiences, the goal was to give back a piece of their narratives to homosexual individuals.


Prof. Alice Chi

Dipl.-Des. Dagmar Korintenberg

Special Thanks

Laura Hagenschulte

Manuel Pollanka

Andreas Kiefer


Chiaroscura (Emtype)

NB International (Neubau)


Bachelor thesis at University of Pforzheim – Visual Communication.

© 2022 Adrian Wilhelm. All rights reserved.


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