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That's how you should respond to a queerphobic joke!

To the ignorant who only consider the typical gender and sexual norms of some unsaid, unclear and undefined society, the queer community is always visible as a joke to laugh at and degrade, not to feel happy but to feel socially dominant and more accepted in the eyes of other ignorant people in this world. So, these people always try to crack jokes at the queer community out of their homophobic, transphobic and collectively queerphobic attitudes. If you are a queer person or a queer ally who unfortunately has to face the verbal wrath of such ignorant people by their queerphobic jokes, how do you respond to them?

Generally, people (heterosexuals) who are unaware of the broadened perspectives of orientation and identities, people who are stubborn to accept the changing realities, and people who restrict themselves to open their minds regarding queer people, religious preachers who have no clue about the queer culture in the spiritual or periodical history, people who purposely devalue queer people to show their extreme heterosexual nature, people who are queer but degrade other queer folks so that people won't find their true identities, are the ones who always find an opportunity to crack a joke that directly points out queer people. So, being a proud and true open or closeted queer person or being a genuine queer ally, you don't like such queerphobic jokes. You feel offensive, hurt, self-conscious, disgusted, awkward, odd and many more mixed emotions. There's a possibility of responding to such queerphobic jokes in two ways.

Ignorance is bliss. Yes, it is! If your queer ally hears some queerphobic joke and approaches you to tell that particular joke that's cracked by some random prick at the workspace or a family event or a party, there is a chance that your whole mood gets spoiled after overhearing it. Hence, many queer people try not to hear or keep themselves away from such queerphobic people and such demeaning jokes about the queer community.

Whereas some people hear them directly, again and again, they become numb after witnessing the constant pattern from the same queerphobic people around. So there comes a moment where queer people ignore such a queerphobic crowd altogether without giving a damn even though they feel utterly demotivated and feel ashamed for themselves by keeping their self-esteem at stake. But do you think ignoring such people and going ahead as if you haven't heard anything queerphobic, is a way to deal? You can ignore up to some extent, but if you encounter the same phenomenon repeatedly, you need to react!

Speaking of reaction, not all queer people have sensitive, calm and let-go personalities, some queer people are aggressive and defensive and make sure never to let go until they settle any kind of issue. The first reaction right after hearing a queerphobic joke, these people get easily triggered and anger bursts out in split seconds. This response is hard to tackle. Queer activists who work for the upliftment of the community, open queer people and extremely supportive yet protective queer allies react with anger. They may either misuse words or sometimes actions to make sure those queerphobic people get hurt in every possible way. This responsive pattern of handling queerphobic jokes ultimately portray queer people as aggressive, desperate for attention, can't-take-a-joke-as-a-joke supersensitive people and many more. Angry is an uncontrollable emotion and sometimes it completely turns a victim into guilty even though the queerphobic people are extremely guilty for cracking demeaning jokes about a fellow human's legally accepted orientation.

If you think aggressiveness is the sole answer to fight against the odds, then every single day turns into a battle for every queer person.

Now you may wonder if ignoring without reacting and reacting by becoming angry aren't the patterns of responding to queerphobic jones, then what could be the proper response? Well, teaching a lesson to make that queerphobic person feel unfit for the modern scenarios, by proving that person's mindset as a tiny closed mind in front of many expanded open minds, by making that queerphobic person extremely conscious of his/her lame joke by not reacting at all and staring as if that person is a humourless clown, by speaking your response with a tint of smile that gives chills to the queerphobic person who cracks a joke and the people who support him by laughing at it, by directly asking the elaboration for such homophobic and transphobic jokes so that they feel helpless and get to realise their senselessness, by standing against such jokes without expressing extreme emotions but by softly handling with head-turning yet befitting replies so that next time, that particular queerphobic person who always uses every opportunity to crack a joke on queer people, should think twice before spilling his queerphobic thoughts.

Deal with them smartly by blending your emotions and your fighting spirit, you can ignore and show your anger without getting portrayed as sensitive and aggressive, only if you know how to use your thoughts in the form of words with a bit of confidence and wit. Sometimes reverse therapy backfires by creating a gap between the queer community and queerphobic people. In this current scenario, queer people must strive to create awareness by eradicating phobic attitudes from people so that everyone knows and appreciate the existence of queer people in society!

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