- Acknowledge that the use of slurs such as “dyke”, “faggot” have been used to demean people who are homosexual for hundreds of years. These words carry the weight of this historical oppression and are generally not to be used by people who don’t identify with the group that they have been used against. Some LGBTQIA+ people find it empowering to reclaim words (most commonly this has happened with the word queer) but it’s up to each individual to decide what they are comfortable with!
Using phrases like “that is so gay” equates being gay with being ‘bad’ or ‘annoying’ etc and has negative impacts on LGBTQIA+ people. Being gay is awesome! Get more creative with your language and choose your words so they don’t harm groups of people!
If you want to challenge the use of ‘that’s so gay’ when you hear it, here are some tips!
- Recognise the way you think about relationships has been based off what heterosexual relationships look like. Queer relationships do not always conform to stereotypical heterosexual gender roles. Don’t assume that in a homosexual relationship one person takes on the role of the woman and the other of the man.
- Do away with assumptions! Not everyone is straight. Don’t assume a person’s’ sexuality until they have opened that conversation with you.
For more tips and resources on unlearning, click on one of the images below!
Now you have started your unlearning journey, keep going! The LGBTQIA* community is abundant with colourful, intersecting identities. What do you know about the intersex community? What are your assumptions about asexuality? Do you know what it means to be takatāpui? How does Aotearoa’s history of colonisation inform how we conceive of gender and sexuality today? Here are some links below to keep learning, unlearning and relearning!
Other links and resources
Takatapui – Part of the Whanau resource by Elizabeth Kerekere
Growing up Takatāpui: Whānau journeys by Elizabeth Kerekere and Rainbow Youth
Strengthening Solutions for Pasefika Rainbow
Decolonising Queer* Identities, an essay by Isabel Mudford
The Pain & Empowerment of Choosing Your Own Gender: Alok Vaid-Menon
Understanding Asexuality from the Outside
I’m Intersex, And It’s WAY More Common Than You Think
Colouring The Rainbow: Blak Queer and Trans Perspectives – Life Stories and Essays By First Nations People of Australia, a book by Dino Hodge
*Cisgender (often abbreviated to simply cis) is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Cisgender may also be defined as those who have “a gender identity or perform a gender role society considers appropriate for one’s sex”. It is the opposite of the term transgender.
*LGBTQIA+ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and other identities
We used some stats on our ‘UNLEARN’ posters, you can check out our references here