I’m Rubber and You’re Glue: Anti-Gay Harrassment in School

I’m Rubber and You’re Glue: Anti-Gay Harrassment in School

April 25, 2009 Commentary Thought of the Gay Youth Issues 4

It’s never really mattered if you are gay or not, just the perception of homosexuality has been enough to cause peers to harass and bully you for your “faggot-ness.”  The unfortunate and untimely deaths of Carl Walker-Hoover, an 11 year old 6th grader in Massachusetts, and Jaheem Herrera, and 11 year old 5th grader in Georgia, have brought to the media’s attention what LGBT activist have been saying for years, “We must protect our children.”

Both Carl and Jaheem were taunted and harassed with words such like, sissy or faggot by their peers.  Neither had identified their own sexual orientation.  However, according to a 2005 report by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Harris Interactive, LGBT kids are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual contemporaries.  The Religious Reich makes all sorts of outrageous claims (as they often do) that this is caused by the child’s own self-loathing for his/her sexual or gender identity.  But where does that self-loathing stem from – perhaps from society telling these children that they are inferior, worthless and “sinners.”

When we are very young children everyone asks us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Most answers are things like, a doctor, a fireman, a chef, a teacher or an astronaut – children never respond, “I’m going to be disliked by my peers, taunted publically, discriminated against by my government, rejected by my family and somehow still find the strength to wake up every day and face these horrors again.”  No child dreams of that future, but that future comes anyway for many kids.  It came for Jaheem and Carl, in spite of the fact that neither publically self-identified as anything other than children, and regrettably they both felt the only way out was to take their own lives.

These children, as well as the countless others who become victims of bullycide, did not take their own lives, the Religious Reich and social neo-conservatives who think that somehow the sexuality of these children were relevant to their own lives, took their lives.  They murdered them by teaching that it is “ok” to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning people.  This is how they purport to protect our children.  To that, jaysays: there has got to be a better way.

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4 Responses

  1. Jennie says:

    This is why I love you, you take these things to heart, and really care.
    So many people do not understand nor do they care to try. Not to say I totally understand it but I am willing to try. and not pass judgement .
    If you believe in god , do you not think he knows each one of us. Do you not think he will judge us no one has the right to judge others that way. At the end of my time I think god will set with me and he will tell me what he saw in my heart.He already knows me. I am not afriad to die because if god does not knwo what is truly in my heart who would. The god fearing people fear god for not forgiving their sins against all gods children.
    I am proud that you are apart of my family . I know I don’t have the best writting skills . but I will always love you and be proud of you, and willing to walk with you anywhere.

    Aunt Peggy

  2. pngwnz says:

    My favorite sound in the world is a child laughing. I don’t hate very many things – but I do hate when a child is hurt. That should never happen.

    “Aunt Peggy” you have a wonderful way with words and I enjoyed reading what you wrote.

    Please adults of all ages – stop encouraging children to hurt other children (physically or emotionally). The hurt can last a lifetime !!

  3. This sickness seems to be “coming out” more and more; not sure if we’re just HEARING about these hateful actions more and more or if they are actually increasing as gays fight for equality.

    Bullied and Raped in Middle School – http://gaytaxprotest.blogspot.com/2009/05/bullied-and-raped-in-middle-school.html

    • jaysays says:

      I don’t know if it is that we are hearing more about it or there is a rise in the problem; however, there are studies suggesting hate crimes have been on the rise since the passage of Prop 8 [jaysays’ article on this]. In that case too, I wonder if people aren’t more likely to report the hate crimes than before considering the current political climate.

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