Dying man seeks apology for anti-gay slur in his 1970 high school yearbook

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    Oct 06, 2012 2:10 AM GMT
    Robin Tomlin is dying of liver cancer but wants some closure on one of the most painful episodes of his life.

    As a student at Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver 42 years ago, he received his yearbook and when he opened it to the page with his picture on it, there was one word printed under his name: 'Fag.'

    'I feel like, emotionally, they've been beating me with a stick for 42 years,' he tells the North Shore News.

    Tomlin, who is not gay, has gone public about the long ago incident because he wants an official apology from the school and wants it to delete the anti-gay slur from any remaining copies of the yearbook they may still have on hand.

    He began his quest more than a decade ago after his daughter saw the yearbook for the first time. Shocked, she told him he had to fight to have it corrected. With his cancer diagnosis, the fight is even more urgent.

    'I want to show the young people today that you can’t let them get away with it,' he tells the Toronto Star.

    More:
    http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/dying-man-seeks-apology-anti-gay-slur-his-1970-high-school-yearbook041012
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    I posted the link to this on another topic. The school board is responding and doing something, which is all kinds of great.

    *remembers how bad it was back then*
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:23 AM GMT
    I went to my 20 year high school reunion and was one of the 5 "in shape" people there...not including the girl who became a local two dolla ho to pay her bills and stays "thin" because of crack.

    The entire two-day event was jam packed with former classmates who apologized for the trauma they caused me in high school when they picked on me for being different (in the closet, but hung out with the nerds and geeks - plenty ammo for the football jocks).

    In fact, one of my bullies had the last name of Tomlin. Now he'd give his left nut to take up for me.

    Sounds like Robin needs to stop being a money grubbing pussy and let the past be the past. It was 42 years ago. If he's still "traumatized" it's his own fault for never growing up.
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:27 AM GMT
    I'm not sure how asking for an apology is supposed to make him feel better. I mean, I personally wouldn't find much satisfaction in demanding an apology from someone who wronged me. They should offer the apology at their own will in order for me to consider it as sincere. Otherwise, they'd just be telling me what I want to hear.
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:31 AM GMT
    This is what he choses to do with his remaining time on Earth?
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:46 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidThis is what he choses to do with his remaining time on Earth?

    Have you ever been diagnosed with a truly potentially terminal illness?
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    Oct 06, 2012 3:12 AM GMT
    Caslon21000 said
    Scruffypup saidThis is what he choses to do with his remaining time on Earth?

    Have you ever been diagnosed with a truly potentially terminal illness?



    No, but I'm quite certain I wouldn't be chasing down someone who wronged me decades ago. I know myself well enough to know I'd be doing something productive with my time.
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    Oct 06, 2012 3:24 AM GMT
    Scruffypup said
    Caslon21000 said
    Scruffypup saidThis is what he choses to do with his remaining time on Earth?

    Have you ever been diagnosed with a truly potentially terminal illness?



    No, but I'm quite certain I wouldn't be chasing down someone who wronged me decades ago. I know myself well enough to know I'd be doing something productive with my time.

    You may be right. But I know that my mental reaction was very different from anything I would have guessed for myself. So I am now of the opinion that I can not say how I will react when I am given the final terminal diagnosis. Because I understand that the brain does not, and maybe can not, truly entertain the idea of dying until it is a reality for oneself.
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    Oct 06, 2012 3:26 AM GMT
    I got apologies from all my tormentor school bullies. They came in the form of me seeing their Facebook profiles, now fat, slob townies.
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    Oct 06, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidI got apologies from all my tormentor school bullies. They came in the form of me seeing their Facebook profiles, now fat, slob townies.


    I didn't have any bullies, but I must say there's a small amount of satisfaction in knowing how some people I didn't care for turned out since high school, haha. Oh, the people I've stumbled upon on Facebook and how they've let themselves go!
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    Oct 06, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    it seems like he has hung onto something that he should have let go of a long time ago...Regardless if he is, or isn't gay...why torture yourself for 40 yrs.
    All due respect ( cause god knows what motivates people to do the things they do..) he should let it go and live in peace. icon_wink.gif
  • LuckyGuyKC

    Posts: 2080

    Oct 06, 2012 3:56 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidI got apologies from all my tormentor school bullies. They came in the form of me seeing their Facebook profiles, now fat, slob townies.


    +1
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    Oct 06, 2012 3:57 AM GMT
    Ariodante saidI got apologies from all my tormentor school bullies. They came in the form of me seeing their Facebook profiles, now fat, slob townies.

    That's what I say. Many of them now look like Larry the cable guy.
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:34 PM GMT
    hairyandym saidit seems like he has hung onto something that he should have let go of a long time ago...Regardless if he is, or isn't gay...why torture yourself for 40 yrs.
    All due respect ( cause god knows what motivates people to do the things they do..) he should let it go and live in peace. icon_wink.gif


    He isn't gay or bi. icon_wink.gif

    It happened when he was still a child, and so unable to process it like us adults.
    It wasn't something someone scribbled in a yearbook. It was OKed by the student body putting the book together and OKed by the teachers and administration in charge. Every copy of the book given out to hundreds of grads and their families contained this slur.

    He had been badly bullied by a group of jocks in school; the slur was such common knowledge no one apparently thought it unusual nor did anyone take his feelings into consideration.
    It's impact on him was so strong he stayed away from his own grad.
    I consider him an individual, not me, or you, or anyone else. His feelings matter, and to me this an inkblot test picture that determines the reader's level of empathy.
    I feel a great deal of empathy for him, having suffered similarly in my school years, and have never been to a single reunion as a result.

    This man is trying to obtain closure before he dies. icon_wink.gif
  • HndsmKansan

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    Oct 06, 2012 2:37 PM GMT
    Amazing something like that was actually allowed to be in a high school yearbook! I'd have been more than indignant, he had a cause for legal action against the school at the time (what a story that would have been).
    At this stage of the game, I would have hoped he would have long since put that out of his mind...
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    Oct 06, 2012 2:41 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidAmazing something like that was actually allowed to be in a high school yearbook! I'd have been more than indignant, he had a cause for legal action against the school at the time (what a story that would have been).
    At this stage of the game, I would have hoped he would have long since put that out of his mind...


    Actually, he had no recourse for something like that in 1970.
  • unicoman1

    Posts: 822

    Oct 06, 2012 2:49 PM GMT
    What an awful story... Not that feel good stuff thats usually posted on here.. Can understand the needed closure, really hopes he gets what he is looking for.

    But man, if it were my dying days, I'd wanna spend it with my family, friends, reliving the old times, celebrating my life,not recalling the heinous, callous actions of a few individuals that occurred 40 some years ago.