MASTERING MONDAY: LGBTQIA+
For years and years, the acronym “LGB” was used to describe the worldwide “gay movement.” However, in recent years the movement has grown, becoming a total of a dozen letters in the acronym. Even with all of the letters added, the acronym is still excluding individuals from the movement. In addition, most people simply say “LGBTQIA+” at most to describe the entire acronym either because they do not know the rest of the letters or because their readers do not know all of the letters. Recently, London’s Pink Therapy suggested “GSD” — Gender and Sexual Diversities — as a more inclusive term for the members of the movement. Pink Therapy director Dominic Davies and fellow therapist Pamela Gawler-Wright posted a video Wednesday on their Facebook page, in which they discussed their decision to move away from the LGBT label. The video can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K07qGwk35s
Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFqLrSHWNT4
This is a video that is part of a series by Ashley Mardell. She understands that most of us know what “LGBT” stand for; it is the “+” that has most people scratching their heads, curious to learn more. She covers a lot of stuff in a very short time, and this is not her only video on the subject! I strongly suggest watching her other “ABC’s of LGBT” videos. In another video, she has guest speakers from the LGBT+ community come on her show to help explain even more terms. This video series is the most simplistic, informative video I have found on LGBT+ terms.
- Understand the reasons behind homophobia:
- Unwillingness to reject information received during childhood. If someone was taught their entire life that straight is great, they are not likely to change their mind right away.
- Fear/discomfort concerning difference. Again, if someone is used to being around people who are exactly like them, they might feel uncomfortable around anyone who is slightly different from them.
- One’s own repulsion to engaging in non-straight behavior (thinking everyone should feel the same way as them). If somebody cannot even imagine being gay, trans, bisexual, etc. because it repulses them too much, they probably think that everyone should feel the same exact way as them.
- Non-hetero or non-cis feelings that the person cannot handle. If someone thinks they are gay, for example, but they were raised to think it was wrong, they may take out the anger for themselves on someone else. In other words, they are overcompensating for their feelings of homosexuality by being excessively homophobic.
- Low self-esteem, leading to a desire to hate others. If someone feels badly about themselves, they will find away to make somebody else feel worse. This is just like any bully situation. If a “nerd” is getting bullied in middle school, chances are that bully is trying to make him/herself feel better.
- Promotion of homophobia in a religious group. Most religious organizations/churches/groups are peaceful and tolerant. However, we have all probably met someone who uses religion as an explanation for their homophobic comments/behavior. If they have devoted their life to their religion and their religion is homophobic, the odds may be 2 to 1 that they may be homophobic too.
- Respond to homophobia:
- Be cautious. Assessing the situation before responding can mean the difference between a broken nose and an unbroken nose. If your “opponent” seems hostile enough to get physical, it may be a good idea to walk away.
- Get on their level. For example, if someone is using examples of religion in their homophobic comments, use the Bible (or their religious text) to try to explain your side. If you encounter homophobia often, it may be a good idea to research the subject and save helpful links in your phone or tablet so they are ready at a moment’s notice. Knowledge is power baby.
- Stay calm. Oftentimes, homophobes are trying to get a rise out of someone when they say certain things. It is smart to remain firm but unprovoked when dealing with a homophobe so that you always have the upper hand.
- Use body language. Slouching and crossing your arms can make you seem less confident while good posture and an open stance make you look strong, assertive and open.
- Be prepared. Similar to having links saved on your phone, it is good to memorize a variety of snappy comebacks in case you run into a homophobe.
- Walk away. If you are not finding the conversation to be useful or if you seriously do not have time to talk to a homophobe, you can always walk away. Some good lines to end a conversation are: “Thanks, I’m done talking to you” or “I don’t think this conversation is productive, I need to go” or just “this conversation is over.” While it is good to stand up for what is right, it is not your job to confront every homophobe you meet.
Written and researched by Sarah pasquarelli, Peer Educator