Im not gay or from another country but I think I might be more offended by racism and stuff more than some people who arent from Australia. I live in a small town with alot of farms and stuff so a general "redneck" attitude to things is not in short supply. I get so angry when people make fun of my gay friend and have got into fights in his defense, as well as got into heated debates about racism. Any ideas on how to either stop them being such inconsiderate, outdated dick heads or on how I can stop taking it so personally??
I think its really hard to try and change people in terms of their ideas, or behaviours. Ultimately we all come from different backgrounds, which can make us alittle naive to how we perceive the world around us. We all have to learn to except this reality to the best of our ability. We will come across people who agree with us or we agree with them, as well as vice versa. This is what creates diversity.
At the end of the day I don't think we can push our ideas on to anyone, sometimes that breeds further resistance or as you have experienced disagreements. So sometimes when I do not agree with an idea or opinion I try to think of why/ the reasons a person may have different views to mine.
Sometimes silence says more than words as well - so it can be about picking your moments to debate issues about homophobia and racism. Just because you don't speak up does not mean you have accepted another persons views. But internally you can acknowledge their ideas, digest them and try to get on with your day.
If something really bothers you its also great to confide in a close friend or family member - where you can fully express yourself without the chance of getting into an argument.
Hope this helps in a way. Its defintely more than okay to have strong feelings, opinions and views about issues important to us.
Hey @paris149 !!! I can totally relate! Issues of injustice - like racism and homophobia, really affect me and the reality of all the horrible things that happen to people because of it really hurts. When I was younger I spent a loit of my teens and early twenties getting really angry about it and wanting to confront every person I saw being sexit, racist, homophobic etc and tell them what an arsehole they were being. By the way while I agree with Lea that diversity is essential, I have to respectfully disagree that views that discriminate have any place in our society whatsoever.
However what I found was, and I think might be what you are starting to find - is that it is really draining and frustrating at first to be having confrontations all the time and then the monotony of seeing so much injustice everywhere can cause a slump and it can really wear you down...
So let me tell you what I have learnt at my ripe old age:
1. Instead of always going out into the world trying to change what you don't like, balance it out with putting your energy into creating the type of world that you do want to see starting with yourself. Live to your ethics and values and create spaces in your life and community that are free of racism/homophobia etc and put your time into volunteering with projects that also create the world you'd like to see (like volunteer with an organisation who does something you admire)
2. Make sure you have lots of people in your life that are likeminded that you cut loose with, talk to and support each other.
3. Pick your battles "know when to hold em, know when to fold em" - some people are just not worth it.
4. The battles that you DO choose, pick your approach wisely - think about what you want to get out of the conversation. If you goal is to truely change their mind, attacking them is not going to work. That will make them more defensive. Approach the situation with understanding and with the desire to truely communicate. However, in another situation goal might be to a supportive bystander to your friend who has just been bullied because of their sexuality (for example), then it might just be about letting everyone else around you know that you do not accept of condone that behaviour so being a bit more confrontational might be ok. Does that make sense?
5. Look after yourself and read/watch lots about people who have affected real positive social change, and don't stop beleiving it's possible to rid the world of homophobia and racism!!!!!!!!!!!