Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Bullying Gay People.

So it's just gay people getting bullied now, eh? 

That's all I've heard about since Tyler Clementi killed himself a while back. 

"The gays are being bullied, we have to stop this!" 

"It's not fair, it's not right! We're being targeted!" 

"I think that because I'm gay, I shouldn't get bullied at all!" 

Folks, I'm here to tell you, I'm a straight male, 28 years old, 320 pounds, I'm a BIG guy, and I STILL get bullied to this day. Still. And I'm pretty sure I can beat up the people bullying me. Would I do that? No. Why? Because bullying is an absolute CERTAIN part of life, and it's going to happen to everyone. There is always someone out there who feels they have to pick on you because they're bigger, they're stronger, they're wealthier, or they are just plain jealous of you. 

I was called gay from the time I started school until the time I graduated. That's what we did. We called people gay. "You're gay!" "Your mom is gay!" It was an insult. Was I gay? No. Is that different than a gay kid being called gay? Even I have to admit that it probably feels different for the person being "insulted." I used quotations there because I'm honestly coming under a little bit of conviction about the whole calling stuff gay thing. Maybe I shouldn't do it as much. Maybe it's insulting to have your orientation used as an insult. I kind of understand that now. Does that mean I'm going to stop cold turkey? Naw, that's gay. Also it's hard. 

When did bullying become the new thing? Did someone just realize when a gay guy threw himself off a bridge that this was a problem? The last time I heard this big of an outcry over bullying was when the video game "Bully" came out. As I recall, the makers of the game wound up toning the game way down when confronted with the massive fallout from the public. It's like we as a nation need something else to grab on to. We got the oil spill pretty much taken care of, Obama is renaming troops overseas so it doesn't sound as much like a war, and we are slowly but surely climbing out a recession. We need a scandal. Bullying fits the bill right now. Most of these people that are involved in the "anti-gay bullying" campaign couldn't care less if it were gay people or tree frogs getting bullied. They just want something else to gripe about. 

Also, gay people? Listen. I've developed an incredible amount of tolerance over the last year. If you want to be gay, be gay and be good at it. I have no problems with that. I'm not going to persecute you, I'm not going to "fuel the hate," and I'm not going to bully you. I'm fat. America hates fat people. We are made fun of constantly, we are picked on, and we are maligned in the media all the time. You know what? I've never thought about committing suicide because of that. I've never complained about being bullied. I continue living, knowing that every time someone makes a joke about fat people, they are just wishing they could have just one piece of guilt free cheesecake. Have you ever considered that people bully gays just because they wish they could be comfortable enough with their own sexuality to admit they'd like to try something gay? 

I do however, mix all this tolerance in with a belief in Christianity, and the belief that God hates homosexuality. Does He hate homosexuals? NO. No He does not. The God I worship loves everyone. I feel the same way. That's all I'm going to say about that, because I don't want people to think I'm coming at this from a "religious" standpoint. 

In closing, if you are gay and you feel like you are being bullied, don't kill yourself. If your roommate streams live video of you having gay sex on the internet and everyone you know sees it, don't kill yourself. Because you know what? You are making the choice to end your life. You are causing someone else to have to feel the blame of a decision you made. You are possibly putting someone in jail for a very long time. And you are doing it because you decided that you couldn't live in a world that thought a little differently of you because you didn't "fit in" or you weren't "normal." Is there a normal person? Is there a guy named Steve Johnson that lives at 1234 South Maple Avenue in Plainstown, Nebraska that has 2.5 kids, a cat, a dog, a wife that looks okay but isn't special, with both parents still alive and married and they all go to church on Sunday afternoon then go to Applebee's and eat steak at exactly 12:15 then all go home and take a nap so they are rested to go to work at the Normal and Not Too Hard Work Plant at 8 AM on the nose Monday through Friday so they can have Saturday off to mow the grass and live life like it's a 1950 TV sitcom? Is there? Because I want to meet that person, and I want to bully him. Because that guy's a douche. 

But gay people...you're alright. No hate over here. Just live your lives, and stop worrying about being bullied. I'm pretty sure that if anyone in the nation has any right to say that they've been bullied, it's black people. While we're at it, why don't we just all shut up about people being bullied. It's going to happen. We as a nation bully other nations. If you can look me in the eye right now and tell me we don't bully Canada, I will call you a liar. 

Nothing in this world should be enough to make you kill yourself. No one should have that power over you. Even if you have a family that hates you, friends that make fun of you, a world that doesn't understand why you do the things you do, or if you simply don't understand yourself, please remember one thing before you decide to end it all. 

You've got me, and you've got Jesus. Even if you don't believe in Jesus, you've got me. 

But we can't date, because I love the ladies. 

15 comments:

  1. Despite growing up with a bad perm, eyebrows like caterpillars mating on my face, and a huge gap in my teeth, I wasn't bullied until my senior year of high school - ironically, after I had fixed all those aforementioned appearance issues and was, by most accounts, actually pretty. At that point some girl that I had never talked to in my LIFE decided to hate me for absolutely no reason, and she stalked me from place to place threatening to beat my ass. At around that same time, I met my future husband, whose psycho ex-girlfriend ALSO started bullying me and threatening to - you guessed it - beat my ass. (She's in jail right now, 13 years later, if that tells you anything.)

    I didn't know how to handle any of it, and it triggered a perpetual fear, which in turn triggered a horrible case of social anxiety disorder that ended up costing me my college education and years of therapy. I know it sounds all after-school-special dramatic, but it's true. And I still struggle with it sometimes.

    So yeah. I agree. You don't have to be gay to be bullied. But bullying sucks, no matter who you are, especially if you've got a people-pleasing temperament like the one I've been saddled with.

    Wish I had known about the Travis-and-Jesus thing in the midst of my bullying experience. I'd have felt a whole lot better. :)

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  2. I love this post. Because you are right, bullying happens to EVERYONE and EVERYONE does it. And if anyone claims they've never bullied before, they are full of shit and lying to themselves.

    Bullying isn't just harrassing the awkward 'not like me' person.

    I wish they spent as much time telling everyone we all have to get along and accept each other for who we are no matter what (unless of course 'the no matter what' goes against what's socicially popular and acceptable at the moment. Then we have every right to gang up on that person and tell them what an uneducated, immature, jealous, hating, wrong thinking piece of trash they are till they start to become more like the norm. Then bullying is ok because the majority and famous people are ALWAYS right...)

    Anyway, I wish they spent an equal amount of time teaching people how to deal with someone who doesn't like you.. and teach kids (AND ADULTS) that it's ok for not everyone to like you.

    This 'lets all get along and be nice to each other' is.never.going.happen. EVER. Never. No matter how many double rainbows people look at, no matter how many tweets ellen degeneres sends out. It will never happen.

    So lets figure out and teach people to not only lessen the bullying, but how to mentally and emotionally handle the bullied.

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  3. You're not gay?

    Then why do you keep sending me those naked karate pictures?

    Also..

    Please stop doing that.

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  4. THANK YOU, Trav. pretty sure you follow all the people i follow that won't stop with the videos about this crap. you know what it's like growing up a ginger kid. it sucks. i can only imagine being a fat ginger kid (sorry, had to).

    and canada sucks. that's all i'm going to say about that.

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  5. Excellent post. Bullying was a part of my existence from as far back as I can remember. And you know what? It's made me who I am today, a tough ass queen. ;)

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  6. thank you for the new blog! and i agree! EVERYONE gets bullied. EVERYONE just needs to learn how to deal with it. :) your words inspire all of america. ok, maybe just parts of it.

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  7. I love this post.

    I have so many memories of people teasing me for my fatness. Hell, it happened one time while I was walking to try and lose the fatness.

    Those memories are why I am always fidgeting with my shirts and sucking in my gut in public places. Every time I pass out in the cookie aisle (you have to suck in your gut even harder while purchasing cookies) it's because a bully made me do it.

    But seriously, I wish people would just get real about this. It happens to everyone. It isn't a gay issue. It's a respect for others issue. It's a discipline issue.

    Maybe you should get some celebrities behind you and take your message to the streets. May I suggest a blue ribbon? Not Pabst Blue Ribbon though. That's a whole other thing.

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  8. VERY-WELL SAID!!!
    I was bullied in elementary and it made my life miserable. I wasn't fat, but I was dirt poor. It sucked. Maybe it's time bullying gets the attention it deserves-gays or no gays.

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  9. A-freaking-MEN!

    Bullying is not new. Not new to gays, blacks, Jews, whites, Muslims, old or young...there is NO boundaries on bullying.

    And when you said that there is nothing else note-worthy going on in the news, I screamed "YES!" at my computer screen. Bout damn time I happened across someone that feels the same way I do.

    Great post! :)

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  10. test comment...because my other six page long one didn't go through...

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  11. OMG! Right on, Trav-O! I love your post.

    I don't know if I was bullied but I've been teased. I have had times in my life where I wished I could crawl under rock never to come out or just move to Mars and start a new life. NEVER have I wanted to end it all. Furthermore, I don't think there is anything anyone can do or say to make me.

    People are mean. Yes. But are they really responsible for the feelings of another human being??? Unless he pushed dude off the bridge, I don't see how the bully is liable. Sometimes it's better to let Karma and God take care of people like that.

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  12. Travis, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    I've been bullied, too. And honestly, in high school I was probably what was considered "popular" but everyone has a bully and everyone feels inferior about something. No matter what anyone says though or the digs that have been made, I value my life. I can't image killing myself over a bully. Sometimes I feel bad for those people, that things got -that- bad, but sometimes I'm like "Sticks and stones, man. Not worth killing yourself over." Ya know?

    But I agree, it has become the new 'thing'. Here in Hawaii it seems like every other commercial is either a PSA for bullying or meth. It's crazy!

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  13. I was bullied a good part of my elementary school years, due to my outward appearance, thanks to life-saving surgeries as a baby and a piece of attached medical equipment (that also initially helped save my life).

    EVERYONE...gay, straight, black, white, blond, brunet, short, tall, fat, skinny and all others in between WILL BE bullied at some point in their lives.

    And yes, some will suffer from it more so than others. And believe me, for me (and my parents) it was pretty damn bad at times.

    But I never once thought of offing myself over it.

    We need to stop using the "___ card" when we are faced with opposition. Everyone is gonna be hurt by another's words or actions at some point.

    All in all, Trav, I approve this message! (=

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  14. I'm currently doing a design project in Wales UK looking at non-heterosexual bullying. I think you raise some interesting issues, yet for you to say... "if you want to be gay, be gay and be good at it"...I find this pretty offensive as people don't choose to be gay, I certainly didn't. And to be good at it? Are you living life as a straight person well? How do we evaluate how we are doing "at it" as you say? And I don't accept the fact that we should accept bullying. I accept that in society we do go through phases, similar to what you said about there always being some issue within the media that Government seem to want to tackle, but that's not necessarily a bad thing I wouldn't say. But anyway, my main concern is still people seeing being gay as a choice...it's no different to how you live your life, nothing is different for me as how any of my friends live their lives which I am very thankful for.

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  15. S. Williams..

    All in all, the point of the post in it's entirety is that it should NEVER matter what sub-group is being bullied.

    The fact that people are bullied for being 'different' in pretty much any form, be it gay, disabled, disfigured or even fat should NOT EVER be tolerated.

    No one group of people have the monopoly on being bullied. And we all must stop playing that card hand.

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