I wrote: I just wanted to tell you that I am really enjoying your class so far. I think that you are very good at getting the class to think about our society and they way that we treat one another. However, I am uncomfortable in your class at times because of the way that you handle the topic of homosexuality when it is brought up. Yesterday in class when you asked what were some words that we call women who aren't 'ladies' and that are are more strongwilled, one girl said Dykes. You laughed at it as did the class. You didn't ask for other words which implied that 'yes, it's okay to assume that'. As a lesbian, I was very upset that you didn't continue and ask if there were other words that we call women. When we were talking about men, you let the conversation go on about 'sissies, pansies, wusses'. I do not feel that it is safe for me to talk in the classroom because of the way that we talk about homosexuality. I want to be sure that the class is recieving accurate information. The classroom situation is very intimidating to me at times because of you using the word 'choice' along with gay and lesbian almost every time that you mention it. Also, when you talk about relationships and give examples, it is always heterosexual. I am excluded from these conversations because I am not heterosexual. In my opinion, I do not feel that it is fair to assume we are all heterosexual because it makes some of us feel very different. I think the use of 'significant other' or 'partner' would be even better. I helped with the LGBT Students in the Classroom workshop for teachers at the beginning of the semester. I can give you some information about making your classroom feel safer if you would like. I look forward to hearing back from you. he wrote: Thanks for drawing my attention such an important issue. My the examples I used in class about males and females did not have sexual orientation in mnd. I brought the female and female example up to show the bias in society. What I suggested was that when men get their way that is seen as normal but if a female tries to do the same thing society tends to see that as unacceptable. I totally agree with you about double standards we have in society about gender, sexual orientation, race and class. The question about ladies who are strong will applies to all women.
Please come and see me on monday before class so we can talk about this issue. I brought the sexual orientation up as example to show how some people have been marginalized and treated as second class citizens in society for long time and continues to suffer prejudice. I think that we share the same feeling.
I am sure you also remember I quoted research to show that there is nothing normal about heterosexuality and that society defines what it considers "normal". I strongly believe that terms used for heterosexual relationshipe should also be used for homosexual relationships.