Monday, February 13, 2012

Anti-Gay Bullying

Taken from
Have you ever made fun of a person for being gay or for being overly flamboyant? Chances are, everybody has. Gay bullying is a huge deal. There are so many cases where a gay, lesbian or bisexual person has been bullied or exposed so much that they were pushed to the breaking point. Susan Donaldson James from stated, “Nearly 9 out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students experienced harassment at school in the past year, according to GLSEN.” A great percentage of these students also committed suicide. Will there ever be an end to this cruel and hateful act? No one should have to go through this type of treatment, homosexual or heterosexual. We need to take a stand against gay bullying and remind these teenagers that they have a wonderful life, full of love and happiness ahead of them. The suicides and bullying rates will never decrease unless we take action. 
            Jamey Rodemeyer, an eighth grade student from Buffalo, New York, made a video telling his viewers that life and all of the bullying get better. He tells his gay viewers to remain hopeful. In his video, he also quotes Lady Gaga's song "Born This Way." He says, “All you have to do is hold your head up and you’ll go far. Just love yourself and you’re set…It gets better." Unfortunately, it did not get better for this fourteen-year-old kid. He was found dead by his parents. Dan Savage, a blogger and co founder of the It Gets Better Project stated, “It sounds like Jamey had help…but it wasn't enough. Whatever help Jamey was getting clearly wasn't enough to counteract the hatred…or Jamey's fears of having to face down a whole new set of bullies when he started high school next year." His video, “It Gets Better, I Promise” is given, but the embedding seems to be disabled, so it would be helpful to click here; it will lead you to YouTube. 
Jamey’s video was made for the “It Gets Better” project. According to Dan Savage, “The point of the ‘It Gets Better’ project is to give kids like Jamey Rodemeyer hope for their futures.”  As a teenager, it is really hard to handle and shrug off the insults and the hurtful acts done by our enemies, but it is essential to remain strong. The “It Gets Better” project shows that gay teens have a great life ahead of them. A writer from stated, “ is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories…” The site is really inspirational and moving.
My best friend is gay and he has had some very hard times. He has been teased at school, but the main problem he faces is his parents. His parents are super Christian, so when he came out to them they did not handle it well at all. They threw the Bible at him and told him that God does not love gay people, that who he is was a sin and that he should be ashamed of himself. His parents went to talk to their priest about “fixing” him. What is there to fix?  There is no way you can change someone’s sexual orientation. Even though this completely devastated him, he is one of the strongest people I know. Being around his parents is definitely hard for him now, but he knows that as time goes on that they will accept him for who he is. He knows that it will get better.

Another project that brings awareness to gay bullying suicide is the “To Write Love on Her Arms” project. “To Write Love on Her Arms” is a project that gives hope to those who have been bullied and who struggle with depression and suicide. A writer from the TWLOHA website wrote, “You need to know that rescue is possible...we’re seeing lives change as people get the help they need...We want to say here that it’s worth it, that your life is worth fighting for, that it’s possible to change.” Every year at my school on TWLOHA day, my classmates and I would write “Love” or “To Write Love on Her Arms” on our arms. I am not afraid of showing my passion for the LGBT community. It feels great to be supporting a cause and letting those who are hurting know that they are not alone; that they are supported by many people. That is all we could possibly do. We really cannot stop the bullying, but we can let the victims know that we will always be there to support them and make them realize that they are loved and have a great life ahead of them. These websites that give hope to the LGBT community show that these people are not alone. Many people are going through the same situations. Seeing how hurt and miserable these people were, and how they could get back up on their feet, is really moving to me. The videos bring me hope that there will be a better future for the victims.
Insults taken from
Most cases of gay bullying occur in schools. “Multiple studies have evaluated the levels and types of harassment that GLB youth are subjected to in school settings. Verbal insults and threats are most frequently reported…” (Mahan, Varjas, Dew, Meyers, Singh, Marshall and Graybill 47). I believe that statement. I hear offense words, such as “fag” used all the time. A writer from stated, “According to recent gay bullying statistics, gay and lesbian teens are two to three times as more likely to commit teen suicide…Students who also fall into the gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgendered identity groups report being five times as more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied…”
Lance Lundsten from Slog
There was one gay student named Lance Lundsten. He was eighteen years old and only had a few months of high school left. He was bullied so often that he decided to take his own life. After his death, his high school made a Facebook group called “Jefferson Anti-Bully Coalition.” Dan Savage said that a student who formed the group stated, “The school’s staff isn’t protecting us, it’s up to the students to help each other." The students should not feel like they have to defend themselves and that they are not protected from bullies. In my opinion, it seems like the schools seem to care less about the gay victims. “Sexual minority students often face ongoing bullying and harassment in schools that goes unstopped by faculty or administration. These students suffer academically, emotionally, and physically as a direct result of the constant harassment” (Bishop and Casida 134). These students need to be helped by the school board. If anyone witnesses a student being bullied, or if a student is bullied, they should report it and make the board do something about it. These students should not be left in the dark. I thought that most schools had a no bullying policy, so it is really disappointing that at some schools, they overlook the bullying and treat it like it is no big deal. If the schools acted like they cared more and if they actually suspended or did something with the bullies, then the bullying and suicide rates would decrease.
The high school I went to, Athens High School, was a very gay friendly school. Bullying happened, but my principal had a low tolerance of it. My high school also made a Facebook group supporting the LGBT community. The group is called “AHS SUPPORTS LBGT PEOPLE.” Many people have posted on the group’s page. They post links to many articles about gay teen suicide and gay bullying. There are also videos of inspiring people talking about their experience as gay teens. This link will lead you to the Facebook group page. Please take a look at the articles and the videos.
One example of the videos that was posted on the Facebook page was a video that was posted on YouTube a while ago. This fourteen-year-old boy named Jonah Mowry posted a video about his experience as an openly gay student.  After he was tormented, he received a lot of support from many people. This support helped him overcome the bullying; the bullying made him stronger. Apparently most people thought that he was faking and that his video was not real, but it has been proven that Jonah was telling the truth. It was proven by His mother commented on his experience and was ashamed that people would question her son. In the video, he uses cards to communicate while he stars to cry. He tells us how he has been bullied since the first grade. This video brought tears to my eyes. Jonah’s video is posted below.

This may come as a shock, but I have two gay dads. I support them with everything I have love them so much. They have been together for about two years and it is still hard for them to accept the way that some people treat them, but I know they are happy and really proud to be who they are. They live in Nashville, Tennessee. They gave me an article about a law that prevents bullying in Tennessee. The law proposal has been sent to the State House and the Senate. David  L. Hudson Jr wrote that, “…the proposed measure…represents an attempt to protect the rights of students to engage in religious expression, including a religious viewpoint that homosexuality is wrong.” This will still obviously allow students to harass the homosexual students. Even though they are trying to amend the bullying act, it still does not fix the whole problem.
taken from
            As a huge supporter of the LGBT community, I think it is time that the bullying comes to an end. I know that not everybody is going to accept these groups and that bullying will still continue, but more people need to take a stand against gay bullying for it to really come into effect. If we never take a stand, the bullying will never stop. Bullying can be prevented, but only through action. If you see someone getting bullied or if you are bullied someone, do not be afraid to tell someone about it. All you have to do is support the victims and let them know that they are not alone. Many people will help and do something about it, but the problem has to be addressed. Remember that if we take a stand, it will get better. 

Works Cited

Bishop, Holly N., and Heather Casida. "Preventing Bullying And Harassment Of Sexual Minority Students In Schools." Clearing House 84.4 (2011): 134-138. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2012.

Graybill Emily C., et al. "School And Community Service Providers' Perspectives On Gay, Lesbian And Questioning Bullying." Journal Of LGBT Issues In Counseling 1.2 (2006): 45-66. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2012.