Posted by Brad @ 2:13 pm on November 3rd 2011

Quote of the Day

I almost wrote an addition to my “I Don’t Care About…” series that would have been “I Don’t Care About…Gay Bullying.” Ultimately, I didn’t have the balls, and I didn’t want to be mistaken for insensitive (and it wasn’t specifically in relation to “It Gets Better”, which I think is phenomenal and one of the best (and most appropriate) approaches to such a problem that I’ve ever seen). It was more the thought that…well hell, getting bullied is a reality for MOST kids, at one point or another, and I always distrust people who demand we treat behavior as being of a separate kind when it happens to different classes of people (even when, as is the case for gay kids, rates of suicide are much higher).

That, combined with my general feeling that we spend far too much effort, as a society, trying to throw warm blankets over people to protect them from all insensitivity and to imbue them with the idea that they are beautiful unique snowflakes who have the absolute right to not have people be assholes to them. Finally, there’s the general efficacy issue, both on the party of the bullies and the bullied. On the bullies – I am pretty sure the scolding of Lady Gaga is not going to cross their minds when they corner Billy on the playground and, if anything, parents and teachers really taking the whip to bullies who target a gay kid sends the message that gay kids are a people apart, which I’m not sure is a message you want to send if normalization is your goal. But more than anything, for the bullied. To me, those defenses are best built up internally, and every human is not a sum total of what happens to them, but rather a sum total of how they choose to respond (internally or externally) to those happenings. In the same way a brain given addictive chemicals will stop producing dopamine for itself, movements that take the focus off training up that internal process, and put it on trying to protect them from those external happenings, are usually useless at best and counterproductive at worst.

ANYWAY, I didn’t write that post, but Scott Thompson has a great quote at Pride Source that made me think about that post-not-written.

You’ve addressed bullying before, specifically how the It Gets Better campaign is basically a lie – it might not get better, you say. What would you tell bullied kids then?

Grow a pair. Here’s the thing: The world is not kind to us; it never really will be. The gay male is always going to be at the bottom. I believe the things that happened to me as a child scarred me terribly, and I wish somebody would have helped me with some of the things that happened. But you have to fight back. So much of these bullying campaigns are part of the trend that we were just talking about – the recasting of gay men as eternal victims and it’s like, fight back! Fathers should start teaching the boys how to punch. He does that to you, here’s what you do: You fucking punch him in the face.

Whole interview’s worth reading, actually.

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