Think of the different words of abuse there exist in Italian to refer to a “homosexual”.
Have you ever enquired about their origin?
There are many terms in English that abusively refer to a “homosexual”. Many of the following terms are considered acceptable in a casual registerwhen used by members within LGBT communities and their allies like family and friends, but are considered pejorative or inappropriate when used in formal contexts or by outsiders. Many also imply masculinity in women (e.g. “bull dyke”) or effeminacy in men (e.g. “fairy”). The terms for both men and women are: Gay, Ginger beer (rhyming slang for queer), LGBT, Kamp/Camp, Molly and tommy: In 18th century England, the term molly was used for male homosexuals, implying effeminacy; Tommy, a slang term for a homosexual woman in use by 1781, may have been coined by analogy with molly, Queer. (Souce: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminology_of_homosexuality)
Why are these terms of abuse used so lightly? Why is it difficult for some people to ask themselves why they are using them? Would they still use them knowing that these abusive terms are like daggers piercing the ears and hearts of those who are homosexual, of those whose children are homosexual, of those whose siblings are homosexual, of those whose friends are homosexual?
Look at the following images, how do you read them? In other words what do they tell you?
Now watch the video created by some young Americans who invite us to re-consider the terms of “gender” and “sexuality”. You can watch the video with the help of captions (click on the icon under the number).
Who is the video addressed to?
What is the main point these young people are making?
How far is the concept of “sexuality” and “gender” influenced by our culture (read as upbringing, religion, country, customs, education)?
Can you think of famous and successful people who are homosexual? What field do they operate in?
It seems that being homosexual has to deal with the “bizarre” world of arts, be it fashion, music, literature, painting, ballet or drama. Why is homosexuality viewed as “tolerable” in these fields, but not in the field of sports or in the army?
Some time ago a famous British rugby player admitted his homosexuality. What do you think made him “come out”? How do you think his team reacted? How many people do you think are forced to “hide” their homosexuality to get on living?
Heterosexuals do not have to “justify” their sexuality. Should it be otherwise for a homosexual? Why (not)?
Download, print & read the articles chosen by Tim in PDF format.
Thanks for your attention and see you in class.
Cris, Laura & Tim