Whenever I look at my students I am torn, assaulted by different emotions. Walking in the corridors I may hear the abusive term “faggot” addressed by one male student to another male student to joke or have fun. I feel sad, I wonder, what am I doing as a teacher if I can’t make my students understand that words can be loaded weapons? Words of abuse should never be used, least of all used “to have fun”. Aren’t I right? Abusive words hurt deeply, sometime hurt irrevocably. How can they be used “just to sound funny”? It is sad, but our society is growing full of paradoxes, so full that they become the norm to some people. Do I sound pessimistic? Am I turning into a dejected teacher, an educator who has lost her drive and passion? Hopefully NOT. I always try to look at the other side of the coin, that is I try to focus on the students who cherish my soul, who fill my heart with new hope. There are lots of students who are capable of great insight and deep feelings, empathy and understanding. You are those students. You decided to focus on a subject most students would never choose. I know you will stupify me and make me proud of having had the chance of working 5 whole years with you.
Have you ever witnessed any homophobic attitudes in your school? Have you ever heard of any? If so, what did you do?
The following video, taken from an interesting website, is my starting point for our project on homosexuality. I want to start with the issue of homophobia in schools.
Watch the video and jot down on a piece of paper some considerations. How did you feel after watching it? Do you find this video effective in its message, namely that of taking a stand against bullying homosexuals?
Now watch the following social ad, write down the words associated with a homosexual and think of at least one example to support the statements.
What steps would you take in your school to promote the awareness of the need to tackle the issue of homophobia? What would your slogan be? What video would you make to sensitise your peers? Would you celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia? How?
What are the words of abuse used towards homosexuals?
Watch the following video created by students like you. It raises lots of different issues. What are they?
Lots of famous people have taken a stance against homophobia. Read their words. Which statement do you feel closer to? Why?
Video by AnnaGiulia Nadin
Video by Xheni Mullahi
This powerpoint presentation by Priska Babuin may be of interest to you all.
These are the videos that Priska showed you in class, during her presentation. I want to share them on this blog just because some people may be interested and find them interesting.
Any artistic form of self-expression can be taken as an example to speak out and speak up against homophobia. There are many writers that deal with or hinted at homosexuality and film directors that investigate this issue. Rossana Solari presentation on the film adaptation of “My Beautiful Launderette” by Anif Kureishi is worth reading.
Some of you worked on the tragic case of Matthew Shepard, an American student who was beaten, tortured and left to die on the night of October 6, 1998 because he was gay. It was a case of gay bashing, of hate crime. Matthew’s parents founded the Matthew Shepard foundation in memory of their son, an LGBT non-profit organization.
The Laramie Project is a 2002 drama film written and directed by Moisés Kaufman. Based on the play of the same name, the film tells the story of the aftermath of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming. It premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.