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Is Bullying Gay? The Battle Over Gay Teens!

Is Bullying Gay? The Battle Over Gay Teens!
Elisabeth A. Freeman - Thu Aug 02, 2012 @ 11:54AM
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Is Bullying Gay?

In today’s language kids and teens go around saying, “That’s so gay,” about virtually everything. I’ve even heard my own boys say that and quickly corrected them, not wanting to offend or hurt anyone. Although they meant nothing by it, I knew their words could hurt.

Sadly, my boys are not the only ones saying hurtful things or verbally abusing the LBGT community. In my research I found some shocking and tragic stories.

Zach King, from Columbus, Ohio was one of those horrifying stories. Due to his sexual orientation, he was beaten by a fellow high school student last fall. He’d been bullied since the 3rd grade. Kids would say you sound like a girl. They called him “fag” and said he acted “girly”. The brutal beating in high school, which was the worst bullying yet, where he was punched 20 times in the face, was actually taped on a cell phone and then put on Facebook for everyone to see. This happened in a classroom full of students and bystanders, yet, no one helped him.

Thankfully, Zach didn’t commit suicide, instead, he fought back. Today he works alongside his mother as an activist against bullying for LBGT, shares his story, and speaks out to help others. He even received the Flame of Liberty Award from the ACLU this year. Read Zach’s touching story and another story about him here.

Another alarming incident happened just this year, when a New York student, 14 year old Kardin Ulysse was attacked by another student. He actually lost his sight in one eye. After two surgeries doctors have given up and say he will need a transplant. They are not sure if the damage to his eye was from the blows from the punches or the shards of glass from his eyeglasses. Read Kardin’s Full Story.

Tragically, Zach and Kardin are NOT ALONE. Upon digging deeper and doing more research, I have learned some heartbreaking statistics today. I found that the number one reason Lesbians and Gays are bullied is due to their appearance—the way they choose to look/dress. The second reason is because of their gender identity. In one of our workshops, a boy who was gay came up afterwards, gave me a hug and said, “Thanks for your message today. Nobody accepts me for who I am, so I’ve been pretending I’m not gay just so I won’t get teased and people will like me.” How sad!

I discovered that:

Bullying Statistics say 1 in 7 kids are bullied or are the bully. Yet, 9 out 10 Lesbians and Gays have reported being bullied over the last year.

·        LBGT, those with disabilities, and those overweight are bullied 63% more than others.

·        Gays/Lesbians are 5 times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe.

·        28% of LBGT’s feel forced to drop out of school all together.

·        LBGT are 2-3 times more likely to attempt or commit suicide more than their peers.

In June of this year, a precious teen, 16-year-old, Brandon Elizares, from El Paso, TX, took his own life after being bullied and threatened at school because of his sexuality. His suicide note read, “I couldn’t make it.” His mother reported that kids had threatened to stab and burn him to death. However, she believes the school did everything they could on their part. This was a vicious attack of cyber bullying and cyber threats. Read Brandon’s Story Here.

In Light of Brandon’s Story and Others, Our organization took a closer look at all the bullycides that were reported in the USA since 2009.

We found the following stories online:

·        In 2012-- 31 kids/teens were victims of bullycide / 6 of which were openly gay

·        In 2011-- 43 kids/teens were victims of bullycide / Also 6 of which were openly gay / 3 called gay

·        In 2010-- 40 kids/teens were victims of bullycide / 8 of which were openly gay / 2 called gay

·        In 2009—Only 5 kids/teens stories were discovered / 1 of whom was openly gay / 1 called gay

America needs to wake up before it’s too late! Be the example you want your children and others to follow!

Great stars like Ellen DeGeneres have paved the way for those coming out and choosing openly gay lifestyles! I’m not gay or lesbian—but I do love Ellen!

Everyone in the world needs to see the fact that we are all different, yet we are all the same.

Our Anti-Bullying CHANGE workshops are geared to bring Change & Equality to all people and stop abuse, bullying and violence.

In one of our demonstrations: I give a few kids, teens, and adults (whoever is present in our workshops) various pieces of change, all totaling a dollar. I explain that it all looks different, but yet is entirely equal, of the same value, and can be spent the same. That’s how human beings are, we’re all different (race, gender, sexuality, color, etc), yet each of us has the same value and worth! Each of us wants the same thing, to be loved and accepted for who we are. We challenge everyone to have a CHANGE OF HEART and decide not to be victims, bystanders, and bullies. We encourage them to make a change, and be survivors, so they can be the change for others to see. Our ultimate goal is to CHANGE HEARTS & SAVE LIVES in memory of our son, Brian, who lived and died forgiving his bullies. After he died we found a CHANGE jar he’d been saving… Read More Here

Written by: Lisa Freeman @ www.abusebites.com, who’s daughter, Melissa, is openly a lesbian. However, before Melissa made that decision, kids teased her relentlessly saying she looked like a boy and called her gay. Everyone in Freeman’s family was abused or bullied (even their dogs!), and have not only survived, but healed. Lisa shares their inspirational stories of abuse, bullying and survival abroad!

Founder & CEO Abuse Bites, Healing Projects Specialist Bully Police USA, Lifelong Abuse Survivor & Advocate, Award-Winning Author & Speaker, Certified Pet Therapist & Dog Trainer

More

One Gay Teens Survival Story

Bullying Works—article on anti-LGBTQ

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