Combating Homophobia


10 Ways to Fight Homophobia & Transphobia in Your Community (Courtesy of Q-Resources)

  1. Organize discussion groups at organizations/groups you belong to (a community o faith, education associations, social justice activist groups, etc.) to talk about LGBTQ issues.
  2. Use neutral labels like “partner” or “significant other” instead of “boyfriend,” “girlfriend,” etc.
  3. Bring up current LGBTQ issues in conversations with friends, at work, in class, and in your community.
  4. Interrupt anti-LGBTQ jokes, comments or any other behaviors that make homophobia and transphobia appear OK.
  5. Put LGBTQ-positive posters at your work, community of faith, etc., and/or wear shirts, buttons, etc. that promote LGBTQ equality and straight ally visibility.
  6. Don't make assumptions about peoples' sexual orientations or gender identities. Assume there are LGBTQ people in all classes, sports, meetings, at work, daily life, etc.
  7. Don't assume that "feminine-acting men" and "masculine-acting women" are transgender or not heterosexual.
  8. Don't assume that "macho males" or "feminine females" are heterosexual or not transgender.
  9. Use your privilege as a heterosexual/cisgender ally to speak up for LGBTQ issues and rights whenever/wherever you can. Write letters to the editor, participate in marches, lend support to LGBTQ groups at work, a community of faith, vote, etc.
  10. As an ally to transgender folks, speak up when you hear slurs and attacks on people who express their gender outside of societal expectations. Educate people around you on the continuum of gender expression.

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Martin Rochlin “Heterosexual Questionnaire”

In 1972 Martin Rochlin developed the “Heterosexual Questionnaire.”  This questionnaire is a way to point out heterocentrism in our culture.  These are questions that would not be asked of heterosexuals, but are often asked of non-hereosexual people.

  1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
  1. When and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?
  2. Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?
  1. Is it possible your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?  An overprotective father? A distant mother?
  2. If you’ve never slept with a person of the same sex, how do you know you wouldn’t prefer that?  Maybe all you need is a good gay lover.
  1. To who have you disclosed your heterosexual tendencies? How did they react?
  2. Why do you heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into your lifestyle?
  1. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality?  Can’t you just be what you are in private?
  2. Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they would face?
  1. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual.  Do you consider it safe to expose your children to heterosexual teachers?
  2. While there is much societal support for marriage, the divorce rate is astounding.  Why are there so few stable heterosexual relationships?
  3. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?
  4. Considering the menace of overpopulation, how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual like you?
  5. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective?  Don’t you feel that she or he might be inclined to influence you in the directions of his or her own leanings?
  6. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusively heterosexuality, and fail to develop your natural, healthy, homosexual potential?
  7. There seem to be very few happy heterosexuals.  Techniques have been developed which might enable you to change if you really want to.  Have you considered aversion therapy?
  8. What are ways of recognizing heterosexuals?  Are there things I can look for?
  9. Do heterosexuals hate, fear, or distrust others of their own sex?  Is that what makes them heterosexual?
  10. How can you have a fully satisfying, deeply emotional or sexual relationship with a person of the opposite sex when men and women are so vastly different, physically and emotionally?  How can men and women possibly understand each other?

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Pyramid of Hate (Courtesy of the Anti-Defamation Leauge)

The Pyramid of Hate was developed by the Anti-Defamation League to show how genocide and hate violence is built on a foundation of other acts of prejudice.  The wider the space the more people engage in that activity.  You can take a stand and stop the next act of violence or even genocide by challenging people before they climb The Pyramid of Hate.

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Pyramid of Alliance (Courtesy of the Anti-Defamation League)

The Pyramid of Alliance was also developed by the Anti-Defamation League to show how there are also varying degrees to being an ally to an oppressed group.  While the goal is to have social change and eliminate hate, that has to start somewhere.  Again the wider the space the more people engage in that behavior.  You can make a difference by being an ally!

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Action Continuum (Courtesy of Stop the Hate)

This Action Continuum was developed by Stop the Hate to show the many ways people either actively participate in supporting oppression all the way to preventing and confronting oppression.  Where do you fall on this chart?  What can you do to make a difference?

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