ROCKPORT — A daylong workshop on homophobia will be held at the Camden Health Care Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Teachers, clergy, social-services providers, health-care workers, youth leaders, parents and other interested adults are invited to attend “Homophobia: The Challenge of Diversity.”
Homophobia is the fear of people who are gay or lesbian and is prevalent throughout society. Young people are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of homophobia. The words “queer,” “fag,” or “dyke” are commonly heard in schools and communities. Being labeled a homosexual may discourage a young man from expressing his gentle, caring side with friends and discourage a young woman from asserting herself in relationships.
Homophobia can become more damaging when it is used as an excuse to harass, humiliate, threaten or physically assault anyone who does not fit cultural modes.
Participants in the workshop will review information about sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian youths and adults will discuss their experiences growing up in Maine. The benefits of addressing homophobia will be shared by representatives of local school districts. Practical ways to confront discrimination and teach about sexual orientation will be included.
The workshop will be sponsored by Sexual Education Services of Midcoast Family Planning and Southern Kennebec Family Planning. For a brochure and registration wrote to Box 866, Rockland, Maine 0481.
A fee of $55 will include lunch and materials. Partial scholarships are available.