Comments

1
This is why Twilight should at least be shunned - it perpetuates the myth that high school resembles life enough that an adult could fit in. Obviously they couldn't.
2
@1 That's your takeaway from this???
3
I haven't dug into the methodology (and I won't), but I suspect it vastly undercounts the amount of violence experienced by straight boys. I don't know a single man of my generation (I graduated high school in 1998) who didn't have the living shit beaten out of them at least once during their school days, and if you are like me (and I wasn't unusual) it happened more or less once a year between ages 6 and 15 or so. Most of the times, that meant going home with a black eye or two, but sometimes it would be more serious. I never ended up in the hospital but there were days when I stayed home "sick".

Anyhow, not sure what my point is, and I'm not trying to argue that the status quo is sufficient... when it comes to boys, my mentality is that it is mathematically impossible for GBTQ kids to have been threatened/injured/bullied more frequently than straight children because the baseline rate is already 100%. My heart does not break for them and I'm oddly a bit frosty that "certain kids" should be exempt from what most of us considered a rite of passage.
4
@3, If you consider bullying a "rite of passage," maybe you're part of the problem.

I'm saddened by these figures (particularly 29% having attempted suicide in the past 12 months), but not really surprised by them. We all know that the LGBT community has always been a target of violence of all forms (physical, psychological, sexual), and kids are so much more vulnerable to these things. It's easy, when you're a kid, to feel like everything you're going through is never going to change. That's why the It Gets Better Project was so helpful.

Anyway. Gay, straight, bi, lesbian, trans, queer, cis, whatever, no one should have to endure bullying and abuse day in and day out. I say this as a woman whose parents tried to kick her out when she was 10 (I refused to leave). If I had come out to my evangelical parents, they certainly would have forced me out.

I wonder if the high levels of bullying are a result of kids coming out younger, or if these levels are actually an improvement over what non-conforming kids went through in previous generations?
5
As someone who was viciously taunted as a child, after years of abuse by older boys who told others, I can speak to what it means to be the focus of scorn. And then to have parents take me to a church that rejected my value as a human being, was a mindfuck that was scary at first, but I soon began to see through the bullshit and into my own future. I adore you Dan. Your stand for those who are not in a position to speak up for themselves because of fear of retribution, rejection, or maybe they just haven't conceptualized what they need to say, that is an amazing space to hold. I am also clear about all the crap you must receive for being the giant umbrella for all God's children. You and Terry must be raising a tremendous young man. Some lucky girl...
6
As someone who was viciously taunted as a child, after years of abuse by older boys who told others, I can speak to what it means to be the focus of scorn. And then to have parents take me to a church that rejected my value as a human being, was a mindfuck that was scary at first, but I soon began to see through the bullshit and into my own future. I adore you Dan. Your stand for those who are not in a position to speak up for themselves because of fear of retribution, rejection, or maybe they just haven't conceptualized what they need to say, that is an amazing space to hold. I am also clear about all the crap you must receive for being the giant umbrella for all God's children. You and Terry must be raising a tremendous young man. Some lucky girl...
7
@3

Your argument is very callous and ignorant. You state that you were beaten up once a year on average (like most other boys) and therefore LGBTQ kids can't have it worse because it is already about 100% for other kids. Did it ever occur to you that you are comparing the average once a year beating to an LGBTQ kid getting beaten up far more frequently? Maybe monthly, weekly, even daily?

I don't say this to ignore or gloss over the violence against straight boys in high school (that is also a problem), but it's akin to ALLLIVESMATTER. Yes, just like white lives matter too, bullying not related to sexual orientation and gender identity is also a problem, but it's ignorant to dismiss that the latter is more prevalent and has additional unique factors causing it.

The last part is just shitty. You have no empathy because it happened to you? That's fucked up! I would expect you to have more empathy for that reason. "It happened to me and it happens to lots of people, so it's ok". Under that logic, we would never make any progress. Slavery would still exist, husbands can rape their wives (even the 11 year old ones) and why bother curing diseases.

Yes, bullying of all kids, particularly the violence experienced by younger or weaker boys by the older and stronger is a serious issue, but that isn't what we're talking about here. Although, if we make it unacceptable to beat up the kid who acts "gay" (he's smaller and slightly effeminate) than maybe that would solve the problem for the straight boys too?
10
@3
Your argument is completely invalid.
I am a straight white male. I graduated in 1990.
I got in a few fights in elementary and middle school. I was never beaten up.
The only violence I experienced in high school was being tripped. Once I was on the ground the other two boys ran away.
The majority of male students are not bullied and beaten by their classmates.
There is a difference between getting in a fight and being beaten up.
I saw kids harassed, bullied and beaten up all through school. Those kids were always 'outsiders' of some kind, and LGBTQ kids were frequently targeted.

@3 fetish
I assume you were viewed as an 'outsider' by your classmates. Being beaten up every year was not and is not normal, and it was not and is not acceptable.
11
And yes, there is a solution. GSAs.

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016…

It works for everyone, gays & straights.
12
@3, Data > anecdotes. Always.
13
the board that sticks up gets nailed down. I'm not sure what % of this human nature that we're struggling against, and how much is the intolerance that we are indoctrinated with.

I never saw bullying of gay kids; I went to a magnet public Arts School from 5th to 12th grade, and the gay kids were the most talented singers, actors, and dancers in the school. they were the most popular as a result. so, yay Arts Schools.
14
@7 it's cold, sure. I'm using the number from the article. Plenty of kids get beat up every day.

@4 I certainly wouldn't say I'm "part of the problem", you and I are probably doing the exact same amount of reduce the issue. That's fine.

As far as considering it a rite of passage, it's more of the "walked uphill both ways in the snow" type of thing. I'm sure you have a similar experience of hardship that is traditional in your community/field/activity etc that occurs to all/most new entrants in those communities and that; once you are through it, serves as a bonding element; whether it's getting hazed at a frat, or the torturous lab hours of your collegiate degree program, or even the process of coming out to your parents. I'm not trying to assert that these are necessary, character-building moments that all children should go through, I'm telling you why many straight men could read this article and give it a shrug: it sounds a lot like their experience, and certainly there was no one to stand up for us/them in those days.

@10 did you go to public school? I wasn't much of an outsider, I never switched schools and the same core of 25 kids (out of max 30 each year) were together for the whole run of elementary school - including the bullies. I maintain that is was eminently normal - consider the hollywood movie "3 O'Clock High" - every school had their bully or gang of tough kids who would rough you up.
15
In Queensland, Oz, there is a push on for kids to actively engage in talking about bullying thru a website.
The man in the ad for it is a gay man.
Our swimming hero, Ian Thorpe.
16
What are the straight parents doing? They're telling the rising generation not to be gay and doing all they can or think they have to do to try to put a finger on the scale.
17
@14
I went to public school.
Even in the movies (you brought up movies btw) bullies pick on 'outsiders', not the 'popular' kids.

You say you weren't 'much of an outsider'.
I think the 'core' kids that bullied you would disagree.

People who say being beaten and bullied is a 'right of passage' are usually former bullies or their victims.
The rest of us (the majority) usually feel bad that we didn't do more to protect the victims.
18
@3 This THIS is the problem. This belief that bullying somehow helps people, that getting the shit kicked out of you, and being endlessly humiliated, somehow imparts strength and wisdom, when all it does is impart lasting damage and anger.

You should want better for your kids fetish. You should want them to not get beaten up or bullied for any reason. You should want the people that do it to be punished. You should want this toxic macho crap that ruins so many lives to GO AWAY.

That you don't is really, really sad.

@8 I totally believe your story and don't think you made it up at all. Also you're really noble for not sticking up for someone who was being bullied.
19
Being bullied is a "rite of passage" now? Why? What does it prove, that you survived school? Shouldn't that be a given? That attitude reminds me of a Family Guy episode that really pissed me off, where Lois drops Chris off for his first day of high school, screams "FRESHMAN!!!" and drives away while older bullies converge on him. And then she's puzzled when he runs away from home. What kind of parent wants and expects their kid to be beaten up?

@14 - but you *are* part of the problem if you consider bullying to be a "rite of passage." It means you think it's completely normal and okay for a child to be bullied, and that they should just suck it up and get over it. Putting long torturous hours into a school project, or even getting hazed, isn't a good analogy, because those are activities that you choose for yourself to some degree. Being bullied is not something you choose, it's someone else deciding for you that you should be a victim.

No one else may have stood up for you personally back in your day, but that doesn't make it right that it happened or that it's okay for it to happen to other people.

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