What action can I take if I suspect my professor is giving me lower grades than I deserve because she is homophobic?


Michelle Issadore, Campus sexual assault expert

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I wholeheartedly second Dr. Clemens' answer and would also encourage you to document some instances and examples, in detail. This would include the exhibited behavior, its impact on you, the date, witnessed interactions with heterosexual-identifying/heterosexual-presenting peers and how they may differ from your own, etc. Such a record will perhaps demonstrate a pattern of hostile behavior, should you decide to move forward with a harassment complaint. Even if you choose to address the issue more informally directly with your professor, it will give her an idea of what you have been experiencing and what actions she may be able to adjust in the future to be more accepting.

Colleen Clemens, College Professor, Writer, Editor, Tutor & Parent

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First, I am sorry you aren't feeling safe in your classroom. If you feel comfortable, you should sit down with your professor during her office hours to review your work to see if the discrepancy you see in your grades is the case. If you feel it is because of bias, I would suggest you talk with the department chair to express your concerns. If you don't get a satisfying answer, go up your school's chain of command. You might want to talk with the Title IX Coordinator on campus.

I would also suggest you talk with the director of the LGBTQ Center on your campus for ideas on how this issue has been dealt with on the campus in the past.

I wish you well.

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