Things You Should Never Say To A Member of the LGBTIQ Community

Intergroup communication is a challenging endeavor filled with mistakes, microaggressions, politics, and insensitivities. Handled correctly, positive communication can lead to greater intergroup understanding and improved cross-cultural relationships. In the spirit of promoting positive intergroup relations, below are some comments and questions you should never direct at members of the GLBTIQ community.

  • "How do you know you're gay if you've never been with a woman?"
  • "Gay guys love me!"
  • "I'm like a gay man trapped inside a woman's body."
  • "Wow. I never would have guessed that you're [gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender] you seem so straight."
  • "Why aren't there any pretty lesbians?"
  • "I suspected you were gay."
  • "I wouldn't want my son to be gay, just because life would be so much harder for him then."
  • "My boyfriend isn't homophobic, he's just uncomfortable around gay guys."
  • "Which bathroom do you use?"
  • "What do you like to do in bed?"
  • To a transgender person: "What's your real name? What did you used to look like?"
  • "It's too bad you're gay."
  • "Is one of you the husband and one the wife? I don't get it."
  • "Men are so awful/confusing/difficult, I wish I was a lesbian. It would be so much easier."
  • "This is my gay friend _____."

Next Module: GLBTIQ ID Development