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What to Do About Homophobic Friends

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Question: What to Do About Homophobic Friends
When you have homophobic friends, it's not always as easy as simply ditching them and moving on.
Answer:

A lot of teens have them, the homophobic friends who casually dismiss things they don't like by saying, "that's so gay," or who refer to gay people using offensive terms.

So what should you do about that? Sure you could choose not to be friends anymore, and that's what a lot of people do. But sometimes that doesn't always make sense.

Here are some ideas to help teens deal with homophobic friends:

  • Call them out. If some one makes a comment you find offensive, say so.
  • Educate. A lot of people don't realize that what they are saying is offensive. Learning about GLBT issues can go a long way in reducing homophobia.
  • Get allies. Is there one homophobe in your group? It's likely that you aren't the only one who is bothered by his or her comments. Consider aligning with other friends to make it clear that your group doesn't think this person's comments are cool.
  • Come out. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans, come out. Studies have found that people who know gay people are less likely to be homophobic than those who don't.

Often the most painful homophobia comes from people who are close to us. But those people can also be the easiest to reach.

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