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  #21  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:21
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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I have to unfortunately agree: homophobia in schools is also rife. My 10 year old already is starting to build prejudices based on jokes his "mates" in school are making about one particular boy who simply doesn't look as macho as the rest and doesn't want to play their (mostly incredibly stupid) games. My problem is that parents have a huge role to play here but mostly I don't see this happening. I have forced our son to invite the boy to playdates, bday parties, etc, but he seems shunned in general and teachers are completely ok with that. "They sort themselves out". Well, mostly, they actually don't
If you contact FELS, they can arrange, with the school, to give a presentation.

FELS = Freunde und Eltern von Lesben und Schwulen (Friends and Parents of Lesbians and Gays) is a nationwide Swiss organisation, and it is that corresponding organisation to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

http://www.fels-eltern.ch/
https://www.facebook.com/felseltern/

These parents and grandparents visit schools by appointment, and explain how their own families work.

For example: I spoke to a retired businessman, himself straight, who said he had two children, now both adults, both having completed a qualification and both working. In such a presentation, he tells this to schoolchildren, and shows them photos of his family and tells them about his - very ordinary - background and life. Then he speaks about having hopes and dreams for his children, as they grew up, and how he feels sad for them whenever they stumble and fall, and proud of their successes, and loves them anyway, regardless. Then he tells them about his daughter's ideas for her life, and his son's for his. One is gay, one is straight. And then he explains how they're treated differently, and don't have the same rights by law, and how this makes him personally both sad and angry.

In a school near where I once lived, there was such a little girl, the corresponding non-stereotypical person to the boy in your son's class. Another girl in the neighbourhood told me about how that girl "wasn't normal" and was "sick" and "weird" because she played football with the boys and didn't care about her hair. She said "she's a lesbian, that's what's wrong with her". She told me that none of the girls ever wants to play with that girl, and that the boys also think she's weird. They were all aged about 8 or 9 at the time.

So I explained that "being a lesbian" is not anything "wrong with her". And that both lesbians, gay males, and straight people come in all shapes and sizes, and some do and some don't like football, and some do and some don't care about their hair. And and that anyway, everyone should be allowed to be whoever they are, just as they are, and love whomever they will, without pressure to be someone else.

Afterwards, I contacted the school to tell them about FELS, and contacted FELS to tell them about the school. And then I waited. I'm not a parent at that school, so I didn't know if the matter was being taken up.

Some months later, the same neighbour girl told me that "these lovey, kind, old [sic.] people" had come to talk to them about how sad and angry they feel, when things aren't fair, for their children. As far as I could tell, there was no mention at all of the girl-who-was-different, in other words, this matter was not approached in the sense of mediation or team-building, just information from nice old (from her perspective) people.

A few months later, she told me that she had been thinking a lot about what those nice people had said. And then she had actually asked the football-girl whether she was a lesbian.

The football-girl had replied: "I don't know."
Then she had said: "Well, I want you to know that I've decided that I don't care."

With that, she had meant: "I've understood that it is not a relevant factor for anything, and you are you and that's okay," but her when her "I don't care" slipped out, it sounded all mixed-up and that her awkwardness had made them all laugh, in a good way. She said: "I was the one being weird, not her," from then on that football-girl was also included with the rest of the class.

Thank you FELS, thank you FELS, thank you FELS.

Last edited by doropfiz; 10.02.2020 at 20:46. Reason: typo
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  #22  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:21
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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Homophobia among teenagers definitely exists as does young men drawing penises in their books. I think it has to do with finding themselves in the onslaught of puberty. Most grow out of it once they reach adulthood. I’m not excusing it but summarizing what I see. However, I find today’s youth far more tolerant than in the past.

I’ve always thought gay men were more prone to homophobic remarks than gay women.
It’s like me saying that I’ve always thought that people of certain Asian origins are more prone to certain traits. Ridiculous (PS in my complete and utter incomprehension on your remark, I gave you 5 plus reps instead of 5 minus reps.)
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  #23  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:25
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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The extrapolation was 62% yes at 14.48h today. German.
I expected more but it can still change.

MvTavge, you were a bit late calling people to vote?


What special rights? The right not to be attacked for being perceived as part of a group?
Bad enough it is necessary at all. Don't feel generous about it!


I did wear my rainbow bracelet (father's day present from my daughter!) all week! One can be a rather "discreet militant", if there is such a thing! It did trigger a few questions, which enabled then a sensible discussion on homophobia and prejudice generally. So, every little step matters!
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  #24  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:31
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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If you contact FELS, they can arrange, with the school, to give a presentation.

FELS = Freunde und Eltern von Lesben und Schwulen (Friends and Parents of Lesbians and Gays) is a nationwide Swiss organisation, and it is that corresponding organisation to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

http://www.fels-eltern.ch/
https://www.facebook.com/felseltern/

These parents and grandparents visit schools by appointment, and explain how their own families work.

For example: I spoke to a retired businessman, himself straight, who said he had two children, now both adults, both having completed a qualification and both working. In such a presentation, he tells this to schoolchildren, and shows them photos of his family and tells them about his - very ordinary - background and life. Then he speaks about having hopes and dreams for his children, as they grew up, and how he feels sad for them whenever they stumble and fall, and proud of their successes, and loves them anyway, regardless. Then he tells them about his daughter's ideas for her life, and his son's for his. One is gay, one is straight. And then he explains how they're treated differently, and don't have the same rights by law, and how this makes him personally both sad and angry.

In a school near where I once lived, there was such a little girl, the corresponding non-stereotypical person to the boy in your son's class. Another girl in the neighbourhood told me about how that girl "wasn't normal" and was "sick" and "weird" because she played football with the boys and didn't care about her hair. She said "she's a lesbian, that's what's wrong with her". She told me that none of the girls ever wants to play with that girl, and that the boys also think she's weird. They were all aged about 8 or 9 at the time.

So I explained that "being a lesbian" is not anything "wrong with her". And that both lesbians, gay males, and straight people come in all shapes and sizes, and some do and some don't like football, and some do and some don't care about their hair. And and that anyway, everyone should be allowed to be whoever they are, just as they are, and love whomever they will, without pressure to be someone else.

Afterwards, I contacted the school to tell them about FELS, and contacted FELS to tell them about the school. And then I waited. I'm not a parent at that school, so I didn't know if the matter was being taken up.

Some months later, the same neighbour girl told me that "these lovey, kind, old [sic.] people" had come to talk to them about how sad and angry they feel, when things aren't fair, for their children. As far as I could tell, there was no mention at all of the girl-who-was-different, in other words, this matter was not approached in the sense of mediation or team-building, just information from nice old (from her perspective) people.

A few months later, she told me that she had been thinking a lot about what those nice people had said. And then whe had actually asked the football-girl whether she was a lesbian.

The football-girl had replied: "I don't know."
Then she had said: "Well, I want you to know that I've decided that I don't care."

With that, she had meant: "I've understood that it is not a relevant factor for anything, and you are you and that's okay," but her when her "I don't care" slipped out, it sounded all mixed-up and that her awkwardness had made them all laugh, in a good way. She said: "I was the one being weird, not her," from then on that football-girl was also included with the rest of the class.

Thank you FELS, thank you FELS, thank you FELS.


What a LOVELY story! Thank you!
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  #25  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:38
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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Homophobia among teenagers definitely exists as does young men drawing penises in their books. I think it has to do with finding themselves in the onslaught of puberty. Most grow out of it once they reach adulthood. I’m not excusing it but summarizing what I see. However, I find today’s youth far more tolerant than in the past.
Olygirl, what do you mean by "Most grow out of it once they reach adulthood."? Do you mean they're no longer drawing penises in their books? Or that they're no longer homophobic? Or that they're no longer gay?
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  #26  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:40
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

When I first arrived in Switzerland quite a long time ago, I was banned (or driven-out) from EF, because my posts indicated (just a little) that I may be gay and female. The posts and personal messages that I got from that time were truly terrible.

When I rejoined in 2015 and left the gay bit out, then things normalized. I hope that history does not repeat itself here, because amongst well informed people, this is not even something with discussion anymore. It is normal.

If anyone living in Zurich doesn‘t like it, then I‘d recommend moving elsewhere. Unless you dislike living in a City that has a female (and openly gay) Stadtspräsident:

https://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/prd/de/...esidentin.html
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  #27  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:52
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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Olygirl, what do you mean by "Most grow out of it once they reach adulthood."? Do you mean they're no longer drawing penises in their books? Or that they're no longer homophobic? Or that they're no longer gay?
I meant:
1. They no longer draw penises
3. They understand sexuality (theirs and others) much better

I definitely did not mean they are no longer gay.

Look, my comments were not meant to be homophobic and they were based on my experiences only. If you want to attack me for being something I’m not, be my guest but that puts you in the same righteous boot as you are fighting against.
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  #28  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:54
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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I’ve always thought gay men were more prone to homophobic remarks than gay women.
I think that - sadly - you are not alone in having thought this. It is, however, not the true situation.

The fact is that many gay people, whether male or female, do not fulfil the extreme clichés. The photojournalists at a gay pride parade are more likely to take a shot of the fun man dancing in a pink tutu, or the one in BDSM leathers and chains, than the many, many, completely non-flamboyant other gay people. That man dressed up, for the day, in his tutu, may be your soberminded accountant on all the other days.

Sadly, both gay men and lesbians, and transgender people, and also people who are rightly or wrongly presumed to be gay, lesbian or transgender in Switzerland are subjected, all too often, to homophobic remarks and behaviour.

The following list is of real instances all taken from Swiss urban life, during the past 15 years or so.
  • Eye-rolling, hissing, demonstrative shudders.
  • Being spat on in the train.
  • Being told that there is no table free at the restaurant, while visibly straight people were being admitted without a reservation. (In that case, a straight couple who did not know the lesbian couple, saw what was happening, beamed at his wife, turned to the waiter and said: "Oh, they're with us!" and all four were seated at a table together, and had a lovely evening).
  • Being turned away from hotels, overtly because "we don't let peverted women sleep here".
  • Having remarks called out.
  • Being ostracised from their families, even so far as to become homeless, even as minors.
  • Being excluded from former friends.
  • Being excommunicated from religious circles.
  • Being thrown off the sports team.
  • Being being told not to renew their gym memberships here.
  • Being approached by random strangers on the street to tell them they'd better desist (from holding hands, from being gay) or they'd be going straight to hell.
  • Being followed on the street for several blocks by someone quoting Bible verses and inviting them to church so they could be healed from the sickness (In this case, the lesbian couple were so shocked that they couldn't react, and that went on until a family with children suddenly spoke up and said: "Hey, come with us, we're just getting on this tram!")
  • Standing in hospital with the whole family gathered to welcome the new neice, and an announcement being made that the new baby should never, ever be placed in the arms of this one.
  • Being being told they ought to be ashamed of themselves sitting there in the park, holding hands when there were children around.
  • Being dismissed from a job once they'd been "outed" by someone else.
  • Being told that they'd been disregarded for the promotion because "we know you're gay, but this job needs someone responsible"
  • Hearing parents being asked whether they had - as opposed to this one standing right here - a "real" son or daughter.
  • Threats of physical violence including, for women, being threatened with so-called "corrective rape" (uggghhh!!!!)
  • Suicide, because they just could no longer take the pressure of the discrimination.
  • Real violence.

So, it's real.

Having said that, I observe that things are getting better, particularly in that straight people are more willing to stand up and speak out against those practicing the homophobia. And also because of the tireless work of FELS. And of good fathers like McTAVGE, who goes out there wearing his rainbow bracelet, and engages in sensible discussions. We have a long road before us, but it is getting better.
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  #29  
Old 09.02.2020, 15:55
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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I meant:
1. They no longer draw penises
3. They understand sexuality (theirs and others) much better

I definitely did not mean they are no longer gay.

Look, my comments were not meant to be homophobic and they were based on my experiences only. If you want to attack me for being something I’m not, be my guest but that puts you in the same righteous boot as you are fighting against.
Olygirl, I think you misunderstood me. I was not attacking you in any way, but trying to understand what you had meant.

For me, your post was written ambiguously, or at least, I didn't get what you meant. That's why I asked for clarification, which you have now given. Thank you.
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  #30  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:04
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

I recognise quite a few of your points in what my daughter had to endure. the "corrective rape" threat was a regular one at school. However, in all fairness, the school did raise the issue and supported her, giving her help with setting up a whole assembly on the topic. She was also allowed to set up a support club for LGBT students and anyone victim of homophobia.


After her assembly, quite a lot of boys came to apologise for their comments and a Saudi boy even said he admired her for her guts and bravery, even though it was discouraged to express such views in his culture.


So, there is hope after all!
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  #31  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:05
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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I think that - sadly - you are not alone in having thought this. It is, however, not the true situation.

The fact is that many gay people, whether male or female, do not fulfil the extreme clichés. The photojournalists at a gay pride parade are more likely to take a shot of the fun man dancing in a pink tutu, or the one in BDSM leathers and chains, than the many, many, completely non-flamboyant other gay people. That man dressed up, for the day, in his tutu, may be your soberminded accountant on all the other days.
I have to agree, I don‘t really understand the LGBTQ+ parades, and as well don‘t understand why everyone is put into the same „pot“. It‘s all completely different, as are we all.
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  #32  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:10
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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According to 20minuten the majority voted yes


Philip Schofield, welcome to Switzerland! https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/feb/09/phillip-schofield-i-suspected-i-was-gay-when-i-got-married
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  #33  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:14
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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I recognise quite a few of your points in what my daughter had to endure. the "corrective rape" threat was a regular one at school. However, in all fairness, the school did raise the issue and supported her, giving her help with setting up a whole assembly on the topic. She was also allowed to set up a support club for LGBT students and anyone victim of homophobia.


After her assembly, quite a lot of boys came to apologise for their comments and a Saudi boy even said he admired her for her guts and bravery, even though it was discouraged to express such views in his culture.


So, there is hope after all!
Where did your daughter go to school, because my daughter grew-up with me in Zurich with a female partner or two, and found it cool.
She has the same friends since decades (and is wonderful).
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  #34  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:17
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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Where did your daughter go to school, because my daughter grew-up with me having a female partner, and found it cool.
SHe has the same friends since decades.


THE International School of Geneva.
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  #35  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:23
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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THE International School of Geneva.
International Schools are of course a nation within themselves. I‘m so sorry that your daughter had to go through that.

But she has a great parent.
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  #36  
Old 09.02.2020, 16:41
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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And why would you think that
Because that part of her post at east is true... men have an ingrained machoism and sens of masculine pride that makes homosexuality among men more taboo and unacceptable than women and makes them more prone to remarks, abuse and violent attacks. Also obviously men find woman on woman sexuality alluring and base lots of fantasies around it... whereas women generally don't do the same for gay men.

Of course violence and abuse happens against homosexuals of both sexes as we saw in London last year, but I would say that historically men have always been traditionally more ostracised and at risk.

Anyway it's a moot point in this case and it's never acceptable in any situation to any gender.

Last edited by Chuff; 09.02.2020 at 17:48.
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  #37  
Old 09.02.2020, 17:03
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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I meant:
1. They no longer draw penises
3. They understand sexuality (theirs and others) much better
May be they do in Kanton Schwyz?
(one of the three Kantons that voted No).
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  #38  
Old 09.02.2020, 17:10
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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Because that part of her post at east is true... men have an ingrained machoism and sens of masculine pride that makes homosexuality among men more taboo and unacceptable than women and makes them more prone to violent attacks. Also obviously men find woman on woman sexuality aluring and base lots of fantasies around it... whereas women generally don't do the same for gay men.

Of course violence and abuse happens against homosexuals of both sexes as we saw in London last year, but I would say that historically men have always been traditionally more ostracised and at risk.

Anyway it's a moot point in this case and it's never acceptable in any situation to any gender.
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  #39  
Old 09.02.2020, 17:33
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

76.31% for Canton Geneva and 78.5% for our little village, which shows that rural community does not always equate to small-mindedness! And my rainbow bracelet got more people talking at the bakery this morning!
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  #40  
Old 09.02.2020, 17:43
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Re: In support of my gay daughter...

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76.31% for Canton Geneva and 78.5% for our little village, which shows that rural community does not always equate to small-mindedness! And my rainbow bracelet got more people talking at the bakery this morning!
Which bakery is that - gotta go there!
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