Three things that I learned:
- Sexist or racist comments are addressed and prohibited in schools and classrooms but inappropriate comments towards lesbian, gay, and bisexuals are not as commonly addressed and are most often avoided and condoned. This leads to the image that homosexuality is to “be feared, odd, and fundamentally different.” Unknowingly, teachers can promote or create homophobia in their classrooms. An example of preventing this would be creating examples of homosexuals in various assignments, and not all heterosexuals.
- One in five lesbians and one in two gays admitted to being victims of hate crimes in their schools. It is interesting to me that half of the males admitted to being a victim of hate crimes and that any so-called feministic trait or action would be called upon immediately by peers, whereas for girls, any masculine trait or action is simply seen as tom-boy. Also, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, thirty percent of all youth suicides are committed by gay, lesbian, or bisexual youth.
- Safe schools label the bully as the perpetuator and those bullied as the victim, and never as both. They fail to focus on the factors or problems that developed the bully and assumes privilege, power, and superiority of the bully. This can relate to the assumption that problems arise in a school due to individuals not acting towards the social “norms” and therefor are victims because they are in the Other group.
Two connections that I made:
- The game “Smear the Queer” was used in an elementary school. This is most often where the phrases such as “that’s gay” are used without ay knowledge of the word being used. Personally, I grew up with many of my peers, particularly the boys, using phrases without truly knowing their misuse of the word. Elementary schools should be educated on basic terms and meanings to words and how to recognize when they are being used inappropriately.
- As you may see from one of the things that I learned, I was caught by the statistics in the article”Smear the Queer”. However, after reading the author’s revisiting article, I realized that these are broad and do not tell us anything about these youth and what their circumstances were (such as alcohol abuse, depression, or victimized experiences). However, it still impacted me as a future teacher to realize the impacts that I can have in a classroom to prevent individuals from being victims of hate crimes.
One question that I still have:
- Does the tolerance of homosexuality prevent from use of various phrases such as “that’s gay” and acknowledge that homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals, or does it simply “allow” them to exist as inferior beings to heterosexuals who remain homophobic?