L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
"We tried that 2 years ago; it won t work."
"That s too complicated; I could never do
that sort of thing!"
"Everybody s so apathetic; no one will do
"You don t really need me   ask Tiffany 
Amber.  She d be much better."
Some ways you can answer it:
First of all empathize and validate the
Some ways you can answer it:
person s feeling of despair.  It is based on
First of all, empathize and validate the
some reality.  Perhaps it is an over gener 
person s feeling of incompetence.  It is
based on some reality. Perhaps it s what
they ve been told all their lives.  Howev 
Find out exactly what they tried to
er, it is probably an over generalization
change, how they went about it, and
  everyone is good at something.
what happened. Point out the differ 
ences between this situation and that
Find out more about their life.  What
one, show how it s different and why;
have they done?  What interests do
they have?  What do they do for fun?
Show that some of the conditions on
Have they ever had a job?  Have they
campus (locally, in the state, country,
been on another campus?  Have they
world) have changed.  Now there are
helped take care of younger brothers
more people involved, there s more
and sisters?  From knowing them bet 
help.  Now there are heterosexual
ter you can guess some of the skills
allies also involved.  There is more
they may have.  Most people don  t
understanding of lgbt concerns by the
realize how much they know;
Find out what they are good at, and
Point out the alternative   doing
ask them to contribute that. "Oh you
nothing   isn t comfortable either;
like to cook; how about making some
doing nothing also has consequences.
cookies for our bake sale fund rais 
Suggest they try it for a few months
and then check in again.  Make a bet.
Ask what they really have to lose by
Ask them to keep you company while
trying again;
you do some lgbt group work.  Make
it something small and easy   going
Invite folks from other campuses to
on an errand, sitting in on a meeting,
visit, have them tell success stories;
listening while you make some phone
calls, walking around as you put up
leaflets.  Often by watching they can
Make light of the hopelessness:
see that the work is not as hard as they
"You re right, it s totally hopeless,
feared; and
guess we should just lie down and die.
Let s forget about it all and party."
Start very small:  "Would you drop
this letter in the mail for me?" Gradu 
ally work up to bigger things, giving
Low self esteem
encouragement and appreciation each
"I m not really good at anything."
step of the way.
3 2
B u i l d i n g   A   H e a l t h y   O r g a n i z a t i o n


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