Gay bullying, after "it gets better"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 22, 2010 2:46 AM GMT
    This video is part of "What would you do?" miniseries on ABC, and although I'm sure many of you are familiar with 'gay victim' as their theme, they went out to see how "it gets better" worked itself out.

    Last Thursday, one of my close friends took his own life. It seems like the people that fall victims most to harassment are the ones that cannot disguise themselves as heterosexual, like some of us did while in highschool/gradeschool.

    I remember the first time I met Jake at a Starbucks, I was immediately taken back by how he carried himself. I started thinking how others would perceive us together and whether or not people would suspect I was gay too. Through time I was able to accept him, but in reality, I only calmed my own fears for myself.

    I'm 26 and I still feel uncomfortable appearing anything but masculine in public (unless I'm in a gay-friendly part of town), despite that I have no perceived threat of violence against me, I am still acting on the same principles I did to hide my gayness earlier on in life.

    Everyone is shocked at Jake's suicide, no one saw it coming, especially his family. They were watching TV, when he excused himself to go to the bathroom, from where he never returned. He was 21, he successfully passed the bullying and harassment, but the trauma still lingers inside like an open wound.


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    Nov 22, 2010 3:10 AM GMT
    Sorry about your friend. *hugs* icon_sad.gif

    That video was awesome. It's great to see that some people are willing to step in and stand up to the bullies.
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    Nov 22, 2010 5:49 AM GMT
    That's because the 'Its get better' campaign is flawed.

    I posted this before in regard to the 'It gets better' campaign:
    There is a negative aspect of the 'It gets better' campaign and it is that it doesn't always get better in real life for someone who is gay. Sometimes dealing with being gay means having to accept or at least deal with life changing in ways you may have never wanted it too. Without acknowledging that and offering some way of dealing with it the 'It gets better' campaign is almost mocking or belittling of what many gay people have or might be going through, especially when it comes from people who are doing better.

    Also gay bullying isn't really 'bullying', it's like calling racist attacks against blacks 'black bullying', when it's really something much worse and insidious than just 'bullying' itself.

    This rash of attention towards 'gay bullying' lately is a case of mistaken identity for what gays have been going through for a very long time i.e. anti-gay harassment, intimidation, discrimination, and gay bashing. It's not a school thing. It's not something that just happens in schools and ends when school is over. It's anti-gay sentiment that happens to also occur in schools.
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    Nov 22, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    I'd say the flaw (and the flaw in the dumb knee-jerks from the schools) is that kids don't have to remotely be actually gay to be beat up. Anyone smaller or weaker than the bullies is just labeled "gay," regardless of who they are.

    Praising the victims for being gay will just mortify 90% of them. To be effective, "gay" needs to be removed from the campaign.

    Of course, there will never be any kind of real crackdown on bullies, because that would mean the end of high schools sports as we know it, and by extension, the whole gladiator/entertainment industry.
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    Nov 22, 2010 6:04 AM GMT
    Sorry to hear about that.

    Andre_84 saidHe was 21, he successfully passed the bullying and harassment, but the trauma still lingers inside like an open wound.

    Although I never felt any real bullying regarding my homoness- I was bullied/taunted about other things that still affect me today- It honestly takes a lot of work just to move one step forward.

    I don't try to hide who I am anymore, I just act however I feel at that moment in time- but I do try my best to stay out of the bad parts of town... because they scare me in general.

    It does get better. It just takes time. Lots of it.
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    Nov 22, 2010 6:15 AM GMT
    Awww, that was a great video. icon_biggrin.gif
  • brooks2785

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    Nov 22, 2010 6:15 AM GMT
    I think before we say that the flaw or what have you, to the it gets better campaign is that for some it doesn't get better, we must first examine what the program is meant to aspire...and that is hope. While for some it doesn't get better, the kid in high school who goes to school everyday to only hear constant words of hate and intolerance, the "it gets better" project provides a place fro them to go and hear stories, or see their favorite celeb say to them that their life means something to the world and to hang on.

    I do believe it is up to us, those who are older to try to make it better for the next generation of gay youth. While not all of us can directly be a voice of activism, we can help fund it, and if we can't help fund it we can support it.

    I don't think there is an "after" to the "it gets better" project there is only a now and future of the project.
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    Nov 22, 2010 6:29 AM GMT
    The phrase "It gets better" is about "hope".

    I can understand how those who have no hope, take their lives. I've been there and it's hell.

    If you have hope, you have a reason to keep toughing it out and keep living.

    I was feeling pressed to the wall yesterday. I was feeling "hopeless". Momentary thoughts of just "checking out" passed through my head. But I quickly found hope.

    Today, "it got better".

    You're never too old to keep "It gets better" in your head.
  • AvadaKedavra

    Posts: 3554

    Nov 22, 2010 6:42 AM GMT
    Cool video. its awesome to see that there are actually strangers out there who give a damn and won't just stand around and put up with this shit.
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    Nov 22, 2010 6:57 AM GMT
    I think the saddest part of all of this is that if you want to find the people who are most concerned about judging people based on their masculinity, we need only look in the mirror (myself included).

    A couple of months ago I was out wandering in the gay area of Toronto, when a flamboyant guy was walking past with his friends. He squealed in excitement and spun around. Although I didn't quite know what he was so jazzed about, I couldn't shake the feeling that this guy seemed familiar. That's when it hit me: he was a bartender at a major gay bar in the city. The difference was that when he's behind the bar, he acts butch.

    I think its pretty safe to assume that he'll get more customers and tips if he's that stereotypical butch guy behind the bar. After hitting enough clubs and bars with other gay men over the past year and half, I know guys seem to always want to get drinks from the 'hottest' bartender.

    Another recent example comes to mind. I went on a few dates with a guy, and about 3 dates in he says to me "You must have played football in high school!". Now, while I did play a few pick up games in grade 8 with some friends, I've never really been that big into sports, and only started lifting about 3.5-4 years ago. Even after telling him this and how I'm pretty much a geek in a jock's body, he kept asking about whether the hottest girls in high school were after me, etc.

    It didn't take me long to realize that this guy cared more about wanting to date someone that fulfilled a stereotype, then getting to know me as a real person. It's pretty emotionally draining to come to table in relationships, as a real person, only to find that what the other guy wants is just a stereotypical fantasy man.

    If anything, my recent awareness to this behavior has caused me to look into myself, to make sure that I'm not looking for boyfriends to fulfill some predetermined list of behavior, and to make sure that I learn to let go of the necessity to always appear completely masculine.

    The sooner we stop propping up and pandering to these empty worthless stereotypes, the sooner we'll mature as a community.
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    Nov 22, 2010 7:08 AM GMT
    And on a side note, I grew up with a lot of harassment throughout middle school and high school. I once had a grade 8 teacher scream at me in front of the entire class, "YOU'RE SUCH A FAIRY!". Throughout High School I was a total social outcast. I used to sit at my locker alone during most lunches. While I can attest that for me it got better, for some people, who aren't able to get out of hostile environments, or away from judgmental, abusive or just naive parents, it may not.
  • Crucializer

    Posts: 389

    Nov 22, 2010 7:33 AM GMT
    I am so sorry to hear about yur loss ... these tragedies are just painful.