|An attitude test on homophobia
One of the main reasons that gays and lesbians find it hard to tell us about their sexuality is often because of our attitude towards homosexual people.
We may not think we have a homophobic attitude but maybe we say or do things that make us look like we do.
We often send off signals that we will not accept them because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. This may not be intentional but it does often happen.
Answer 'yes' or 'no' to the the following questions:
1. Do you laugh at jokes whose humor depends upon put downs and stereotypes of gays, lesbians or bisexuals?
2. Do you automatically think of gays; lesbians or bisexuals only in terms of sexuality rather than seeing them as complex people who have, among other significant features, a bisexual or same sex orientation?
3. Do you use dehumanizing slang - 'queer', 'homo', 'fag', 'dyke', 'lezzie', 'butch' to refer to gays, lesbians and bisexuals or to put people in line when they stray from traditional sex roles?
4. Do you assume that a lesbian, gay man or bisexual is interested in you sexually, regardless of your sexual orientation? Do you think that if a lesbian, gay man or bisexual touches you, she or he is making sexual advances?
5. Do you react negatively when lesbians, gay men and bisexuals discuss their same sex relationships, when you do not react negatively to discussions of opposite sex relationships?
6. Do you feel it is important to make others aware that you are not gay, lesbian or bisexual?
7. Do you speak up about gay rights, but make sure every one knows that you yourself are heterosexual?
8. Do you think you can "spot one" - i.e. believe that gay people can ordinarily be identified by certain mannerisms or physical characteristics?
9. Do you fail to confront anti-gay remarks or behaviors for fear of being labeled gay yourself? Do you assume that people speaking up for gay rights or against, gay, oppression are themselves gay?
10. Do you assume you don't know anyone who's gay?
If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions, you need to take the time to think about things more deeply. Homophobia can have very damaging effects on your relationship with your child or loved one.