Homophobic words, threats, or even violence can be very damaging to our sense of safety. Each person's response will be unique and may be different from situation to situation. Addressing homophobia without escalating the situation is the best option, but that's not always possible if you feel intimidated, threatened, or if you're not out of the closet. At Brown, you will find that you have allies and supports in students and student groups, in the staff and administration, and in the faculty.
Here are some ideas for ways to handle an incident of homophobia:
Assess your situation. Are you alone? Are you in any physical danger? Do you feel comfortable addressing the homophobia/biphobia or do you have a more immediate need to see to your safety?
If you feel that you're in any danger, try to leave the situation and get to a blue phone to call Public Safety (401.863-4111). If that's not possible look around and see if there's anyone else's help you can enlist. Don't be afraid to be loud and draw attention to yourself.
If you feel you can respond safely, try to respond in a way that does not escalate the situation.
You can get support from the LGBTQ Center (401.863-3062), the SHARE advocates in BWell (401.863-2794, [email protected]), or CAPS (401.863-3476).
You can also report harassment to Brown through the Title IX Office (401.863-2386, [email protected]) or the crime victim assistance program at the Department of Public Safety (863-2542).
Remember that if you've been harassed it's normal to feel upset, angry, scared or sad. Talk to someone you trust to help you work through your feelings and decide if there's something more you want to do. There is confidential help on campus including Counseling and Psychological Services, and the SHARE advocates in BWell.
[Homophobia is a term used to describe the fear of or aversion to homosexuality, or discrimination against people who are homosexual or perceived to be homosexual. It can also mean hatred, hostility, disapproval of, or prejudice towards LGBTQ people, sexual behavior, or cultures.]