Some people have declared gay bullying a non-issue. While it would be tempting to toss names around and blame, we’re not going to take that road. Instead, we’re just going to give you our perspective. Long time fans of the site should already know, but hey — we never mind repeating ourselves on such a strong issue.
You see, bullying is something that affects everyone, and guess what — that doesn’t change when the target is a gay guy or gay girl. It makes it even worse because we’re so aware now of the discussion, and they are aware that the entire world is looking at them.
It’s not just about the mental effects of bullying — it’s the social effect as well. When you’ve been put down and put down and put down, you stop fighting. It’s very similar to a science experiment done with jumping fleas in a jar. If you trap fleas in there, they will try to jump out of the jar — even though they bump their heads. After a while though, they will stop fighting because they have been “taught” through their experiences that there’s no way out. They will eventually succumb to their environment and die, even if you were to unscrew the lid and try to set them free. Even seeing that the lid is no longer on the jar, they will not try to escape again — their will to fight has been stripped away.
While this might sound gruesome to some, it is an apt parallel to gay bullying. We’re looking at a nation of “fleas” that are getting very close to feeling like there’s no end in sight.
Some will argue that they are simply making an appeal to free speech. Is there a line to free speech? We have successfully demonized the actions of hate groups that have a racial focus — what about a sexual orientation focus?
The idea that it’s OK to demonize and speak out against gay youth merely on religious grounds — or to suggest that it can be “removed” through prayer is ridiculous. There’s just no other way to say it. It’s ridiculous, it’s hateful, and it sends our gay youth the message that as long as you can couch something in “beliefs”, it’s okay to use it against other people.
We all have to share this planet and until people truly get that, we are going to have to deal with gay bullying. We’re going to have to deal with gay suicide. We’re going to have to deal with gay teens feeling like they might as well lock themselves away from the world because no one will accept them.
This is not just an issue for gay people — it’s an issue for all people. Would you want someone to sit on the sidelines as you are mocked for your race, gender, or your background? Not at all. So why, as a nation, are we still so deeply divided on this issue?