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1 Celebrating Diversity Training Session 1: Full Day.

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1 1 Celebrating Diversity Training Session 1: Full Day

2 2 Homophobia The fear and hatred of those who love and sexually desire those of the same sex. Homophobia - which has some of its roots in sexism - includes prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and acts of violence brought on by fear and hatred (Miller and Mahamati, 1994). Homophobia compromises human integrity by promoting learned hatred and sanctioning the use of violence and discrimination (STEP Manual, Victorian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Promotion Officers). Like other forms of discrimination and prejudice, homophobia can be expressed in a way that is: Overt (violence, discriminatory laws), or Covert (assuming everyone is heterosexual [heterosexism], ‘gay jokes’, social exclusion, etc).

3 3 Heterosexism The belief in the inherent superiority of one pattern of loving and thereby its right to dominance (Audre Lorde). Sets of assumptions that empower heterosexual persons, especially heterosexual white males, and exclude openly homosexual persons from social, religious, and political power. It is a system of coercion that demands heterosexuality in return for first class citizenship (Virginia Mollenkott). Prejudice or discrimination against gay people, analogous to racism… the assumption of heterosexual superiority (liberation as a movement of ideas).

4 4 Levels of Homophobia Personal or Internalised Homophobia Interpersonal Homophobia Institutional Homophobia Cultural Homophobia

5 5 The Sexual Trichotomy Sexual Identity how we self-identify and/or publicly identify Sexual Orientation who we are attracted to Sexual Behaviour the sexual contacts we have Department of Education, Employment and Training, Victoria 2001, Catching On: Teaching and Learning Activities

6 6 The FBI Model Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service of WA Inc: Clearing The Way, p.58. Fantasies (Feelings) same-sexopposite sex Behaviour same-sexopposite sex Identity gay lesbian dyke bisexual heterosexual other

7 7 Definitions It is important to note that ‘definitions’ can’t always adequately encompass how individual people really feel and live their lives, or the breadth of diversity. Definitions are also far removed from the joy of meeting real people. How people identify is very contested, therefore it is really important to use language and words young people use for themselves (Samantha McGuffie, KYS, 2004). Heterosexual People whose sexual and emotional feelings are primarily for the opposite sex. Homosexual People whose sexual and emotional feelings are primarily for the same sex. Those who feel this way often identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Gay People whose sexual and emotional feelings are primarily for the same sex. In Australia this can mean men or women, although it tends to be used mainly for men. Lesbian Women whose sexual and emotional feelings are primarily for women.

8 8 Definitions Bisexual or Bi Those whose sexual and emotional feelings are for both women and men. Same Sex Attracted/ Same Sex Attracted Young people (SSAY) Those who are attracted to people of their own sex. The term has been used in the context of young people whose sense of sexual identity is not fixed, but who experience sexual feelings toward people of their own sex. Transgender or Trans Those whose gender identity or behaviour falls outside the usual expectations of their gender. This includes people who feel that their anatomical gender is at odds with their inner sense of being ‘male’ or ‘female’. Some trans people feel bi-gendered or ‘neither- gendered’, challenging the idea that there can only be two genders. Transsexual People who are born anatomically male or female but have a profound identification with the opposite gender. Not all transsexual people see themselves as being transgender.

9 9 Definitions Intersex A biological condition where a person is born with physical characteristics and/or sex chromosomes that are not exclusively male or female. An earlier term for intersex was ‘hermaphrodite’. Straight Another word for heterosexual. GLBT and GLBTI Abbreviations for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender; and Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex. Queer An umbrella term that includes a range of non-heterosexual gender and sexual identities. Sexual Orientation and Sexuality The nature of a person’s basic emotional and sexual attraction to other people. Some people’s sexual orientation is mainly towards people of the opposite sex – heterosexual; for others it is mainly towards people of the same sex – homosexual; and for some it is towards either sex - bisexual.

10 10 Definitions Sexual Identity How people see themselves and present themselves to others. Sexual Behaviour What a person does sexually. Doesn’t always match identity or orientation. Gender The way a person is seen as ‘male’ or ‘female’. Gender Identity A person’s internal feeling of being female, male, both or neither.

11 11 StudyNo of Young People% SSAY Hillier, Warr & Haste (1996) 1200 rural students (Tas, vic and Qld) 11 Lindsay, Smith & Rosenthal (1997) 3500 senior students (all States and Territories) 8–9 Hillier, Matthews & Dempsey (1997) 850 homeless youth (Vic and Qld) 14 Writing Themselves In National Data on Same-Sex Attracted Young People

12 12 Homosexual hatred and fear displayed in rural focus groups and teacher interviews Over-representation in homeless sample Higher drug use (Lindsay et al 1997). SSAY are 3-4 times more likely to report having injected drugs. Higher levels of STI’s (Lindsay et al 1997) amongst sexually active SSAY. Boys 10 X and girls 4 X more likely to have STI. Retrospective studies with older groups & anecdotal information reveal stories of abuse and links with suicide. Writing Themselves In National Data on Same-Sex Attracted Young People Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

13 same-sex attracted young people (no gender difference) aged 14–21 years (average 18 years) from every State and Territory of Australia 25% from non-metropolitan areas 87% were born in Australia, 65% of parents who had been born in Australia Writing Themselves In Characteristics of the respondents Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

14 14 half accessed the survey through the Internet; half through the post one-fifth had never spoken to anyone about their sexuality 200 wrote stories about their lives Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In. Writing Themselves In Characteristics of the respondents

15 15 SSAY exposed to extreme levels of verbal/physical abuse 42% had been verbally abused 13% had been physically abused 69% of the abuse happened at school; 47% in the street 10% abused by friends; 3% abused by teachers 26% felt very safe at school, 14 % feeling unsafe or very unsafe Writing Themselves In Personal safety Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

16 16 40% were not feeling good about their sexual orientation 32% - great 28% - pretty good 30% - OK 7% - pretty bad 3% - really bad 18% had never spoken to anyone about their feelings and of those that had, 1/3 had experienced some type of rejection Writing Themselves In Emotional well-being Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

17 17 Young women were far more likely than young men to be attracted to both sexes. Twice as many young men were only attracted to their own sex. Young men were more likely to identify as “gay” than “bisexual” Young women were more likely to identify as “bisexual” than “lesbian” Writing Themselves In Sexual Attraction and Identity Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

18 18 64% of SSAY are sexually active These young people are often having sex with both sexes. Protection levels are lower than those for other sex attracted youth Writing Themselves In Sexual experience Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

19 19 Young women were more likely than young men to be SSA yet only heterosexually active, although substantial numbers of young men were also heterosexually active Nearly 1/3 of SSA young women had had sex only with males in the past year Writing Themselves In Sexual Behaviour Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

20 20 7% of young men and 14% of young women (SSAY) have injected drugs; 15% once a week or more 33% had shared injecting equipment: 15% weekly 5% drank alcohol daily: 46% weekly 27% had used party drugs; 7% weekly 8% had smoked dope daily; 21% weekly 7% had used heroin Writing Themselves In Drug Use Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

21 21 Information Source% Used% Trusted Mum7579 Books/magazines7330 Health education63 Female friends6226 Pamphlets/posters6043 Television528 Boyfriend/girlfriend4319 Dad4159 Teachers2649 Doctors2070 Writing Themselves In Sources of Information Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

22 22 Writing Themselves In Sources of Information Hillier, L, Dempsey, D, Harrison, L, Beal, L, Matthews, L & Rosenthal DA 1998, Writing Themselves In.

23 23 Writing Themselves In Again – 6 Years On The 2nd national report on the sexuality, health and well-being of same-sex attracted young Australians Follow up to 1998 report, ‘Writing Themselves In’ Purpose of Writing Themselves In Again was to explore the extent to which positive changes in support for SSAY in years following 1998 have made a difference 1749 respondents aged between

24 24 Writing Themselves In Again Sexual attraction, identity and behaviour In 2004 young women and men more likely to be attracted exclusively to the same sex and more likely to identify as gay, homosexual or lesbian In 2004, as in 1998, fewer young women likely to identify as gay, homosexual or lesbian than young men Overall a shift towards more positive feeling about sexuality - 76% feeling great or good in 2004 compared with 60% in 1998 SSAY people more likely to be sexually active earlier than heterosexual peers and more likely to be having sex in line with feelings of attraction than 1998 study Confirmed 1998 findings that assumptions shouldn't be made about sexual behaviours of SSAY

25 25 Writing Themselves In Again Homophobia and discrimination 38% had experienced unfair treatment on the basis of their sexuality Work and school were more common sites of this discrimination 44% reported verbal abuse and 16% reported physical assault - figures largely unchanged from 1998 The most common site for abuse, as in 1998, was school. School remains the most dangerous place for SSA young people to be with 74% of abuse happening there Impact of abuse and discrimination: Young people who had been abused fared worse on every indicator of health and wellbeing than those who had not Felt less safe at school, home, social occasions and sporting events More likely to self harm, report an STI and use a legal and illegal drugs Those who had been abused more likely to have sought support from individual or organisations More young people reported feeling safer in schools than 1998

26 26 Writing Themselves In Again Alcohol and drug use use of all drugs was down on reported use in 1998 Drug use still substantially higher than for heterosexual young people, i.e. double no. SSAY have injected drugs Significant relationship between experience of homophobic abuse and drug use

27 27 Writing Themselves In Again Disclosure and support More young people had disclosed their sexuality in 2004 than in 1998 (95% vs 82%) Support for those who had disclosed had increased More young people disclosing to teachers and school welfare counsellors Friends remained most popular confidantes - followed by mothers Young people who are isolated and unsafe in day to day world can connect to world that is more supportive and accepting through the internet

28 28 Writing Themselves In Again Multiple layers of identity SSAY Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds (CALD) Less likely to have disclosed to parents and feel safe at home than anglo peers Religion Issue of young people being forced to choose between their sexuality and religion. In many cases the rejection of their sexuality and the embracing of their religion resulting in young people hating and harming themselves. Rural areas Less safe at social occassion than their urban peers More difficulty accessing information through gay media

29 29 Writing Themselves In Again The way forward Preventable abuse is predisposing young people to health risks incl. self harm and suicide Schools, most importantly, need to address homophobia when it occurs - recognise it, name it and react with zero tolerance

30 30 Suicide Prevention Australia National conference, Sydney, April 2001 Study by Jonathan Nicholas and John Howard 528 young adults –up to 30yrs (m=21yrs) Heterosexual – 94 males, 192 females SSA – 123 males, 119 females Includes people from non-urban areas Same-Sex Attracted Youth Suicide Why are we still talking about it?

31 31 Suicide Attempts Gay male 20.8% Heterosexual male 5.4% Bisexual/undecided male 29.4% Lesbian female28% Heterosexual female 8.3% Bisexual/undecided female 34.9% Same-Sex Attracted Youth Suicide Why are we still talking about it?

32 32 Lesbians first suicide attempts on average 1.9 years after becoming sexually interested in women, 0.2 years after self-identifying as SSA, and 0.8 years before another person found out they were lesbian, 2 years before they had their first same–gender sexual experience Same-Sex Attracted Youth Suicide Why are we still talking about it?

33 33 Gay males’ first suicide attempts on average 5.7 years after becoming sexually interested in men, 3.5 years after self-identifying as gay, and 0.4 years before another person found out they were gay, 0.3 years before they had their first same- gender sexual experience Same-Sex Attracted Youth Suicide Why are we still talking about it?

34 34 22% had disclosed to a counsellor outside school (5/8 were supportive) 13% to a special teacher (3/5 supportive) 12% to a youth worker (2/3 supportive) 11% to doctors (2/3 supportive) 6% to a student welfare or school counsellor (2/3 supportive) Disclosure to Professionals

35 35 72% had not told their mothers 84% had not told their fathers Generally it was slightly more likely that mothers would be more supportive then fathers Reactions ranged from ignoring or discounting the information, through passive acceptance, tears, screaming, rejection and ejection from the family home No parents celebrated the revelation Coming Out to Parents

36 36 Coming Out Vivienne Cass (1995) 123 IDENTITY CONFUSIONIDENTITY COMPARISONIDENTITY TOLERANCE Who am I? If what I do/think means that I’m not straight, does it mean that I’m gay? I must be different to everyone else. Where do I belong? What will other people think of me? I’m probably gay. I guess I can try and cope with it. I’d much rather be straight but I know I’m not. Thoughts, feelings and behaviors conflict with how the individual has been taught to see themselves. Fear of negative response from others. Self-esteem may suffer. Beginning to accept their homosexuality, which lessens their confusion whilst increasing feelings of isolation. Beginning to tell others. Fear of being “found out”. May begin to look for gay/lesbian contacts.

37 37 Coming Out Vivienne Cass (1995) 456 IDENTITY ACCEPTANCEIDENTITY PRIDEIDENTITY SYNTHESIS I know I’m gay and I have quite a few gay friends. I still haven’t told some people that I’m gay, but I probably will one day. I’m gay and it’s the best thing – better than being straight. I’m going to try and get really involved in gay rights and only mix with other gay, lesbian and bisexual people. I’m gay and that’s great, but I’m also a great friend/student/brother, etc. Individual now sees identity in a positive way. Development of friends/relationships with other gays. Identity is not yet public and the individual adopts a strategy of “fitting in”. Living openly and honestly as a gay/lesbian person. Becoming more aware of society’s expectations creates conflict, which may result in a feeling of gay pride. Open contact with heterosexuals who accept their identity allows an individual to again feel that they belong in society. Being gay/lesbian is no longer an issue and is now in context.

38 38 Coming out information Why do young people need to come out? It can be a vulnerable time What is important to say What not say to a student Some questions for a young person to consider when coming out

39 39 Coming Out SSA young people need to think through the issues and the potential impact of disclosing their sexuality. Some questions you could ask to assess the safety and readiness of a SSA young person in coming out: Can you sit down with your parents and talk openly about your sexuality? Should you tell them in a letter? Should you ask one of your siblings or a close friend to break the news? Should you tell just one parent and not the other? Should you let your parents know about your sexuality by dropping hints, or simply by introducing your partner and letting them draw their own conclusions? Do you think your friends would accept your sexuality? Would it be safer not to reveal your sexuality (and possibly your relationship)? What alternative financial resources are available to you if your family asks you to leave home? What is happening at home at present? Are there other issues of concern that your parents are dealing with? Have you considered your motives before telling your parents? In case there’s a negative response, are you sure there are supportive friends/people for you to depend on?

40 40 How to support a SSA young person It’s really important to respond in a positive way. Provide the young person with accurate information, including the fact that around 10% of young people are attracted to people of the same sex. Advise the young person of resources that exist such as internet sites, videos, books, etc. Talk to the young person about referral to an organisation that will provide support for same sex attracted young people If you don’t have any of this information yourself, offer to get it for them – without disclosing the student’s name to anyone (unless there is suicide risk of course). Carefully discuss how the young person is feeling about themselves and who else would be safe to talk to Discuss the young person’s thoughts about coming out to others – never encourage them to come out – they need to assess what the consequences may be.

41 41 Strategies for supporting SSAY 1. Listen, hear and understand the needs of a SSA young person 2. Assess the young person’s level of risk factors (including suicide risk) 3. Never assume you know the sexual orientation of anyone. 10% of people are SSA. 4. Use inclusive language that’s gender neutral. 5. Positively affirm the young person’s identity 6. Ensure student confidentiality 7. Discuss the young person’s thoughts about coming out including readiness for, and awareness of the risks associated with coming out. 8. Assess the level of support available to the young person 9. Know about resources and where to refer 10. Keep yourself informed

42 42 Creating SSAY friendly environments Created by Felicity Martin, Nillumbik & Banyule SSAY Support Project Modelling inclusiveness of all students, including those of different cultures, religions and sexual orientation, will say so much to a young person. Assume at least 10% of people are SSA Respond to homophobic abuse in the same way you’d respond to racism or sexism Display posters and brochures in pastoral care and welfare areas Buy books and videos for the school library Make every classroom a ”SEXISM, RACISM, HOMOPHOBIA–FREE ZONE” Include different family structures in any discussions on family and community Organise a whole school review of your anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies Ensure that school computers allow internet access to sites discussing SSA issues Be openly supportive towards, and a resource for, SSA young people in your school. Advertise the local SSAY social & support group Display rainbow stickers around the school.

43 43 Policies & frameworks for schools Framework for Student Support Services National Safe Schools Framework Talking Sexual Health The Victorian Equal Opportunity Act Codes of Conduct Health Promoting Schools MindMatters

44 44 What is a whole school approach? 1. Policy development 2. Professional development and training 3. Inclusive curriculum frameworks 4. Student support and welfare 5. The broader school community

45 45 Responding to homophobia at school Developed by Felicity Martin, SSA Project Worker, Nillumbik Community Health Centre, 2003 N: name the problem A: refer to the ‘agreement” ie: “our ground rules/policies say no put downs” C: give consequences – “If you use a put- down again you will have to follow disciplinary procedures”

46 46 Responding to comments aimed at people 1. “I’m not sitting next to her –she’s so gay.” “I don’t want to hear you putting people down” “A person’s sexual orientation is none of your business.” “Go away and do some research for me about the word ‘gay’” “This is regarded as harassment - go and read the policy on bullying, harassment and homophobia” 2. “He’s a poofta.” (A student explaining why they were aggressive towards another student.) “What has their sexuality got to do with the situation?” “How do you know the person is gay?” (Be aware of personal attacks) “This is regarded as harassment - go and read the policy on bullying, harassment and homophobia” 3. “We hate Ms Sing – she’s such a big lezzo.” “What do you mean by that?”

47 47 Responding to comments aimed at objects 1. “I’m not sitting at that desk - it’s gay.” “What do you mean it’s gay?” –questioning the response. “How can you tell if it’s happy or sad by looking at it – have you been talking to it?” “I didn’t know a desk could have a sexual orientation”. “Is it a boy desk that likes other boy desks or a girl desk that likes girl desks?” “We accept both gay and heterosexual desks in this classroom” “All desks are celibate here” (in a catholic or religious school) “You’re using a term to discriminate against people” 2. “This movie is so gay.” “Does it have a gay or lesbian theme?” “What’s a better word to explain what you mean?” “So are you saying you like it or you don’t like it?” “What do you mean by “gay” – in an emotional sense?”

48 48 Responding to comments aimed at objects 3. “We’re not getting in that car – Fords are gay.” “Are all Fords gay? – Falcons, Utes? Fords come in all shapes and sizes.” “If you were a Ford how would you feel?” “So you would prefer a Volvo?” “How can you tell?” “So you’d prefer to walk? Look what you’re missing out on.” “I really don’t like it when you talk like that.” “How would you feel if everything I didn’t like I called ‘het’?” “It’s got a steering wheel so it swings both ways.”

49 49 Some points to remember Silence Same sex attracted (SSA) young people attend your school For most of these students their experience is likely to be challenging There are options for supporting SSA students and addressing homophobia at your school Adapted from information by Daniel Witthaus, Pride and Prejudice program.


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