Challenging homophobic language

Topic Selected: Sexuality and Gender

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What is homophobic language?

‘poof’, ‘lezzer’, ‘gay boy’, ‘batty boy’, ‘you’re so gay’

Homophobic language means terms of abuse that are often used towards lesbian, gay and bisexual people, or those thought to be LGB.

However, homophobic language is also often used to refer to something or someone as inferior. Phrases such as ‘you’re such a lezzer!’ or ‘those trainers are gay!’, for example, may be used to insult someone or something, but without referring to actual or perceived sexual orientation.

This language is often dismissed as “harmless banter” and not thought to be particularly hurtful, especially where the intent is not to comment on someone’s actual or perceived sexual orientation. 

However, regardless of the lack of any deliberate intent, these terms liken being gay to something that’s bad, wrong or inferior.

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