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12 ways to respond when your family is being homophobic

The typical hide-and-seek with family comes in different forms: skipping the infamous reunion, refusing to accept their request on Facebook, and even avoiding eye contact just to elude “The Talk.” Every topic might feel like an elephant in the room, especially if most of them are, uh, shamelessly homophobic. 

Unfortunately though, there are instances where an escape button isn’t always available. Bigoted views come without warning, and you’re suddenly transported to a potential debate. It’s not the LGBTQ+ folks’ responsibility to educate heteros about the community. But if you ever find yourself itching for a clapback (or a gentle, respectful response) to a classic homophobic remark, we’ve packed 12 reply ideas for your next conversation. 

  • Explain that gender and sexuality are fluid and are on a spectrum. Quick tip: Send our primer of LGBTQ+ terms before they even mockingly reply, “Fluid? Ano ’yan, tubig?” (Fluid? What’s that, water?)
  • “God said we should love our neighbor, right?”  
  • If you’re still on the topic of religion, remind them that Jesus fought for the marginalized. 
  • If they tell you that being part of the LGBTQ+ community is a mental illness, tell them you’d like to see their sources. 
  • “I don’t think we should meddle with other people’s lives especially if they’re not hurting anyone. That’s what this family taught me, after all.” *smiles à la angel emoji*
  • When they say, “There were no kinds of people like this during our time,” ask them, “How sure are we? They were probably silenced or even killed.’”
  • If they’re trying to hate on the SOGIE bill, tell them to read this article to know it’s for the Straights, too. (In case they’re not interested in reading the whole bill, they could start here.) 
  • “Don’t worry, equal rights for them doesn’t mean fewer rights for you.”
  • If they claim to love someone from your family who is LGBTQ+ but insist that they’re not “in favor” of that relative’s sexuality, tell them that tolerance—not acceptance—is almost synonymous to believing they don’t have the right to a good life. 
  • Explain that being homophobic is not just an opinion. It isn’t like pineapples on pizza, because human life is at risk in this type of discourse. 
  • Tell them it’s okay to change their views because of new information. Possible follow-up: “It won’t make you less of a person.”
  • Genuinely ask them what’s their beef with LGBTQ+ folks in the first place. Tell them they can think about it. Besides, realizations don’t happen overnight.

Read more:

Hey, Catholic schools: Homosexuality is not a “condition”

#LoveVersesHate uses the Bible to spread love to the LGBTQ+ community

Sorry homophobes, JustGirlyThings is actually queer

Art by Yel Sayo

 

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