Peers Outsmarting Homophobia

Lynne Hillier
Description: Brochure of information about the myths regarding sexuality, youths’ personal experiences and how they overcome them.

Click to Download Full Version of the POSH Brochure

Keywords: POSH misunderstandings school education religion fear

a POSH production: Peers OutSmarting Homophobia
Today there are many beliefs and assumptions about same sex attraction and same sex attracted people and sadly, the best known of them are very negative and harmful. These negative beliefs were invented many years ago by the church, (homosexuality is a sin) psychiatry & psychology (homosexuality is an illness) and by the law (homosexuality is a crime) and they were used to stop people from having same sex sexual encounters and from feeling good about themselves.

Late last century it was realised that psychiatry, psychology and the law were wrong about homosexuality. In 1973, psychiatry removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders. The laws have been changed in all Australian states and territories to include homosexuality as part of the many legal ways of being sexual and many states have removed the discriminatory laws against same sex couples. Despite this the negative beliefs are still common in our culture. Some parts of the Christian church have also realised that they were wrong and the Uniting Church now ordains homosexual men and women. Many of the remaining Christian churches are divided and going through a process of change. Other religions have produced negative beliefs about homosexuality but we have restricted this booklet to Christianity because it is the dominant religion in Australia.

Introduction
Over the last eight years, we have collected autobiographical stories from over 2000 same sex attracted young Australians. What they have told us is that homophobic beliefs are often used as a form of abuse by other people and this causes a lot of hurt. However, these beliefs are especially a problem when young people believe in them or ‘wear’ them themselves. As Adrian said: When so many people tell you how disgusting you are you start to feel disgusting – but you don’t have to. In this booklet we use examples of the ways that same sex attracted young people turn these harmful, negative, assumptions upside down and create positive ones. Young people outsmart homophobia by changing, ignoring, resisting and faulting these beliefs and finding new more positive ones to ‘wear’.

But if you have other beautiful, warm soft and silky clothes to wear you’ll feel good when you wear them. If you have found other beliefs or strategies to outsmart. We’ve divided the beliefs into five overall sections based on the negative beliefs and ways to outsmart them.

Homosexuality is a sin
Homosexuality is a mental illness
Homosexuality is unnatural
Homosexuality is a phase
Homosexuals live lonely miserable lives

We’ve also included a background to the beliefs and some useful links.

If you have ways of outsmarting homophobia that you’d like to tell us about please email us at ssay@latrobe.edu.au and visit our website at latrobe.edu.au.

What we are presenting here for you are examples of the many ways same sex attracted young people outsmart homophobia with new positive beliefs that feel great to wear. Have a look at them, try them out and think about creating new ones.

It’s like your clothes. If the only clothes you have to wear are dirty, itchy and smelly, you’ll feel miserable when you wear them.

Acknowledgments
Concept and content developed by:
Lynne Hillier
Anne Mitchell
Nicole Besley
Andrew Lavin

Design and layout:
Alina Turner

Photography:
Angela Bailey

Actors:
Young Gay & Lesbians Around Moreland (YGLAM)
ARCSHS

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