- Ask, “How would you feel if your name/identity was inserted instead of ‘gay’?” i.e.: “That’s so Bryce/ Gurvir / Aisha! etc.” and it was used repetitively.
- Ask, “What does that mean?” or say, “That’s so what?” Typical student response, “It’s stupid/weird, etc.” Teacher response: “That’s the same as saying, ‘Gay people are stupid/weird,’ and I find that offensive.”
- Ask, “How can a book/idea/song have a sexual orientation?” if they are referring to an inanimate object when using this slur.
- Say, “You might be surprised to know that what you just said could hurt someone’s feelings.”
- Say, “This is a homophobia-free zone. Homophobic slurs like that are not tolerated here.”
- Ask, “What does gay mean?” Use this opportunity to discuss the language of oppression.
- Show one of the NFB videos: Sticks and Stones, One of Them, or In Other Words. E-mail your request to borrow one from the BCTF to
- Download classroom posters on this topic from the
Pride Education Network.
- Say, “Gay is OK.”
- Make links between homophobic slurs and other forms of discrimination. Use analogies between racism, sexism, ableism, ethnocentrism, etc.
USE A STRATEGY THAT REFLECTS YOUR PERSONAL TEACHING STYLE AND IS APPROPRIATE TO THE SITUATION AT HAND.
“Homophobia is like Racism and Anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry,
in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their
humanity, their dignity, and personhood… I appeal to everyone who
believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of
brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.” Coretta Scott King