A Lesson Plan from Creating Safe Space for GLBTQ Youth: A Toolkit
Purpose: To give straight people an opportunity to experience the types of questions that are often asked of gay, lesbian, and/or bisexual people
Time: 40 minutes
Materials: Handout Heterosexual Questionnaire
- Explain to the group that, when gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are beginning to 'come out,' they are often asked questions that are nearly impossible to answer. In order to help participants understand the heterosexist bias* in our culture, you will ask them to grapple with these same questions in regard to heterosexuality.
- Say that you will give them each a handout. They will break up into groups of four or five and try to come up with answers. Say that you want them to try to answer each question as well as to react to the questions as a whole. Irrespective of each participant's sexual orientation, everyone should attempt to answer as though he/she is heterosexual.
- After about 10 minutes, ask everyone to reassemble in the large group. Ask the participants the Discussion Questions below.
- Did you find the questions hard to answer? Were some harder than others? Which? What, specifically, was so difficult?
- How did the questions make you feel?
- What does it say about our society that gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are asked similar questions?
- What can you do in the future if you hear someone asking such questions?
* Heterosexist bias, or heterosexism, is the assumption that everyone is, or ought to be, heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the only 'normal,' right, and moral way to be and that, therefore, anyone with a different sexual orientation is 'abnormal,' wrong, and immoral.