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Reply #50: It may depend on how you approach it [View All]

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Ms. Toad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-09-06 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #33
50. It may depend on how you approach it
I have had great success (on other issues - rape and death penalty) by speaking one on one with individuals who have made hurtful comments, affirming their worth (often I can honestly say something like, "we have spent a fair amount of time together, and I know from watching how you treat others you would never deliberately hurt someone," then moving into - "but something you said recently hurt me very deeply and here is why," particularly if I can speak personally to the matter (it was painful to hear that comment about me, my brother, sister, father, etc.)

Can't tell you it works for non-gay folks on this issue, since I am speaking as a lesbian who has been out for 25+ years.

Another place you can be effective (even more so than me) is in public speaking. When I go speak somewhere and the ONLY thing that people know about me is that I am gay it does not have nearly the same impact as my one on one contacts, where people often learn I am gay after they have come to know and respect me for a whole host of other reasons. I think folks who don't have a direct stake in the issue are generally more effective in cold forums (i.e. they don't know me first). Contact your local or state Equality group - many of them have speakers' bureaus.

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