Think before you speak
We often uses words without really thinking about it. We might say things like "You throw like a girl", "You're acting like a boy" or "That’s really gay!".
When you don't really think about those statements, they might sound funny or like a simple thing to say. But they can actually be hurtful and demotivating to the other person.
Have you ever wondered why we even say these things? Maybe it's because of what we’ve seen or heard growing up. Maybe you’ve heard that girls are weak and cry a lot. Or that boys are rude, rough and don't care about anything. Or that being gay means being weird or more like a girl or even weak.
When you're younger you're even more likely to believe these things because your friends believe it. These statements that we use (saying that 'girls', 'boys', 'lesbians' or 'gay people' are a certain way) is called generalising. This means that you assume people have certain characteristics (types of behaviour) just because they belong to a certain group.
It is also discrimination. If you've ever said these things before, you might be surprised that it’s considered discrimination, especially if you knew that you didn't mean to offend anyone. Most of the time this simply comes from a lack of understanding chomas.
Before you say "You're such a girl", "You're being so gay" or "You're acting like such a boy" ask yourself: Would a girl, boy or anyone who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered be offended? If I was a girl, boy or someone who was gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, would I be offended?
If you're using those terms to make fun of someone, then you're probably being offensive.
The truth is, it’s not fair or right to make fun of a group of people and assume that they have characteristics that make them weak. I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if someone treated you differently or teased you just because you’re from a certain culture or race. It also wouldn’t be nice if they say that you’re just like everyone in that culture or race. It’s the same with gender and sexuality. Being a girl or boy or being a girl who likes girls or a boy who likes boys, doesn’t make someone completely different to you and it doesn’t mean that they are like every other person in that group.
If you consider yourself to be a unique and special person, then remember that other people are also unique and special. So try not to use statements such as "like a girl", "like a boy", "gay", "queer" and other hurtful sayings. Maybe it will also help to make friends with more people from different backgrounds so that you see how your ideas about certain groups may have been wrong. This will make you more likely to think before you speak.
Have you ever said something to someone that you didn't know was hurtful chomas? Let me know in the comments.
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