What Not to Say to Your LGBTQ+ Friends

By Jashel Negron
Blog Content Contributor

“I’m not homophobic or anything but…”

If you start a sentence with “I’m not homophobic or anything but…”, chances are what you’re about to say is definitely homophobic, or at least borderline homophobic (or transphobic, etc.), so don’t say it. What you could do instead is really think about what you’re about to say. If you still think it doesn’t sound homophobic, look it up. I promise someone else has already said what you’re about to say and has learned why it’s not okay. If you still can’t find it online, ask a friend what they think about it and get their opinion. Always educate yourself before saying anything that may potentially sound discriminatory in any way.

“Oh, I don’t care!”

If someone has just come out to you, you really shouldn’t say you don’t care. You should care. It is a part of who they are, and you should care that they trusted you enough to open up to you about it. It is important that people in the LGBTQ+ community feel important and cared for, especially in a time and place where hatred towards them is very common. Talk to them about it. If they don’t want to talk, then that’s fine, but let them know that you are there for them and that you do care.

“You’re basically my girlfriend”–Straight girl to their straight BFF

If you’re a straight girl and you refer to your BFF as your girlfriend (not like a girl who is a friend, but girlfriend because you guys are just oh, so close), don’t do it. It’s important to understand that gay women have come a long way to be taken seriously. For the longest time being lesbian was just seen as a phase you went through in college. Unless you and your friend are actually in a relationship, please just refrain from using the term “girlfriend.”

“But you don’t look gay”

Being gay is not a look. It’s not a style. It’s not a personality. It is who someone is. So erase everything in your head about what you think someone gay “looks” or “acts” like because it’s not true. You can’t just “tell” someone is gay by looking at them. You should never assume someone is gay just because they have a somewhat high-pitched voice or like “girly” things.

“That’s so gay”

thatI hear this phrase way too often. Being gay isn’t an insult. When you say “that’s so gay”, most of the time you’re using it with a negative connotation to it. Unless you’re saying it makes you happy, don’t use it as a way to describe something that you really want to describe as “lame” or “not cool.”

“Who’s the man/woman of the relationship?”

The whole point of being in a gay/lesbian relationship is that you’re dating someone of the same sex. There is no specific man/woman. They’re either both girls or they’re both guys, it’s just that simple.

Featured image by Jashel Negron.

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