Throughout the centuries, reactions to human diversity have spawned prejudice and discrimination toward any group viewed as different. These negative reactions to human diversity have usually been fueled by fear and ignorance. Racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia are just some of the many types of prejudice that can lead to discrimination, hate crimes, and violence.

This seminar will focus on homophobia (the irrational fear of homosexuality) through an extensive examination of lesbian and gay culture. By examining the myths and stereotypes related to lesbians and gays, we will explore the reality of this often misunderstood segment of society. Through this analysis, we will strive to develop a humane vocabulary that reflects appreciation of human diversity.

Through lectures, videotapes, guest speakers, and class discussion, we will explore such topics as sexual orientation, lesbian and gay couple relationships (including parenting and legal issues), family issues (including coming out to family members), physical and psychological health concerns, as well as lesbians and gays in history, film, music, art, and sports.

Assignments include:

• Assignments will include: a book or film review and critique, an interview paper, current event reaction papers, a group project, a take-home final examination, and completion of all reading assignments.

Readings include:

Alyson Publications Staff, The Alyson Almanac

Betty Berzon,  Permanent Partners

W.J. Blumenfeld & D. Raymond, Looking at Gay and Lesbian Life.

F.W. Bozett & B.B. Sussman (eds.), Homosexuality and Family Relations

Berry Fairchild, Now that You Know; Marny Hall, The Lavender Couch

E.D. Rothblum & E. Cold (eds.), Loving Boldly: Issues Facing Lesbians

Randy Shilts, And the Band Played On

Supplemental photocopied reading packet