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Author Topic: LGBTQ bullying in high schools
tigerlily18
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To all Scarleteen users,
I am writing a final paper for my Intro to Queer Studies class in college about homophobia in high schools throughout the United States (public and private), and wanted to put in some first-hand experiences from the users of this site. I will be adding my own accounts of homophobia to the paper, and I think it would help greatly if I could put in the stories of others that have experienced homophobia in high school. This applies to everyone, whether you are LGBTQ, heterosexual, or identify as something else (even if you have ever participated in homophobia/homophobic bullying, feel free to explain why) Thank you for anything that you post! (*Please note that I will be changing names in order to ensure privacy [this paper will be seen by the head of the department], and I will not use your individual username if you wish)

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"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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(Just FYI, I okayed this!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
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Well, I am heterosexual, but I had a close friend for a couple years in high school who I'm pretty sure was lesbian or bisexual, and at the very least, most people thought she was. And I think a lot of people kept their distance from me because they thought we were together.

I personally, have never treated a gay person any differently that I would a straight one. I've never been the type of person to enjoy being mean to someone.

However, I will admit that in high school, before I was as educated about homosexuality, I did make some not so nice comments when talking to other straight people.

I think that homosexuality is harder for a lot of people because they're not taught to accept it.

For example, I doubt any parents tell their kids to stay away from/be mean to the "nerdy" kids, but plenty of people have grown up hearing from parents that homosexuality is "weird", "gross", or "a sin".

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La2010
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Homophobia in my high school was rampant. I was not "out" during those 4 years due mostly in part because of it. Gay/homophobic slurs were often used, not only in the hallways but also in the classroom. Unfortunately most of the staff would not intervene.

My senior year I decided to do my AP English final paper/presentation on varying areas of the LGBT Community. I was invited by my AP English instructor to a staff meeting dealing with the issue of LGBT students and their complaints of continued harassment. Most of the staff brought in anti-gay material from different organizations to make the argument that, if a student decides to come out during high school, they deserve the harassment that follows. In essence they were letting everyone know that in cases where an LGBT student was being bullied, they would not protect that student because they did not deserve to be protected. They did not try to sugar coat their feelings and were very black and white about the issue.

I don't know how common this is in other high schools. My high school was in a rural area with not much, if any, diversity.

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Heather
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La: that is so freaking awful, my jaw just hit my laptop.

The year and a half I was in public school in the 80's, the harassment in my school was certainly present, but I was being harassed on so many fronts, and in such a bad space, I just figured it was par for the course. I got very lucky, because I switched to an arts school which, as one of many side bonuses, had nearly as many of us who were queer as those who were straight, and it was a very welcoming environment.

It's one thing to take this crap from peers: I can't imagine taking it from staff, too, even though I know plenty of you do. For the record, anyone coming here who is currently having that issue and having this kind of response from staff? If you ever want us to try and help by making a call or sending in a letter -- and giving you some people to contact, either at GLSEN or the ACLU to advocate for you -- please let me know. I'd be glad to do it.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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tigerlily18
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Thank you both so much, this is exactly what I was looking for. Atonement, I did the same thing, I insulted people, saying things were "gay"... it's so easy to get caught up in the language. La, the teachers in my high school would sometimes encourage the homophobic slurs and make jokes about it themselves. Writing this paper has been really eye-opening, it's one thing to think about all of this to yourself, but another completely to write them down and organize it for someone else to see.

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"Come and see the violence inherent in the system. Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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tigerlily, we have a few other users I know would have things to say about this (and have in other threads), so I'm hoping in the next few days you'll have some more.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Trumpet Master
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I am a lesbian that goes to a public school in the country. In my social studies class there was this kid named Jessie and he was a very ignorant streotypical southrn baptist. And one day during class we got in to a debate about gay marrige ,I forget how excatly the topic came up, and he said that all gay people deserved to be shot. I then asked why and he said somthing along the lines of that he would save people form the "gay deises". I then told him he was being very closed minded and obviosly was very ignorant of who gay people are, and in fact that's all they are people who like the same gender. He told me I was a "fag lover" and that I was going to hell. I just left it alone because I knew I wasn't going to beat it into his mind that we are people too. But from that day foreward he would yell at me," Tori (thatgls my name bythe way) is a fag lover and is going to hell!!!" and that would become my nickname for the rest of the school year...

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I say you love who you love. Lust over who you lust over. And are happy with who you are happy with. Everything inbetween doesn't matter!!!

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eryn_smiles
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Kyou's mutt,
I just find what he said really apalling! I'm so sorry you have to deal with that at school. How on earth is anyone supposed to feel safe there?! What did your social studies teacher say to him? Have the staff at school intervened in this homophobic bullying at all? I do hope you at least have some supportive friends at this school!

(I think Heather gave some resources above if you are interested in taking this matter up further with your school officials..)

[ 08-02-2010, 06:00 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Trumpet Master
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My social studies teacher didn't say anything. I think he share the same veiws but just doesn't say anything about it. I have heard him call GLBTQ people nasty and dirty before to some other students. There is a very bad bully problem at my school and the administrators are trying to help but they don't try hard enough and think these things that are happening are silly little drama fights between students. But I do have a couple other gay, lesbian, and bisexual friends. They have gone through similar things as me and are a huge help to me not breaking down and doing somthing to hurt myself or others. They are amazing [Smile]

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I say you love who you love. Lust over who you lust over. And are happy with who you are happy with. Everything inbetween doesn't matter!!!

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Stephanie_1
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Kyou's mutt: You know the big problem with trying to change bullying in schools like this? Attitude reflects leadership, and bullying will continue to always be an unsolvable problem as long as teachers and administrators are allowed to make sure comments and get away with it. If they can, so shall the students choosing to bully. Have you tried talking to anyone (principal/admin) about what was said. This really is a horrible thing for anyone to say, especially someone with so much influence on students!

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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luanne
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At my high school, most of the girls are okay with GLBT culture (or aren't outspoken about hating it) but a lot of the guys are extremely homophobic and make comments that are downright nasty.

Those are the same guys who hate school and care more about huntin', fishin', and mud-wrasslin' than they do about setting goals and expanding their minds. (Actually, I sometimes enjoy a good round of "mud wrasslin'" myself. [Smile] It's the intellectual neglect that bothers me.)

My group of friends- mostly musicians- are very accepting of GLBT culture (in fact, some of them are part of it!). My theory is that music helps people in all aspects of education, and that well-educated people are far less likely to be hateful and discriminating. [Smile]

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♥♥♥

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Trumpet Master
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Some of my other friends have taken it to the top of the chain of command in my school and all the bullies get are ISS or suspension. And I agrees with the atitude point you made, Stepanie_1!

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I say you love who you love. Lust over who you lust over. And are happy with who you are happy with. Everything inbetween doesn't matter!!!

Posts: 29 | From: United States of America | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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