The following is an interaction I witnessed a few days ago:
Teacher to male students: "You boys better not be looking at pictures of hot chicks on the Internet!"
Male student to teacher: "What if I'm looking at pictures of hot guys?"
Teacher to male student: "Then you've got bigger problems."
Male student to teacher: "Are you homophobic?"
Teacher to male student: "Not ordinarily, but in this case, yes, I am."
Not only was the first statement an incredibly inappropriate one made by said teacher, but the teacher admitted to being homophobic after being confronted by a student. "An overwhelming majority (92 percent) of GLBTQ students reported frequently hearing homophobic slurs, such as 'faggot,' 'dyke,' or 'that's so gay.' Moreover, schools' faculty and staff contributed to the problem by either making such comments themselves or failing to intervene when they overheard such remarks," (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/604-how-the-homophobic-climate-in-the-united-states-affects-glbtq-youth). How crushing must it be to hear your mentor, your guide, your teacher, tell you that something is wrong with you because of your sexuality? To openly share with you that they are against you? Comments like these, made by our teachers, also allow other students in the class to think it is okay to be homophobic/anti-LGBTQ+. I am incredibly disappointed to learn that homophobia is present in the teaching faculty of my school. I hope by posting this, I can instigate change. Many people who attend my school also read my blog, and I do hope that they will continue to speak out against homophobic comments. If you hear your friends doing what they call a "gay accent", that is homophobia; call them out on it. If someone calls something "gay", address that issue; "gay" in terms of identity is a sexual orientation, not an adjective to be used derogatorily. If a person you know speculates on the sexuality or gender identity of someone else, ask them to refrain from doing so. If a teacher says something homophobic, do not be afraid to speak up. If you remain silent when you could speak up, you are automatically on the side of the oppressor. Make your school a safe and loving environment for all, do not tolerate homophobia or anti-LGBTQ+ speech.