What to do when you hear homophobic comments…

Posted On: June 3, 2020

On 17 July 2019, I responded to a Facebook group about how to deal with homophobic comments.
Even though I’m a sexuality educator, I have done nothing when I’ve heard people “attack” GLBTQ people e.g. at a workshop where participants were having a conversation amongst themselves and anti-gay.
  1. They didn’t include me in the conversation.
  2. They didn’t ask me for my opinion.
  3. They didn’t seem receptive/ open to learning/ feedback/ change/ growth.

Most of the time, I don’t speak up not because I am afraid, not because I don’t realise that I am capable of influencing change, but because I try to use my discretion/ discernment/ intuition to decide:

  1. Is this going to make a difference?
  2. Is it worth it?
  3. Are they willing/ ready to listen?
If the answer is no, no, no to the above, then I stay quiet, walk away, maybe send them light and love and trust it will make a difference – even if a small one. The “right thing” said at the wrong time in the wrong way can do more damage than good.
During the times when I felt I HAD to say something rather than nothing, I would try to phrase what I wanted to say as a question (indirect rather than direct) so as to plant a seed.
A seed… can grow into a plant/ tree but it takes time and I might not be around to see the change, but I like to trust that change WILL happen.

Instead of saying, “That’s homophobic. That’s disgusting. That’s terrible. That’s wrong.” (or anything to that effect).

I might ask instead:

  • “Would it make a difference if this was somebody you cared for and they told you they were gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender” OR
  • “I imagine this (their sexual orientation) causes them a lot of stress in their lives. Their lives are hard enough as it is, isn’t it? Do you think it matters what we think about them?”
It won’t matter what their subsequent answer was, it was more about inviting them to think more deeply. I would stop myself from asking/ probing/ responding further – and leave it!
Being antagonistic, defensive, or self righteous isn’t going to help anything or anybody. I would be speak in a detached, curious, kind, compassionate manner and LEAVE it and basically not continue. I would be available for further discussions, preferably in the future but I much rather plant a seed and let it grow.
Psst… this is a resource
  • First inclusive dating app for queer Filipinos
  • Safe space where the goal isn’t just to hook up or score a date. It’s a place to build community rather than one-on-one connections.
Hope this helps.
Check out the ‘first inclusive dating app for queer Filipinos? (2019 October). Retrieved from https://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/tech/
Library Resources Home: Gender & Sexual Diversity Education Resources: LGBTTQQIAAP. (2019 October). Retrieved from https://library.fvtc.edu/GenderEducation/LGBTTQQIAAP



Infographic: The Legal Status Of Homosexuality Worldwide. (2016, February 3). Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/chart/4310/global-laws-against-homosexuality-visualised

For life/ sexuality/ relationship coaching/ counseling, please hire me!

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice for more than 10 years, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the local media, Dr. Lee is the appointed sex expert for Men’s Health Singapore, and Men’s Health Malaysia. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

Eroscoaching Logo

Get sex tips straight in your mailbox!