What to Do About Homophobic Friends

upset teen boy listening to friends talking
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A lot of teens have homophobic friends, and dealing with them is not always as easy as simply ditching them and moving on. Whether they're overtly homophobic in their words and actions or tend to casually dismiss things they don't like by saying things like "that's so gay" in a derogatory way, this behavior is hurtful and unacceptable. So, what should you do when you have homophobic friends? 

What to Do When You Have Homophobic Friends

You certainly have the right to completely dissolve your friendship, and that's what a lot of people do. But sometimes that option doesn't always make sense. Here are some more ideas to help teens deal with homophobic friends:

  • Call them out. If some one makes a comment you find offensive, say so.
  • Educate. A lot of people don't realize that what they are saying is offensive. Learning about GLBT issues can go a long way in reducing homophobia.
  • Get allies. Is there one homophobe in your group? It's likely that you aren't the only one who is bothered by his or her comments. Consider aligning with other friends to make it clear that your group doesn't think this person's comments are cool.
  • Come out. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans, come out. Studies have found that people who know gay people are less likely to be homophobic than those who don't.

Often the most painful homophobia comes from people who are close to us. But those people can also be the easiest to reach.