L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
strength.  We have a story to tell, one that
The Tasks of a Speaker
most people have never heard.
1. Raise awareness and increase sensitiv 
ity by demystifying lgbt people through
Because no presentation is long enough
recounting personal experiences.  Give a
to cover all of the issues that need to be
personal perspective on homophobia.
addressed, certain topics have been prior 
Simply being told, "Homophobia is
itized over others.  Although a great
wrong!" is not very effective, and it is too
many topics may be covered it is impor 
abstract a statement to have much mean 
tant for there to be a focus.  The purpose
ing.  Therefore, we must give examples
of a speakers bureau presentation is to
of how homophobia has touched us in our
raise awareness of, and to increase sensi 
lives.  We also need to share the positive
tivity to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans 
sides of our lives;
gender Issues.  This is necessary because
2. Answer questions related to current
we live in a culture that is heterosexist.
lgbt issues when you can. General ques 
Historically, lgbt people have been con 
tions related to families, relationships,
sidered physically and mentally ill, sin 
civil rights and current lgbt issues in the
ful, criminals, and worse.  By combining
media are very common.  In answering
personal experiences with facts, the type
these questions be careful to not answer
of education provided by a speakers
questions that you do not know the
bureau can be on the front line in the
answer to.  It is impossible to know the
struggle against homophobia.
current status of every civil rights issue
related to the lgbt community.  If, for
Perhaps our most important task is to de 
example, you don't know how many
mystify gay men, lesbians, bisexual and
states have passed anti discrimination
transgender people.  There remain many
legislation related to sexual orientation,
people who have never met  a real live
simply say you are not sure or you don't
gay person" before.  As many of the
questions and follow up comments indi 
cate, many heterosexuals are often
3. Share your feelings about homophobia
amazed that lgbt people lead  normal 
and how it has affected you;
lives, with values, beliefs and  a
lifestyle  that is strikingly similar to their
own.  They are also able to begin to com 
4. Tell the audience that they have a role
in the eradication of homophobia and het 
erosexism, that they can help.  Provide
concrete actions that they can take to
Perhaps our most important
help, for instance:
task is to de mystify gay
men, lesbians, bisexual and
transgender people.
Don t make gay jokes;
Don t abide gay jokes from your
prehend the complex range of personal
friends, family, or dorm mates.  Tell
strength as well as painful struggle that
them you don't find them funny;
for many lgbt people  is directly related to
having a romantic and sexual attraction
Realize that when gay people hold
disapproved of by many in society.
hands or kiss in public, they feel so 
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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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