Suggestion from Q42 Community:
This is a tough one! Obviously your safety is important so if you do feel confident to challenge this kind of behaviour make sure you’re not putting yourself in danger, that’s the most important thing!
Really I think it depends on how you feel when this sort of thing happens.
No one should be made to feel less than anyone else, or be made to feel ashamed of who they are. Ever! So in that sense, the people who throw homophobic and transphobic comments about should always be challenged. It’s important to know though that directly confronting the person there and then isn’t your only option. You can always report the incident to the police, who will take this sort of thing very seriously. You never know, that person may be known to them for other incidents too.
Ending homophobia needs people to be more educated about the issues and the consequences of their actions and there are a good number of groups and organisations that focus on this. It may be that helping out with one of these is a good option too and it may help to feel like you’re not letting homophobic remarks go unchallenged without potentially putting yourself in harm’s way.
If you do want to confront them that’s great – just be mindful of your safety. Maybe challenge them by asking them questions about what they said, see how they can justify saying it and be wary of going in with anger as that can escalate things and people are far more likely to get defensive and aggressive back if that’s how you go in to a situation.
The LGBTQ+ community is a community – no one’s expecting you to single handedly sort out homophobia and you shouldn’t feel obliged to confront things until you are comfortable to do so.