LGBTQ / Skeiv at FHS?

How to be a good supporter

At Elverum Folk High School, students should experience that they are seen and have value regardless of religion, orientation, gender, culture, political opinion, background or disability.

Skewed is often used as a collective term for anyone who violates norms of gender and sexuality, but it can also be a synonym for 'gay'. It can often be difficult for those of us who are or wonder if they are queer, to tell those around us. How can you be a good supporter of someone who is queer?

Here are some tips:

  • Make sure there is a good and safe environment in the group of friends
  • Understand what the different terms mean and what they mean
  • Talk safe! Say "those of us who are .." instead of "the bisexuals" and so on
  • Show that you have a positive attitude towards diversity and that people are different
  • Make sure everyone feels included
  • Watch movies / series that show diversity
  • Show your support for LGBTQ when the topic comes up in conversations

When the person opens up or tells that they are queer:  

  • Know that for many, this can be a big vote of confidence in you when they tell, especially if the person has not said it to so many before or if it is the first time. Show yourself worthy of trust. Listen sincerely, ask open-ended questions and be appreciative.
  • Case information or trust? If it is a case information, it probably means that you do not need a longer conversation about the topic. If it is said as pure factual information, it is unnatural that you ask many private or related questions.
  • Let the person control who they want to tell it to and at their own pace. Do not tell others - even if you are sure that the person will not react negatively. The exception is if the person has said it is okay or if the person has specifically asked you to do so. Are you in doubt? Traces!
  • If applicable, ask what kind of pronoun he / she wants you to use and use it. The most common are she, he, hen or they.
  • Most people get better and feel a great relief from "getting out of the closet", but a good supporter should not force anyone or stress anyone until the person himself is ready and wants it. "Getting out of the closet" can have both major and negative consequences, such as breaking up with family, bullying in the workplace and so on.

It can be difficult to keep track of all the concepts if this is a little unfamiliar to you, especially in the beginning. You can read more about the concepts here. Remember that it is more important for the person that you are open and supportive, than that you use all terms correctly from the first moment!

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