One of these videos is shared below. It is approximately 14 minutes long, and features a lesbian couple (actors) out for a meal at a restaurant with their two children (also actors), and a homophobic waiter (also an actor). It is interesting to see what unfolds....
I suggest spending some "before" time to get students attuned to the bigger themes in the video.
Two "before" questions I might ask my students are the following:
- Should you ever have to lie about your family? When or why? (Or why not?)
- When you disagree with something, should you speak up or keep quiet? Why?
- How do you think other people in the restaurant felt about the homophobic waiter?
- Were you surprised that hardly anyone spoke up?
- Why do you think the could that spoke up did so? (Interestingly, the couple that comes to the LGBTQ family's defense, and stands up to the waiter, is a straight, interracial couple, married for 27 years; one might surmise they have faced their share of discrimination!)
- Ben has something calm but "strong" to say to the waiter, and some call him a hero. He says he is not a hero. Do YOU think Ben is a "hero"? Why or why not?
- What reasons does Ben give for speaking up? What other examples of "historical bullying" or current world events bullying can you think of, where it was important for allies to speak up?
- When asked later on, many of the people who did not respond to the waiter's homophobic bullying said they felt it was none of their business. Do you agree or disagree with this mindset? Explain your thinking.
- If this experiment were filmed in Canada, do you think the responses would be similar or different? Why?
- The prequel video references laws to protect children against bullying in the US. In Canada, laws also exist to specifically protect the human rights of LGBTQ people and their families. Can you name these laws and statutes? (As an aside, many school boards have developed policies to specifically protect LGBTQ students and students who come from LGBTQ families. These policies and their provincial "parents" can be helpful resources when faced with resistance from homo- and trans-phobic students and/or families in your school.)
For some teachers, getting started with class discussions about social justice and equity can be tricky. I hope this blog post offers a helpful resource for the LGBTQ context, and I welcome comments and anecdotes about how the conversation goes in your class!