Negative levels of attitude towards homo/bi/trans* people and community
Although most of us probably consider ourselves to be supportive of LGBTIQ, our behaviour and attitudes tend to be on a continuum running from negative to positive. Below is the Riddle scale that can help us differentiate between overt homo/bi/trans* phobia, merely ‘accepting’ LGBTIQ and becoming an ally.
Homo/bi/trans* people seen as a ‘crime against nature’. LGBTIQ are sick, crazy, immoral, sinful, wicked etc. Anything is justified to change them, prison, hospitalisation, negative behaviour therapy, electroshock therapy etc…
Heterosexual chauvinism. Heterosexuality is more mature and certainly to be preferred. Any possibility of ‘becoming straight’ should be reinforced and those who seem to be born ‘that way’ should be pitied.
Homosexuality is just phases of adolescent development that many people ‘go through’ and
most will ‘grow out of’. Thus LGBTIQ people are less mature than ‘straights’ and should be treated with the protectiveness and indulgence one uses with a child. LGBTIQ should not be given positions of authority because they are still working through their adolescent behaviour.
Still implies there is something to accept. Characterised by such statements as ‘you are not a Gay to me, you are a person’, ‘what you do in your own bed is your own business’, ‘that is fine with me as long as you don’t flaunt it’.
Positive levels of attitude towards homo/bi/trans* people and community
Work to safeguard the rights of LGBTIQ. People at this level may be uncomfortable themselves, but they are aware of the homo/bi/trans*phobic climate and irrational unfairness.
Acknowledges that being LGBTIQ in our society takes strength. People at this level are willing to truly value examine their homo/bi/trans*phobic attitudes, values and behaviours.
Value the diversity of people and see that LGBTIQ as a valid part of that diversity. These people are willing to combat homo/bi/trans*phobia in themselves and others.
Assumes that LGBTIQ people are indispensible in our society. They view LGBTIQ with genuine affection and delight, and are willing to be allies and advocates.