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View Diary: "It's not just gays" (267 comments)

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  •  I am with you there (16+ / 0-)

    I got teased constantly in high school for being weird in various ways - learning disabled, geeky, glasses, hugely uncoordinated and socially maladroit.

    Is that the SAME as being GLB or T?  Of course not.

    But different doesn't mean better or worse.  Just different.  See my sig line.

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:25:49 AM PDT

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    •  I was bullied a lot too (13+ / 0-)

      for different reasons and I'm very sensitive to bullying for any reason..

      I do think Indie wrote an excellent diary here as there is more suicide among LGBT kids and overall population.

      "Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" - Dorothy Day

      by joedemocrat on Sun Oct 03, 2010 at 10:29:42 AM PDT

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    •  I was bullied for those things too (15+ / 0-)

      and I'd venture to say that most bullying of GLBT kids comes in something like that form. Even effeminate gay kids who are picked on for "being gay" aren't usually (Tyler Clementi aside) being bullied because they have same-sex relationships; they're being bullied for being different. And lots of straight kids have the same words thrown at them.

      The bullying is fundamentally the same. The words used are the same (see GlowNZ's story above, she was targeted with the same words used on lesbians, just because she was seen as unattractive). The effect on GLBT kids is different.

      Internal shame and fear of family rejection run deep in us. Not fitting in is an unforgivable failure, because being noticed means possibly being outed. We're afraid to talk to anyone, ask for help, use the school's anti-bullying resources. We suffer in silence.

      Geeky straight kids don't have to fear being thrown out of the house because they're geeky. But GLBT kids have driven into us almost from birth that any failure to conform is a sign of teh ghey.

      •  Straight kids sometimes do, though (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uberbah, kyril

        I'm sure you didn't mean this, but some straight kids do indeed need to feer being thrown out of the house. Just not because they're gay. Indeed, one of the hardest things about adolescence for me was that my home life was very uncomfortable for no tangible reason. Neither of my parents drank, nor were they physically abusive in any way. They also always made sure I had the nicest clothes and enough money for lunch (although I often didn't buy a lunch at school). But Mom was what I now recognize as emotionally abusive, and Dad was the king of enablers. I spent plenty of time being terrified that I would be kicked out of the house, or that Mom would run off (she had done so once when I was 10) and I'd be blamed for it.

        •  The difference (7+ / 0-)

          is that virtually every gay kid has to feel the way you did. Kids from "good homes," whose parents aren't normally viewed as emotionally abusive, still have to fear being kicked out or rejected because they're gay. Because being gay is generally viewed as "wrong," parents react differently to it - they react the same way they might if they found out their kid were using drugs or stealing cars. Which means, in many cases, total rejection.

      •  Several important points here (0+ / 0-)

        *It's more appropriate to talk about "homophobic bullying" rather than "LGBT bullying" because something like 80% of the targets of homophobic bullying are straight (or don't yet know their orientation) but get treated as badly as gay kids because either they're perceived as gay, or because their tormentors know they'll "get a pass" for invoking gayness. Which brings me to my next point:

        *Research into the motivations of gaybashers (particularly Karen Franklin's research) has shown that the perception of "societal permission" to mistreat gay (or perceived-gay) people is a major factor in the decision to gaybash. Not all gaybashing (not even most of it, Franklin found) is motivated by a true hatred of gay people; much of it is simply acting out of antisocial impulses (either to impress peers or seek thrills) with the difference that there's less social disapproval of it than other forms of acting out, and thus the perpetrators are less inhibited about doing it (1).

        *This strongly suggests that improvements in the overall societal position of gay people (2) (such as being able to serve in the military or get married) will make kids less likely to think they can get away with using actual or perceived gayness as an excuse for bullying or worse.

        *The 80% of straight-or-unknown victims don't necessarily have a more supportive family situation than the gay ones. There's relatively little a kid in middle school or early high school can do to demonstrate to parents or others that he's actually straight (short of destructive stuff like getting girls pregnant). Remember that not all gay boys are noticeably gender-variant, slightly-built or otherwise stereotype-compliant. Thus they can full under parental suspicion almost as easily as they can fall under peer suspicion (and I say "almost" only because they mostly have the benefit of the head-in-the-sand, "not my kid" mentality).

        (1) Franklin also found that similar dynamics applied to gang-rape of girls/women, with it being a form of "cultural theater" in which young men try to demonstrate their masculinity to each other.

        (2) No, I'm not throwing the trans community under the bus; I'm limiting my discussion to gay people because I'm more familiar with the research into the particular dynamics involved with gay victims, and there are quite possibly other dynamics going on with regard to trans victims (e.g. "perceived trans" isn't (yet) a common justification for bullying; "he(sic) tricked by into having sex with him(sic)" is no longer a common justification offered for anti-gay violence).

        The schools will probably teach kindergartners to play nice with everyone. — Will Phillips, on how marriage equality would affect education

        by ebohlman on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 12:57:35 AM PDT

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        •  I think that goes for all forms of discrimination (0+ / 0-)

          *Research into the motivations of gaybashers (particularly Karen Franklin's research) has shown that the perception of "societal permission" to mistreat gay (or perceived-gay) people is a major factor in the decision to gaybash. Not all gaybashing (not even most of it, Franklin found) is motivated by a true hatred of gay people; much of it is simply acting out of antisocial impulses (either to impress peers or seek thrills) with the difference that there's less social disapproval of it than other forms of acting out, and thus the perpetrators are less inhibited about doing it (1).

          (1) Franklin also found that similar dynamics applied to gang-rape of girls/women, with it being a form of "cultural theater" in which young men try to demonstrate their masculinity to each other.

          This fits perfectly the philosophy I've believed for a long time.  That all forms of racism, everything from the Holocaust to bullying kids for wearing glasses, is just an expression of the evil inherent in humanity being expressed where people think it's socially acceptable. Racism and bigotry are just excuses for horrible human beings to act like horrible human beings while still maintaining some social acceptance. It isn't really minorities racists hate, it's humans.  They just chose to harm minorities, because they can use their imagined differences to excuse acting on their psychopathic tendencies.  Racists can harm/murder members of minority group without looking like a crazed psychopaths to their friends in like group.  This explains the vast majority of violence in human history.

          "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."

          by Futuristic Dreamer on Mon Oct 04, 2010 at 01:16:33 AM PDT

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        •  It's only a justification for murder. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rei

          "perceived trans" isn't (yet) a common justification for bullying

          •  I'll never forget... (0+ / 0-)

            the day in sixth grade when a kid braved social ostracism to come up to me to explain that the reason I was being bullied was because I acted so feminine.  And I was hardly "out" -- it was just the perception of me (I took the kid up on his advice and got much better at hiding myself).  I can't imagine what kids who came out in middle school in those days would have gone through.

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