What can I do?

On this page you will find some initial information, tips and options for action ...

... on dealing with queer people and ways of life
in everyday life.

... by one
To create “Safe Space”.

... dealing with discriminatory behavior within groups.


In everyday life

How do you talk about homosexual or bisexual, trans *, queer or intersex people? Which terms are used to describe people or to devalue them? In school, university or at work, with friends or family or on the street, treating other people respectfully is unfortunately not yet a matter of course.

How can you specifically help in everyday life?

  • Listen, be attentive and react to discrimination, regardless of whether it happens unconsciously or ignorantly or is excused with “It's just youth language!” Or “That was not meant!”. You are not a triviality, but rather unreflected, group-related misanthropy.
  • Wear a button with a rainbow flag visible on your jacket or backpack or stick a rainbow sticker on your timer.
  • Include queer lifestyles in your language when talking about relationships. No matter with whom!
  • Make it clear in the conversation that people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans * or queer are part of it, are welcome and are supported by you.
  • Encourage other people to confide in you when they need someone to listen to them.

Create a "Safe Space"

If you deal openly and appreciatively with sexual and gender diversity, you make it visible and show your positive attitude towards the topic. People are more willing to open up when they feel safe and accepted and are met with trust. This safe environment is called "Safe Space".

What can you do to create a safe space? 

  • Before generally assuming that at least one person in the group is gay, lesbian, bi, trans * or queer. For example, if the conversation is about being in love, consider same-sex love as well.
  • Before generally assuming that at least one person in the group is gay, lesbian, bi, trans * or queer. For example, if the conversation is about being in love, consider same-sex love as well.
  • Use examples with queer people and lifestyles in the various units and treat them equally.
  • Provide information and material, e.g. display the general QueerTausch postcard flyer. But you can also wear a meaningful button or attach stickers visibly.
  • If you are unsure, you can always refer to QueerTausch.

What can you say or do in conversation?

  • Show joy in the willingness and courage to open up and want to talk.
  • Listen actively and empathetically and show your acceptance.
  • Ask what would be helpful and whether they want support without assuming that the person really needs it.
  • Discussions about such sensitive things must of course always take place confidentially!

Discriminatory behavior in groups

Discriminatory behavior and derogatory remarks unfortunately occur everywhere and should not be tolerated under any circumstances because they play down stigmatization. Sometimes they are expressed very consciously and aggressively (“This is so gay!”), Then it is often verbal attacks or even physical violence. But discrimination often happens rather unconsciously and is socially tolerated and learned. These are often so-called microaggressions, such as terms such as “gay”, “lesbian”, “tranny” or “fagot”, which are used in a derogatory way and thus specifically offend same-sex loving people. There is a similarly unreflected 'group-related misanthropy' (GMF) with the word “disabled”, for example.

How can you react in discriminatory situations?

  • If you register latently discriminatory statements and derogatory behavior in a group, you should respond to them and clearly contradict them. Do not be afraid to address prejudices directly and question their content. You can also point out that, especially in intercultural exchange, curiosity and respect for many types of diversity include - skin color, religion, social origin and also sexual and gender identity.
  • If a group member uses stereotypes when making statements (e.g. “the shoes are completely gay” for pink shoes), you can question these stereotypes in a conversation. You can fall back on concrete experiences: Do the group members have, for example, homosexual relatives or acquaintances? Are they all dressed in pink? Why do you associate pink with "gay"? And what do these associations say about prejudice against queer people?
  • If a member of the group uses “gay”, “lesbian” etc. synonymously for something bad, you can address this explicitly and try together to find other adjectives that describe what is actually meant, and not people in their use discriminate.