Category: homophobic language in schools

Almost All Gay Students Hear Homophobic Language in School and Why I Still Have Trouble with the "Q" Word

The reason I’m posting about this is because I do know that things have changed a lot since I was in school in the 70’s and 80’s. And, I also remember when I was in school there was a teacher who stopped someone in the middle of gay name-calling. I think I was like in the 3rd grade, and a few kids were bickering about something I don’t recall. All I remember is one calling another “fag.” And the teacher heard it, stepped in, and she “handled” it in a way I’ve always respected.

She didn’t just tell the kid not to use the word. She went into an hour long explanation for the entire class, explaining why it was wrong to use words like “fag” or “queer.” Maybe this is why I have such a hard time embracing the Q on the end of LGBT Q. To me that word has always represented something negative…or odd that doesn’t quite fit in. And even though I know where they are going by wanting to force the Q on us, I’m still not fond of it. And if you call me a Queer and I’m not paying attention, you’d better start running.

But this article is interesting because it shows that homophobic language still does exist in schools. I do know that it is markedly different now that it was thirty years ago because I hear this from nephews and nieces all the time. In fact, they don’t even seem to think gay is an issue.

But it sounds like the study is authentic:

The University of Cambridge research for Stonewall’s School Report 2012, launched at its Education for All conference, included a national survey of 1,614 young people.

This is interesting, too:

In schools where teaching staff never challenge homophobic remarks, the rate of homophobic bullying is far higher than in schools where such language is always challenged at 71 per cent compared to 43 per cent.

You can read more here. I honestly don’t think it makes a difference that the study was done in the UK. And I do think that if a study like this were done in the US the results would be the same. Because now the language isn’t as blunt and crude as it used to be. Many times when straight people call something “gay” in a derogatory way it’s just as insulting. They might not mean to do it. But it stings just the same.