L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
likely it is that others will be willing to
ple become disruptive, you may always
work on theirs.  Each of us has "pet
ask them to leave.  If you deal with the
peeves" that we must address during a
situation properly, however, this should
program or we feel it was a terrible pro 
not be necessary.  Many of the people
gram.  Find out what your own personal
who come to panels are the people who
peeves are and share them with your co 
least need to come, therefore most of
presenter(s).  Just remember, you need to
your audience will be sympathetic.  Use
work together.  
the supportive members of the audience
to help limit disrupters.
To facilitate this, you might want to
develop a "secret code" that you can use
Some audience members (particularly
to signal your partner(s) that they are tak 
men) will make faces or otherwise dis 
play discomfort when you discuss your
feelings, emotional and sexual, for some 
Occasionally you will find
one of the same gender.  Remember that
that you have a hostile audi 
is a reflection of them, and not of you.
ence.  Remember, you are
Try not to let it affect what you say.   
trying to educate.  Always
answer their questions hon 
It can be even more difficult when the
estly and seriously.  If peo 
audience is too friendly.  If the audience
ple become disruptive, you
is ignorant then you clearly have work to
may always ask them to
do.  If, on the other hand, they all know
what is "politically correct," then you
may feel as if you are not telling them
ing up too much time, or are stepping on
anything that they didn t already know.
your lines.  Also, it is strongly recom 
First, remember that just because they
mended that you relax together for five or
know facts from textbooks does not mean
ten minutes after the presentation to talk
that they have a true understanding of
and debrief with each other.  During this
what it is like to be lgbt.  If they are
time, please give each other positive
accepting of gay and lesbian civil rights,
feedback and constructive criticism.  
then you can focus on the more subtle
forms of homophobia, on inclusiveness,
Difficulties that you might face
and on activism by our straight allies.
Some panels will breeze by with simple
However, also bear in mind that what
questions and a warm and receptive audi 
individuals say and what they feel are fre 
ence.  Frequently, however, there will be
quently not the same.  Homophobic com 
a number of difficult situations that you
ments are generally conditioned by soci 
will have to deal with quickly and profes 
ety, but more and more people are finding
sionally. The best way to do this is to con 
homophobia to be socially unacceptable
tinually remember your task as a discus 
and they have learned to cover up their
sion facilitator and panel presenter.  
homophobic attitudes in public.  This
does not mean, necessarily, that they have
Occasionally you will find that you have
overcome their homophobia.
a hostile audience.  Remember, you are
trying to educate.  Always answer their
Other difficulties you may face include
questions honestly and seriously.  If peo 
your own nervousness and boredom.  At
1 2 8
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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