Teenagers Share Their Feelings about Racist and Homophobic Friends and Family Members.


Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons

James Newman, Advice Columnist

Teenagers all across America and other countries have either witnessed or experienced racism and or homophobia at least once in their life. Sadly, that is the truth of a far from an “equal” world. In a world filled with discrimination, students who are POC and or part are of the LGBTQ+ community have had to deal with this for a long time. 

During the pandemic, we all witnessed the horror which was the murder of George Floyd, and with that the uprise of angry citizens all over the world resulting in riots and protests. But with that also came the many racists to poke their heads out and put in their comments. Christina Morales from the NY times wrote about why it’s important to educate people about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Morales reported that “Jessica Piccari said she was at her wit’s end with some family members. At a birthday party, Ms. Piccari, 18, heard her grandmother’s sister use a racial slur. Shocked, she told her it was racist: “You cannot say that. That’s not OK. Despite her repeated protests, Ms. Piccari said some family members continue to use slurs and express their disapproval of the protests in front of her. She also worries that her best friends and boyfriend, who are Black, could end up the target of violence by the police or opponents of the protesters.” 

Although we love our families doesn’t mean that’s they are always right and fair when they should be and that’s why we can’t let them dampen our flame for justice and we just need to continue even when we might not have their support and when it comes to educating them just like what happened to Piccari, they may not always listen.

I asked freshman, Will Endlich if he could share an experience he had with a racist family member and Endlich said “one time with family like 3 years ago when my grandpa that we don’t see very often commented on an African American football player being accused of abusing his wife. he said, “I’m not racist but why do black people do this?” My whole family was very uncomfortable and told him to stop talking and we barely spoke to him.” 

Kerrie Main from Lovetoknow.com wrote, ”Educate yourself on why someone may be homophobic. For example, some people have never knowingly had a friendship with a gay person and simply do not understand homosexuality, while others may be secretly ashamed of their homosexual desires. In families where one or more person is homosexual, sibling rivalry may play a role.” 

Homophobic people may have these prejudices because of truths that they aren’t willing to face. So they take their hate towards themselves and turn it over on to you. And you need to be wary of that because those people are struggling internally and shame can make someone do some very bad things.

Endlich also told me about being with Homophobic friends “I’ve heard so many homophobic and transphobic remarks in my life it’s insane. being around “friends” who make fun of lgbt+ people and say the f slur hurts so much because I was in the closet during most of my life. I still can’t really accept myself because of these people.” 

Freshman Vivian Minnick shared her feelings about homophobic and racist people. She said “it makes me feel disgusted that people can even say and think things like that. it also makes me uncomfortable” and “When I hear people being like that it almost makes me want to hide the fact that I am [bisexual] because of fear of them doing something”

It is ridiculous that our teens feel this way in 2020. There is a way for us to make our teens feel safer and included. You have to try and educate those in the wrong; it may be difficult but it must be done. The reason why it’s important to educate people is so that they may see the error of their ways and make sure that they turn over a new leaf and start going on a great path.  That being said some people are just willfully ignorant and full of hate. So you also have to know when someone is a lost cause for the moment. But if we don’t educate them and all we do is chastise; more resentment and hate will grow. It’s important to see the story from both sides and help the situation.