- Upon seeing two men walking together, a friend says, "I really don't have a problem with gay people, and sometimes they're kinda funny, especially on TV. I just don't really want it shoved in my face all the time. It's okay to be gay, but why do they always have to be so public about it?"
- Upon seeing his friend's brightly-colored shirt, one young man says to another, "Man, that shirt is so gay."
- A popular actress comes out of the closet. Suddenly she notices all of the parts she used to be offered have disappeared and now she only gets scripts for lesbian roles.
Are these discriminatory acts?
Name-calling, bullying and harassment are serious problems for young people today. Students are often bullied for any number of reasons: faith, race, ethnicity, appearance, athletic ability, interests and more. Sexual orientation is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why someone (maybe you) gets bullied in school.
People who identify themselves as LGBTQ-lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning-are one of, if not the, most blatantly targeted groups of discrimination today. While no deserves to be bullied or harassed, discriminatory acts against the LGBTQ community wrongly assume that one's worth is somehow related to their sexual preference.
Anti-LGBTQ bias impacts all people, gay and straight alike. Think carefully about anti-LGBTQ behavior and actions that you have seen and heard personally in your life.
Homophobia is defined by thoughts, feelings, or actions based on fear, dislike, judgment, or hatred of gay men and lesbians/of those who love and sexually desire those of the same sex. Homophobia has roots in sexism and can include prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and acts of violence.
Learn how other forms of discrimination are defined.
- When was the last time you heard someone say "That's so gay" when describing something or someone un-cool or strange?
- When was the last time you heard someone call another person a "Fag" or "Dyke," for any reason?
- What would it feel like if you were always teased because you were gay?
- How would you feel if your best friend told you she was a lesbian or he was gay?
- Are you aware of ways in which gay people are stereotyped?
Check Yourself: Ever wonder whether you have hidden biases? Click here to take a test and find out.
- More than half of America's high school students say they personally know an LGBTQ classmate.
- Despite this visibility, more than four out of five LGBTQ students in America report being verbally, physically or sexually harassed because of their sexual orientation (GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 2003).
- One out of three teens say they have seen their classmates, LGBTQ and straight alike, be targeted with anti-LGBTQ behavior (GLSEN and Harris Interactive, 2005).
- There are 601,209 same-sex households, up 314% since 1990, in the US, and these households were found in 93.3 percent of all counties in America (Human Rights Campaign, 2000).
- The rate of anti-LGBTQ violence is several times higher than the rate of criminal violence experienced by the general population (Crime Prevention Division, Lawlink, 2001).