Don’t laugh at or tell
offensive, anti-homosexual jokes.
Don’t make fun of people who don’t fit traditional gender stereotypes.
Don’t verbally or physically harass people perceived as homosexual.
Don’t be indifferent by passively accepting acts by others that demean
Don’t ignore the topic of homosexuality.
Don’t refer to LGBT individuals as less than human, mentally ill, or as
a danger to society by using such terms as “deviant,” “disordered,”
“dysfunctional,” “diseased,” “perverted,” or “destructive”.
Avoid oppression through lack of action by recognizing homophobia in
others and being uncomfortable but refusing to say anything – condoning
Avoid oppression by not participating in activities or programs because
people might think you are gay or lesbian.
Avoid defamatory language such as “fag,” “faggot,” “dyke,” “homo,”
“queen,” “she-male,” “he-she,” “tranny,” and similar epithets.
Avoid associating homosexuality with pedophilia, child sexual abuse,
bestiality, or incest.
Assume that in any group LGBT individuals may be present – or may have
family members and friends who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or
Confront politely when approached with racially offensive or
anti-homosexual jokes, slurs, use of demeaning terms and labels.
Mediate between people with differing opinions.
Use the term “sexual orientation” rather than “alternative lifestyle” or
Use terms such as “significant other” or “partner” rather than
“girlfriend” or “boyfriend.”
Use “committed relationship” rather than “marriage.”
Be proactive to educate yourself about cultural diversity and LGBT
Recognize the efforts of others to confront inappropriate behaviors and
Encourage, reward, and support colleagues, students, and employees who
are inclusive and respectful of differences among people.
Appreciate differences among individuals within groups.
(From UAB Safe Zone)
"Sticks and stones may break my
bones but words will never hurt me."
“Sticks and stones will break our bones, but words will break our
According to Wikipedia: "Political
correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and
behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in
occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain
other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related
contexts. To be politically incorrect connotes language, ideas, and
behavior unconstrained by a perceived orthodoxy or by concerns about
offending or expressing bias regarding various groups of people."
Choosing the right words is a good start
in acting with civility. It is important to be sensitive to others and
avoid using offensive language or hurtful words. The words we used
have an impact on other people and can cause harm. So, out of a
genuine sense of caring and compassion, and not simply because we want
to be "politically correct," we should seek to understand others and
communicate with respect.
Where words hurt,
civility heals. According to the Civility Project, "We
build a stronger and more diverse community by actively sharing our
ideas and opinions with others in thoughtful and considerate ways. By
practicing this basic commitment to civility, we learn and grow from one
another – even in disagreement." They offer these tips:
Slideshow: Respectful &
Jason Alexander Apologizes for Inappropriate "Gay" Jokes
Video: Words Hurt
Video: Anti-Bullying Awareness
Huffington Post: The Word "Gay"
Preparing the class:
Include in the course syllabus a statement of class policy
indicating students are to show respect for all individuals in class
discussion and interaction. Include expectations and guidelines for respectful class
discussion. In reviewing the course syllabus at the beginning of the
course, emphasize and discuss the expectations and guidelines, giving
In stating one’s opinion or belief,
declare it as one’s own personal opinion or belief rather than making a
judgmental statement about another student or another student’s opinion
Students are encouraged to make “I” statements rather
than “You” statements. For example: “I
believe adults of the same sex should not be allowed to marry.” rather
than saying: “You are wrong about same sex marriage…You don’t know what
you are talking about.”
Students are encouraged to acknowledge another student’s
point of view or position before stating one’s own. This practice
fosters understanding of different points of views and ensures clear
communication. A suggested response: “Your position on this issue
is…That is what is true for you. I have a different position. Here is
what I believe…”
Distinguish between personal opinion, reflecting personal values,
and facts, documented by research and evidence, supported
by scholarly and appropriate references. Making this distinction is very
important in classes where students are asked to take and present a
certain position on a class topic.
In discussing positions and making presentations that relate to race,
ethnicity, religion, gender, as well as sexual orientation, students are
expected to be respectful of other students who might be different from
the speaker in any of these characteristics.
Where appropriate, include information about LGBT people who have made
contributions to the subject of the course and use examples of LGBT
people in lectures and discussion, where appropriate to the subject
Expand library holdings to ensure LGBT people who have
contributed to the field of study are included.
Professor Behavior and Modeling:
Take seriously one’s responsibility to create a respectful learning
environment, one that is supportive of and safe for all students
regardless of the differences represented in the class.
Avoid heterosexist assumptions and language, using inclusive, respectful
language in all interactions with students, formal and informal.
Be informed about LGBT issues and support LGBT events, programs, and
Be aware of services for LGBT students and make appropriate referrals
for students who need the assistance of services (counseling center, procedures for reporting bias and harassment incidents, etc.)
(From Dr. Glenda Elliott / UAB School of
Association for Lesbian
Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama