Although the LGBT community faces increasingly less stigmatization on the whole, there are certainly exceptions when LGBT people are still confronted with hate speech. Although it is certainly not an easy situation to deal with, here are some ways to mitigate these very trying situations.
- This is A Reflection Of Them: Remain Proud In The Face Of AdversityThe best course of action when coming up against confrontation with a homophobic person is to realize that there is likely a reason behind their actions. Perhaps they were raised in a homophobic environment. Whatever the case may be, this is a reflection of them and not of you. Remain proud of yourself in the face of adversity. If you can remember this, it will help you with our second point below, which is to stay calm.
- Remain Calm Although this may not be your first instinct, the best method to persevere against hate is to remain calm and collected. Do not add to their level of intolerance. This will also prevent a potentially high-risk situation from becoming even more hostile.
- Do Not Engage The Person (If Possible) & Do Not Be AfraidIn short, it is best to simply ignore the person and pretend as if you haven’t heard anything at all. The reason that this is the best course of action is because some homophobic people can behave irrationally toward gay people that they encounter in real life. Many of them are simply looking for a reaction. You do not want to give them that. Do not be afraid.
- Laugh It OffWhile this is not a laughing matter, sometimes choosing to laugh it off can prevent you from harbouring ill feelings.
- Present The Facts: Don’t Throw Out Insults If you are of the mindset that you simply will not accept intolerance from others towards you and you feel the need to confront them, do so in a manner that presents the facts. It is important to not put yourself in a potentially high-risk situation. Do not insult them.
- Report Verbal Or Physical ViolenceIn the event that you have been threatened or you have experienced physical violence against you, report it to the authorities. In the event that you have been treated poorly at a place of business, report it to the manager. This behaviour cannot be accepted.
- Find Your Safe Spot & Connect With Likeminded PeopleAfter you have been confronted with hate, you may be angry, upset or a combination of those feelings. Surround yourself with people who love and support you to mitigate these unpleasant feelings. Connect with likeminded people. Perhaps join a lesbian dating service or go to a gay-friendly bar.
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