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Rate 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 LGBT 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.  If you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, try to focus your answer about the identity you least identify with, or the one you think you still might carry biases about.

 

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

 

5 - Strongly Agree    

4 - Somewhat Agree                         

3 - Indifferent                      

2 - Somewhat Disagree      

1 - Strongly Disagree

 

__  I refrain from making homophobic remarks or jokes about LGBT 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 sanction perpetrators.

__  I believe that LGBT people are equally entitled to all of the same rights and privileges as everyone else.

__  I believe that LGBT people are capable of the same normal, healthy relationships as everyone else.

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

__  I use language and examples that are inclusive of LGBT individuals and their experiences.

__  I am comfortable publicly expressing my affection for friends of the same gender.

__  I am knowledgeable about the histories, cultures, psychosocial development, and needs of LGBT people.

__  I value the contributions that “out” students, faculty, and staff make to the University’s culture and climate.

__  I do not make judgments about people based on what I perceive their sexual orientation to be.

__  I respect the confidentiality of LGBT people by not gossiping about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

__  I actively advocate for, financially support, and/or participate in LGBT organizations.

__  I have questioned/thought about/seriously considered my own sexuality.

__  I have questioned/thought about/seriously considered my gender identity.

__  I am comfortable with being assumed to be LGBT. (If you identify as LGB, answer whether you would feel comfortable being assumed to be transgender.)

__  I am comfortable around people who dress, act, or present themselves in ways that are not traditionally associated with their assumed biological sex.

__  I am comfortable seeing open expressions of affection between people of the same gender.

__  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 effect all people, regardless of their sexuality or gender.

 

(From Themes of Bias and Exemplary Practice of Student Affairs Professionals developed by ACPA Standing Committee of LGB Awareness, Crocteau and Lark, 1995)

 


Personal Reflection

These statements are designed to help you reflect on your attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors regarding homosexuality. Ask yourself these questions to determine where you are in your personal journey.

__  I feel awkward when I’m around people who are gay.
__  I believe that gay people deserve the negative they receive.
__  I believe homosexual people should not work with children.
__  I openly object to derogatory remarks about gay people.
__  I can enjoy the company of gay people without feeling uncomfortable.
__  Marriage between homosexual individuals is okay with me.
__  It does not matter to me whether my friends are gay or straight.
__  I am concerned that a homosexual person may “come on” to me.
__  I laugh at jokes about gay people.
__  Organizations that promote gay rights are not necessary.
__  Homosexuals should not have “special protection” under the law.
__  It bothers me to see homosexual people display affection in public.

 

(From UAB Safe Zone Program, Birmingham, Alabama)
 


Riddle Homophobic Scale

Negative Levels of Attitude


1. Repulsion

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

4. Acceptance

Still implies there is something to accept. 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."

 

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.

 

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.

 

7. Appreciation

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

 

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.

 


Attitude Survey

 

Put a check next to each statement with which you agree. Bracket the 2-3 consecutive statements that reflect your current range of thinking about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
 

___ 1. Homosexuality is unnatural and immoral. LGBT people are emotionally or psychologically ill.

___ 2. LGBT people should participate in reparative therapy or any other treatment available to help them change their sexual orientation.

___ 3. We should have compassion for LGBT people. They can’t be blamed for how they were born.

___ 4. LGBT people didn’t choose to be the way they are. If they could somehow become heterosexual, they would surely do so.

___ 5. Homosexuality is a phase that many people go through and most grow out of.

___ 6. LGBT people need our support and guidance as they wrestle with the many difficult issues associated with their lifestyle.

___ 7. I have no problem with LGBT people, but see no need for them to flaunt their sexual orientation publicly.

___ 8. What LGBT people do in the privacy of their own bedroom is their business.

___ 9. LGBT people deserve the same rights and privileges as everybody else.

___10. Homophobia is wrong. Society needs to take a stand against anti-LGBT bias.

___11. It takes strength and courage for LGBT people to be themselves in today’s world.

___12. It is important for me to examine my own attitudes so that I can actively support the struggle for equality that LGBT people have undertaken.

___13. There is great value in our human diversity. LGBT people are an important part of that diversity.

___14. It is important for me to stand up to those who demonstrate homophobic attitudes.

___15. LGBT 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.

___16. I would be proud to be part of an LGBT organization, and to openly advocate for the full and equal inclusion of LGBT people at all levels of our society.


Scoring Guide


Find the numbers below that correspond to the bracketed range on your survey. Read the attitude and characteristics that encompass this range. According to the Attitudes Toward Difference Scale developed by psychologist Dorothy Riddle, this is where you stand with regard to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

 

1-2 Repulsion: LGBT people are strange, sick, crazy and aversive.

3-4 Pity: LGBT people are somehow born that way and it is pitiful.

5-6 Tolerance: Life for LGBT people is hard; anti-gay attitudes just make things worse.

7-8 Acceptance: Homosexuality is a fact of life that should neither be punished nor celebrated.

9-10 Support: The rights of LGBT people should be protected and safeguarded.

11-12 Admiration: Being LGBT in our society takes strength.

13-14 Appreciation: There is value in diversity. Homophobic attitudes should be confronted.

15-16 Nurturance: LGBT people are an indispensable part of society.

 

Your Rating

 

1-4  Your personal feelings may be preventing you from accepting and respecting LGBT people.

5-8  You are somewhat accepting, but may not be willing to actively work against anti-LGBT bias.

9-12  You are willing to provide support and work toward equal rights for LGBT people.

13-16  You are able to fully embrace LGBT people as equal and valuable members of the community.

 

Food for Thought
 

Are your attitudes toward LGBT people based upon experience or preconceptions?
Are you as accepting of LGBT people as you are of people from different racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds? Why or why not?
Have you ever had an LGBT friend? How might your attitudes help or hinder you from being an ally for LGBT people?
What can you do educate yourself about LGBT issues and improve your attitude with regard to LGBT people?

 

(From: Riddle, D. (1985). "Homophobia Scale." In Opening Doors to Understanding and Acceptance. ed. K. Obear and A. Reynolds. Boston: Unpublished essay)

 

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama