In 2017, and in such a diverse and multicultural community like International House it seems a bit ridiculous that people continue to casually perpetuate demoralising stereotypes, belittle minorities, or in some cases suggest outright that the way people are born is wrong and offensive.
The way you speak directly impacts the people around you and influence the culture of college whether you want it to or not.
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender and gender diverse people are much more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population. They are also at a greater risk of suicide and self-harm.” – beyondblue
If someone is questioning their sexuality or their gender identity, or hasn’t shared it publicly, it is the people around them and their attitudes that play a big part in determining their mental health.
You might not see the harm in calling your mate a ‘faggot’ for a joke, but sometimes that’s all it takes to keep someone in the closet, or the last straw before they decide life isn’t worth living.
You don’t get to decide if what you say hurts someone, and staying silent only makes you part of the problem. If you hear something that’s not okay, SAY SOMETHING, stand up for those people who don’t have a voice and be part of the solution.
Just in case you need a refresher;
- Gay is not a synonym for ‘bad’
- Calling someone a ‘retard’ shows you think disabled people are inferior
- Using ‘faggot’ in pretty much any context is not okay (and nah, don’t pretend you’re talking about sticks)
- Homo and dyke- also not okay
Pick up your game guys, it’s sad that I have to spell this out to a bunch of generally inclusive and friendly adults.
It might be time that people took another look at the core values of IH and assess if their actions truly value difference, and show their commitment to a caring community.