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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » How to deal with homophobia??

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Author Topic: How to deal with homophobia??
pockyqueen
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A lesbian friend of mine was recently harassed on the deviantArt website. A group of people from school found her account and created their own to post derogoratory caricatures/photographs that targetted her (and the fact that she was a lesbian). Their account is at http://cummyknuckles.deviantart.com (lovely screenname, no?) My friend told me (and a few of her other friends) about it, so I checked it out, became infuriated, and commented on every piece and how wrong it was (if you read the comments, I posted under 'pineapplelover'). After getting the negative feedback and being reported to the website authorities (their account is still not banned, by the way), they actually turned around and told us that their insulting "artwork" was meant to portray their "love" for my friend! And then they had the nerve to go and report US to the moderators for being mean to them!

A part of me reluctantly agrees that we might have overreacted, but... I don't know. How am I supposed to deal with this kind of hatred?

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"You almost look like a... a.... not a woman..." -- Oriental Occultist, The Incredibly Cool Club

Posts: 45 | From: a very nice, well-aerated closet | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
catalinacisne
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You reacted a hell of a lot better than I would have, that's for sure.

The high school I went to was fairly open-minded, but there were still a lot of (very vocal) kids who made it very clear that 'omg gays r bad ppl & gay marriage will lead to us marryng dogs and rocks so they should just shut up about it and be hapy we don't lynch them' (direct quote, obviously ;]) and I've learned that there really is no dealing with some people. If you've made your point (which you have done, and very eloquently and effectively I might add), and they're still spouting hate, chances are they're not going to listen to reason. I've noticed that continuing to harp on these extreme homophobes generally result in them feeling justified, that what they're doing is getting the reaction they're looking for.

So my suggestion would be just ignoring them. Since cummyknuckles doesn't seem to seriously think homosexuality is a sin, and that they seem to be slightly racist as well, they're probably just hate-mongering and looking for a reaction. So the best thing to do would be to give them no reaction.

Hope I've helped a bit, and tell Allie she has my support!

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amawesome - (adj.) a combination of 'amazing' and 'awesome,' usually by someone who has tied on a few too many. Ex: No, dude, listen! I like, luv ya man! I mean, you're like, amawesome!

Posts: 65 | From: Colorado Springs, CO | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pockyqueen
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I will let her know, thanks!

I'm still trying to get over the fact that their main artist seems to be a guy and at the same time claims to be a black Afghani woman... Really, now! I don't know. It is easy to ignore them when it's just online (cummyknuckles has stopped replying to my comments, so I'm telling myself that that means I won XD), but the concept that a group of people banded over their dislike of my friend is very disturbing to me. That, and once classes start, it won't just be online harassment any more (which is, I believe, much easier to deal with than face-to-face harassment, simply because there's a 'distance') and Allie has been shoved around/ physically harassed before. One of my other friends has proposed starting a GSA at my school, but I'm not sure. While it's a novel concept, being out and proud and all that, wouldn't it also identify specific targets to these gay-bashers? I'm trying to make up my mind about it...

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"You almost look like a... a.... not a woman..." -- Oriental Occultist, The Incredibly Cool Club

Posts: 45 | From: a very nice, well-aerated closet | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
feefiefofemme
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I don't know if you knew this already, but "cummyknuckles" appears to have been banned. I suppose you can take that as a sign of a battle semi-won. : ) Still, what they did must have been absolutely infuriating.

On the subject of starting up a GSA, that one is a toughie. Members could potentially be marked as targets for gay-bashing, but the group unity could also provide members with protection. Safer to travel in packs and all, you know? But I'm not really sure what to say to that one. In any case, best of luck, no matter what happens.

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September
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When I was member of the GSA at my school, we had an agreement amongst the members that we would not 'out' each other. The people in charge were already highly visible as homosuexuals before we even started the club, so everyone knew who they were and just approached them for information about the club, which meant that it was difficult for the homophobes to get involved by crashing club meetings or hating on members. It worked out pretty well for us, to the extent that we had people at the club meetings who were completely in the closet to everyone else, and remained so until they chose to come out.

So while we had a lot of members who were out publicly and fighting the homophobia at the school, the club also provided a safe space for those who just wanted support and someone to talk to, but did not want to really come out.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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pockyqueen
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BiGoddess: yes, at the time of posting, cummyknuckles wasn't banned yet but it seems that our continuous complaint has finally led to the deletion of the account. hurrah! Doubtless they will try other ways of retaliation, but we'll stick together and brave it out [Big Grin]

September: that sounds pretty cool. The only problem is, I live in a small town in the midwest. Our new principal is from Arizona is very liberal, which is a godsend [Smile] However, the majority of the student body is conservative. Since last year, more and more people have started to come out, which is nothing short of a homosexual miracle for a school of our disposition. But most of them (I hate to say this, but mostly people pretending to be bisexual because I guess it's "trendy" now among emo/goth kids (??)) don't like to be "out and out"-- meaning, they are only bi when it is convenient for them to be. Truly LGBT kids-- not many of us are large-scale out, and those of us who are are targeted frequently for gay-bashing. One of the most blood-chilling threats was when my friend heard the guys who sat in front of her in a class discussing how they wanted to drag a gay student behind their truck. I don't know. What town was your school in? Was it a large school?

thanks for your replies, guys!

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"You almost look like a... a.... not a woman..." -- Oriental Occultist, The Incredibly Cool Club

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September
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I went to a very small school in the Midwest. The area was a very mixed bag, since we had a town nearby that was incredibly gay-friendly, but also other towns that were pretty homophobic. I think a big factor was that the school had a strong IB program, which attracted a lot of people who were more interested in academics than anything else. I know I was incredibly lucky with my school. I'm not sure I would have had the guts to be an openly gay member of a GSA in any of the public high schools in the area.

Then again, someone is going to have to make the first step.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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PandorasBox
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Pockyqueen, about a GSA :

Clubs are still on campus and, while not part of the actual school day, are still held during school hours. Therefore, the school is required to protect you.

Member lists are not public, and it's a good idea to have safe space and confidentiality rules, so if you do those things, the chances of any homophobes discovering any members (who aren't already out, as GLBT or as a member) are low. They would have to go to a meeting themselves, and then they'd have to be well-behaved. If they cause trouble during the meeting, the sponsor/advisor will have them removed.

And if harassment starts or continues on the path it's on, the school has to realize it. I don't think they can do much more than warnings or perhaps detention for verbal harassment, but it passes over to physical violence, the school must do what they can to stop it. If the school willingly allows it to happen, they will be held responsible for the students' actions. One case of this is Nabozny v. Podlesny. If it comes to this -- and of course, we hope it doesn't -- make sure the school knows this.

And I don't know the attitudes of your school officials, but it's also possible they will be resistant to a GSA. Know your rights. Make sure you know the steps to setting up any club, and follow them. If your school has any non-curricular clubs -- such as a Key Club, chess club, bowling club, a club for any grade -- they are legally required by the Equal Access Act to allow a GSA. Here's a HRW page on GSAs, a summary of the Equal Access Act, and BOE v. Mergens. Hopefully these will be useful [Smile]

[ 09-08-2006, 07:06 PM: Message edited by: PandorasBox ]

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"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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pockyqueen
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Thank you for the information! I feel less in the dark now. Right now we have an unofficial GSA that meets randomly at one of the gay-friendliest coffeeshops in town. Hopefully we'll get it officially approved by the school soon. Thanks again everyone!

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"You almost look like a... a.... not a woman..." -- Oriental Occultist, The Incredibly Cool Club

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biblacknproud87
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quote:
I've noticed that continuing to harp on these extreme homophobes generally result in them feeling justified, that what they're doing is getting the reaction they're looking for.
Thanks, I needed that. I've been dealing with some biphobia online and it really irks me.

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I'm lovely
I'm beautiful
I love myself
I need me
Before I need anyone else

Posts: 35 | From: New York...New Brunswick, New Jersey when I'm in school | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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