Remain Open

Initiate a conversation and approach people with an attitude of openness

Challenging people on homophobia, sexism and racism can often provoke resistance and defensiveness. By approaching them with an invitation (however firm) to exchange with us, rather than a confrontation, we can decrease (though never eliminate) the likelihood of resistance.

The goal is to break the silence and communicate that this issue is not taboo. People’s assumptions and beliefs will not change if they are not addressed and they are likely to shut down if they are approached with judgment and condemnation. Ideally, we will succeed in engaging the other person in a dialogue.

Teachers can initiate a conversation with open-ended questions such as:

  • "Where are you coming from with that comment?"
  • "What was that comment all about?"