A friend you often hang around with constantly makes anti-gay comments. They call a lot of people "gay" in a mocking tone or use the phrase "stop being gay" or "that's gay". You've also heard your friend make threatening statements indirectly about people who are openly gay in your school like "I hope they just get diseases and stay home". Your friend has been known to be aggressive and although you've never actually seen physically aggressive behavior or your friend actually confront any LGBTQ peers, you are worried your friend has the potential with the slightest provocation.
Train of Thought
I can't control what all my friends say and think. Some people are just uncomfortable with homosexuality. Isn't that their right? But what if it's something violent? I know that it's attitudes like this that sometimes lead to violence. But what can I do about it? Why would my friend listen to me? What will others think about me if I speak up? Will someone assume I'm gay then? What should I do in this situation?
Is this situation realistic? Could this happen within our school or surrounding community?
What’s problematic about this situation? What concerns or “red flags” do you notice in this scenario?
Have you ever witnessed or observed a similar situation? If you are willing, please share your experience(s).
What responsibility might you have in this situation to the person(s) being targeted? To the person causing the potential harm or abuse? To your school? To yourself?
Have you ever observed someone intervene or get involved in a similar situation before? If so, what did they do? What was the outcome?
Why might an observer in this situation choose to be silent or not get involved? What’s the potential IMPACT to those involved here if no one intervenes or disrupts this situation?
Give examples of how a friend or classmate might respond “directly” in this situation? How might someone respond utilizing a “distraction” in this situation?
If you didn’t intervene or respond immediately in this situation, what might you consider saying or doing later?
To whom could you go to for help? What additional resources might be needed?
Which of the examples shared thus far would you most likely use in a situation like this? Why?
1. Do nothing. It’s really none of my business anyway.
2. Talk to my friend one day in private and tell them I am not comfortable with the anti-gay remarks.
3. Talk to a couple other people who know my friend, and who seem informed to these sorts of issues, and come up with a plan.
4. Find a gay-straight alliance group in my school or community and ask someone in the group for advice. Contact the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network at www.glsen.org for more information.
5. Talk to a parent or trusted adult in the school and get some ideas for how to handle this situation.
6. Personal option:
Created with images by Levi Saunders - "untitled image" • Stanley Dai - "untitled image" • TeroVesalainen - "question mark hand drawn solution" • Sharon McCutcheon - "untitled image"