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Examine Your Level of Support

 

Clarifying our attitudes and beliefs helps us to become more conscious of what we feel. Recognizing your level of support or disagreement concerning LGBTQ issues and people is the first step towards becoming a better ally. The purpose of the following exercise is not to change your attitudes and values, but for you to examine yourself and bring to your consciousness what those attitudes and values are. Ask yourself these questions to determine where you are in your personal journey. This collection of self-reflection exercises are generally intended for a non-LGBTQ audience.

Please read each of the following statements and rate your level of agreement.

--I refrain from making homophobic remarks or jokes about LGBTQ people.
--I always confront homophobic remarks and jokes made by others.
--I believe that homophobic harassment and violence are serious issues and it is important to seriously address the perpetrators of such acts.
--I believe that LGBTQ people are equally entitled to all of the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

--I support same-sex marriage.
--I believe that LGBTQ people are capable of the same normal, healthy relationships as everyone else.
--I do not feel awkward seeing LGBTQ people displaying affection in public.

--I support the adoption of children by LGBTQ couples.

--I do not worry about what kind of effect an LGBTQ individual might have on my children or any other children.

--I am comfortable with LGBTQ people coming out to me.
--I use language and examples that are inclusive of LGBTQ individuals and their experiences.
--I am comfortable publicly expressing my affection for friends of the same gender.
--I am comfortable attending LGBTQ events.

--I am knowledgeable about the histories, cultures, psychosocial development, and needs of LGBTQ people.
--I value the contributions that LGBTQ people have made to society.
--I do not make judgments about people based on what I perceive their sexual orientation to be.
--I respect the confidentiality of LGBTQ people by not gossiping about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
--I actively advocate for, financially support, and/or participate in LGBTQ organizations.
--I have questioned/thought about/seriously considered my own sexuality.
--I have questioned/thought about/seriously considered my gender identity.
--I am comfortable around people who dress, act, or present themselves in ways that are not traditionally associated with their assumed biological sex.
--It does not bother me if I cannot identify the gender of a person just by looking at that person.
--I believe that homophobia and transphobia affect all people, regardless of their sexuality or gender.

 

[Source: Crocteau & Lark, 1995, Themes of Bias & Exemplary Practice of Student Affairs Professionals developed by ACPA Standing Committee of LGBTQ Awareness]

 

Come and Be Who You Are

Homosexuality Attitude Scale

Info: Homophobia and Heterosexism

Negative Attitudes Toward LGBTQ People

Survey on Attitudes Toward LGBTQ Issues

Info: LGBTQ Discrimination

Moving Towards LGBTQ Equality

 

Homophobic Scale

Negative Levels of Attitude

1. Repulsion  -  Homosexuality is seen as a crime against nature. Gays/lesbians are sick, crazy, immoral, sinful, wicked, and aversive. Anything is justified to change them: prison, hospitalization, negative behavior therapy, violence.

 

Homosexuality is unnatural and immoral. LGBTQ people are emotionally or psychologically ill.  LGBTQ people should participate in reparative therapy or any other treatment available to help them change their sexual orientation.

2. Pity  -  Heterosexual chauvinism. Heterosexuality is more mature and certainly to be preferred. Any possibility of becoming "straight" should be reinforced, and those who seem to be born that way should be pitied.

 

We should have compassion for LGBTQ people. They canít be blamed for how they were born. LGBTQ people didnít choose to be the way they are. If they could somehow become heterosexual, they would surely do so.

3. Tolerance  -  Homosexuality is just a phase of adolescent development that many people go through and most people grow out of. Thus, gays/lesbians are less mature than heterosexuals and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence one uses with a child. Gays and lesbians should not be given positions of authority because they are still working through their adolescent behavior.

 

Homosexuality is a phase that many people go through and most grow out of.  LGBTQ people need our support and guidance as they wrestle with the many difficult issues associated with their lifestyle.

4. Acceptance  -  Still implies there is something to accept. Homosexuality is a fact of life that should neither be punished nor celebrated. Characterized by such statements as "you're not a lesbian, you're a person" or "what you do is your own business" or "it's fine with me, just don't flaunt it."

 

I have no problem with LGBTQ people, but see no need for them to flaunt their sexual orientation publicly. What LGBTQ people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is their business.

 

 

Positive Levels of Attitude

5. Support  -  Work to safeguard the rights of lesbians and gays. People at this level may be uncomfortable themselves but they are aware of the homophobic climate and irrational unfairness.

 

LGBTQ people deserve the same rights and privileges as everybody else. Homophobia is wrong. Society needs to take a stand against anti-LGBTQ bias.

6. Admiration  -  Acknowledges that being gay/lesbian in our society takes strength. People at this level are willing to truly examine their homophobic attitudes, values, and behaviors.

 

It takes strength and courage for LGBTQ people to be themselves in todayís world.  It is important for me to examine my own attitudes so that I can actively support the struggle for equality that LGBTQ people have undertaken.

7. Appreciation  -  Value the diversity of people and see gays/lesbians as a valid part of that diversity. These people are willing to confront and combat homophobia in themselves and others.

 

There is great value in our human diversity. LGBTQ people are an important part of that diversity. It is important for me to stand up to those who demonstrate homophobic attitudes.

8. Nurturance  -  Assumes that gay/lesbian people are indispensable in our society. They view gays/lesbians with genuine affection and delight, and are willing to be allies and advocates.

 

LGBTQ people are an indispensable part of our society. They have contributed much to our world and there is much to be learned from their experiences. I would be proud to be part of an LGBTQ organization, and to openly advocate for the full and equal inclusion of LGBTQ people at all levels of our society.

 

[Source: Dorothy Riddle, 1985, Homophobia Scale]

 

Come and Be Who You Are

Homosexuality Attitude Scale

Info: Homophobia and Heterosexism

Negative Attitudes Toward LGBTQ People

Survey on Attitudes Toward LGBTQ Issues

Info: LGBTQ Discrimination

Moving Towards LGBTQ Equality

 

Attitude Check

--Are your personal feelings preventing you from accepting and respecting LGBTQ people?
--Are you somewhat accepting, but may not be willing to actively work against anti-LGBTQ bias?
--Are you willing to provide support and work toward equal rights for LGBTQ people?
--Are you able to fully embrace LGBTQ people as equal and valuable members of the community?
--Are your attitudes toward LGBTQ people based upon experience or preconceptions?
--Are you as accepting of LGBTQ people as you are of people from different racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds?
--Have you ever had an LGBTQ friend?

--How might your attitudes help or hinder you from being an ally for LGBTQ people?
--What can you do educate yourself about LGBTQ issues and improve your attitude with regard to LGBTQ people?

[Source: Dorothy Riddle, 1985, Homophobia Scale]

 


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