Tag Archive | "bullying"

Bullying Just Has a Different Name

Tags: , ,

Photo: Jack and his son, Elliot, on the NBC hit, Will & Grace

Since the beginning of time, there has been bullying of some sort; childish nicknames through to genocide. Looking back through history, we see examples of bullying and of laissez-faire attitudes from people who could have stopped it. Unfortunately, that is the way the world has worked and will continue to.  Wars, politics and even the workplace are comprised of the bullies and the bullied. It has been said that the imbalance of power between countries resulted in WWI and WWII. This imbalance of power can be social or political. It affects everyone and anyone who can be perceived as a target. The most obvious targets are race, religion and sexuality.

What has changed though – particularly for young people in regards to targeted bullying for sexuality – is that the bullies now have a name for it. They can call a fellow student “gay.” And the chances are, as more and more people are brave enough to come out of the closet at a younger age, they are.

Bullying is never acceptable. It hides the weak under a guise of power. Being a victim is denying your own power to stand up for yourself.

Cast your minds back to your school days. Being gay may not have been talked about, but you were called, perhaps, “sissy,” “girl,” “nancy-boy,” because you couldn’t play sports or because you had more girlfriends then boyfriends. The change is, those taunts have been replaced with being called “gay.”

As I have said numerous times, bullying has to stop. But we also need to recognize that though there are pitfalls to coming out at a younger age, namely name calling and emotional and physical abuse, there is a shift in acceptance. A shift in understanding. Slowly but surely as more kids come out, calling someone gay simply won’t have the effect it does now.

Just last week, a lesbian couple were crowned America’s first Homecoming King and Queen. They thanked their friends and family for the outpouring of support.

They are a success story. They clearly show that attitudes have changed. Not only were they accepted by their peers, they were celebrated in one of the most important right of passage for American teenagers.

As more and more celebrities come out and more legislation is passed to give equal rights to gay people, America will see a decrease in bullying. How can you taunt someone for something that is normal? Not because you or I say it is, but because the government does.

At the end of the day, the band geek will get bullied, as will the figure skater, the blonde cheerleader, the dumb jock, the math and science geeks, and of course all those in the drama club. We have all seen our own version of mean girls (or boys). But life does go on, and when kids go to college, they have the freedom to remove the shackles of taunts from school and move into adulthood proud of who they are and who they will become.

In order to encourage this, I feel we need to take the sting out of bullying.  We all need to post, tweet, text, Facebook and upload videos saying it does get better. And not just for gay teens, but for any child who is faced with taunting and verbal abuse.

Another factor I believe that is shifting attitudes and will eventually help in changing the attitudes of the next generation is the fact that there are over two million children in the US today who are part of an LGBT family.

From birth, they will be taught well-rounded acceptance. They will not judge sexuality. That is not to say they won’t grow up to be band geeks, or dumb jocks. It does mean, however, that “sexual bullying” not only has the gay name, but will have a whole generation of people who not only understand what it means to be gay, but see absolutely no issue with it. Quite simply, it is their normality.

I’m reminded of a “Will and Grace” episode where Jack’s son Elliot is embarrassed by him because he dances outrageously at his school dance and the girl Elliot likes comes up to him and tells him how good Jack is. His face changes slightly and says “maybe it’s because he is gay.” He says it in a frightened tone. The girl responds, “Oh one of my moms is gay.  She is not a good dancer; she did build our house though.” It got the laughs, but it showed people, some five years ago, what it meant to be accepting. She sees no issue in the gay aspect or in the perceived stereotype. Rather, it is her reality. This will be seen more and more as the kids of LGBT families grow up.

This is the stage we need to set where there is no room for a bully.  People always say “Don’t give them the satisfaction of reacting.” I say,  “React!” Explain that there is not only nothing wrong with being gay, but that kids today are armed with a host of icons – people who have paved the way, changed the world, and who didn’t succumb to being called a “sissy,” or being imprisoned or being made to feel “less than.” As I said last week, those people–the activists, the fighters and the “normal” families of the LGBT community are the heroes. They are showing the next generation that being gay isn’t something to be bullied for. It’s not something at all. It’s just normal life.






Alex Vaughn is the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Agenda. He can be reached at editor@FloridaAgenda.com

Jamie Hubley Takes His Own Life Bullied 15 Year Old Posts Suicide Note on Blog

Tags: , , , , ,

By Alex Vaughn

Jamie Hubley 1996 – 2011

Jamie Hubley, a 15-year-old from Ottawa, Canada committed suicide on Saturday after writing openly about depression, bullying and self-harm on his blog. He has spent the past weeks writing heart-wrenching messages and posting disturbing images, all the while stating his treatment for depression was failing.

His blog, titled “You Can’t Break When You’re Already Broken,” is a sad memoir of the 10th grade student’s desperate pleas.
In a heartbreaking message posted prior to his death, he wrote: “I’m a casualty of love… I hit rock f****** bottom, fell through a crack, now I’m stuck.”

He had previously written: “I just want to feel special to someone.”

Stephanie Wheeler, a close friend of Hubley told the Ottawa Citizen: “From the outside, he looked like the happiest kid. He was always smiling and giving everybody hugs in the halls. I just remember him wanting a boyfriend so bad, he’d always ask me to find a boy for him. I think he wanted someone to love him for who he was.”

Hubley also posted his suicide note on his blog. He wrote of his love for musicians including Lady Gaga, Adele, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera. The note also spoke of the pain from both bullying and depression.

“I’m tired of life, really. It’s so hard, I’m sorry, I can’t take it anymore,” his note read. “I don’t want my parents to think this is their fault, either. I love my mom and dad. It’s just too hard. I don’t want to wait three more years, this hurts too much.” The Kanata teenager also described how he hated being the only openly gay boy in his school.

His father Allan Hubley, a counselor for the Kanata South district of the city, wrote on his Twitter page after his son’s death: “Thank you to all the people sending us messages. Their love for Jamie will keep us going in our time of need.”

Hubley also told CBC News that his son was constantly bullied throughout elementary school and into high school.

He said the bullying began when Jamie was in Grade 7 and teens tried to stuff batteries down his throat on the school bus because he was a figure skater.

“[Jamie] was the kind of boy that loved everybody,” said Hubley, “He couldn’t understand why everyone would be so cruel to him about something as simple as skating. He just wanted someone to love him. That’s all. And what’s wrong with that? Why do people have to be cruel to our children when all they want to do is be loved?” said Hubley, speaking on the phone with the CBC’s Ashley Burke.

In high school, the relentless bullying was targeted to the fact that Jamie was openly gay.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board released a statement on Tuesday sending its condolences to the Hubley family. The statement also addressed the subject of bullying. “I couldn’t agree more about the importance of dealing with these issues. These are complex issues that we have to deal with as a community”, said Jennifer Adams, the board’s director of education.

The case of Jamie Hubley has highlighted the growing awareness of teen depression in Ottawa. He is part of a rash of teen suicides in the Ottawa Valley in 2010 that has forced the communities to design better strategies to address the issue, including identifying signs of depression earlier and removing the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Jamie Hubley struggled with depression for a long time, his father said, but no matter how much his parents tried to help, the teen could not escape his sadness.

“I lost a beautiful, beautiful child that was going to make the world a better place. I’ve been involved in a lot of things in my community … but I couldn’t fix my own boy and that’s tearing me apart,” Allan Hubley said.

A Facebook page has been set up in Jamie’s honor, and his fellow students are planning a memorial performance at his school A.Y. Jackson Secondary.

Jamie Hubley’s tragic death comes as “Heroes” star Zachary Quinto revealed on his blog this past weekend that he was gay. His revelation was inspired by the suicide of another schoolboy, Jamey Rodemeyer, 14, who ended his life in September after being severely bullied because he was homosexual.

The actor wrote: “In light of Jamey’s death, it became clear to me in an inst

ant that living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality. Gay kids need to stop killing themselves because they are made to feel worthless by cruel and relentless bullying.”

The Daily Mail reported, “Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Canadians between the ages of ten and 24 and disproportionately affects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.”

BSO Screens Bullied as Part of Their Anti-Bullying Initiative

Tags: , , , , ,

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti will discuss the office’s Anti-Bullying Initiative in conjunction with screening Bullied, a film chronicling the powerful story of Jamie Nabozny from Ashland, Wisconsin. He  stood up to his anti-gay tormentors with a federal law suit. The suit led to a landmark decision that held school officials accountable for not stopping anit-gay bullying.

Captain Rick Wierzbicki, of the Sheriff’s Office Hate Crimes and Anti-Bias Task Force; and Andrew L.

Rosenkranz, Florida Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, will also be in attendance.

Monday, September 26, 6:30 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE 6th Street Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with a catered cocktail reception (free food/cash bar) prior to the film at the Courtyard of Cinema Paradiso 5:30 p.m.

Rap Star Writes Book for Teens on Bullying

Tags: , , ,

NEW YORK, NY – MTV News reports that rap star 50-Cent has written a new book entitled “Playground,” which is a semi-autographical novel about teen bullying. According to a statement from his publisher, the first-person novel is slated for release in January 2012 and will tell  the story of a 13-year old bully who “finds redemption as he faces what he’s done”. The previous books he’s written concerned his personal life story and the rules of power.

“I had a strong desire to write ‘Playground’ because I wanted to explore how a kid becomes a bully,” 50-Cent said in a statement announcing the book. “I drew on events from my own childhood and adolescence, but was excited to see the story take on its own life.

This book would have been very helpful for me growing up and now that I have a teenage son, it is my goal that this will have a positive influence on all teenagers.”

Anti-Bullying Bill Fails in Louisiana

Tags: , ,

BATON ROUGE, LA – By a vote of 53-43, the Louisiana House opposed the “Safe Schools Bill,” which sought to fight bullying in public schools. The bill was fiercely opposed by the Louisiana Family Forum and Louisiana Baptists.

The Louisiana Baptists wrote that, though they are against bullying, the bill “has been hijacked by the Gay and Lesbian lobby by creating special classes of persons who are often the victims of bullying.”

Sticks & Stones…

Tags: , ,

By Alex Vaughn

Bullying is never acceptable and the news is rife with suicides as a result of anti-gay bullying in schools and colleges. The president has held a conference regarding bullying and is seen on a video saying, “You didn’t do anything wrong” for the “It Gets Better” campaign.

Most of the abuse we read about consists of verbal abuse that is psychologically damaging. Gay slurs, including the infamous ‘F’ word, are still bandied around in derogatory fashions. ‘That’s so gay’ and ‘you are such a fag’ are all too commonly used against young people to imply they are less than their straight peers.

However, “Faggot”, in particular, has achieved the ability to replace queen and queer as the hate word for the gay community. It has become the “term de riguer” for the 21st century against all ages and by people that should know better. Just this week, WWE announcer Michael Cole has come under fire for tweeting a homophobic slur about fellow announcer Josh Mathews. The tweet came shortly after WWE announced they were working with GLAAD to promote anti-gay bullying initiatives. In addition, openly gay Vanity Fair columnist Brett Hartinger, had to apologize for writing an article about Glee and using the word. The outcry on both was huge; Cole apologized almost immediately and Vanity Fair issued a very sensitive apology on Hartinger’s behalf.

In the case of Michael Cole, “Faggot” was used as an insult; in Brett’s case, he used it to intentionally shock and as an off-hand remark, and deemed it acceptable because he is gay. The difference can be noted however, the more we allow hate words to become shock tactics by those who are hated, it makes it acceptable for others to use them. Many gay people claim by taking the word on as their own, it desensitizes the effect.  Really? Ask the fourteen year old who hears it every day in the corridor how unaffected he is.  Saying the word over and over doesn’t make it less of an insult, it doesn’t degrade its effect on people. It is just as wrong and just as hateful whatever the context.

Be honest: How often have you used the word or heard it within the community? It is bandied about without a care in the world. Many people don’t realize that by doing this we only end up making it acceptable.  Last night I heard three intelligent and active members of the community call each other “Faggots”. How can we teach the younger generation to be more tolerant when they will follow by example?

Gay bullying and name calling is nothing new, but now, as attitudes change regarding the community throughout the world, the word is becoming akin
to “Nigger”, a term we don’t – and shouldn’t use anymore.

As acceptance for black people changed, that word became totally off bounds; very similarly, however, the word has a cult status now within the black community. Rap songs use it
constantly and, by the same token, the derogatory term for a homosexual is overly used throughout the community. If you would dare use the word towards a black person, however, you can expect, quite rightly, for them to be insulted. This is a warning: By ‘making it their own,’ it has become a loaded term, that has in no way over the past sixty years

become ANY less offensive. Do we really want to follow this path?

The attitude seems to be, ‘well I am one so I can say it’. Whenever I have heard people in bars calling each other names, it is meant in the same derogatory tone as “Queen”. By using this, we demean each other, and worse, imply that we agree a “Faggot” is someone to whom we can feel superior.

Bullying and name calling doesn’t stop with that.  There is a lot of infighting and griping between Gay guys and Lesbians. Where is the unity? We are supposed to be a supportive community, yet gay men here happily call lesbians “Dyke’s” and lesbians yell out “Faggots” and “Queens” all the time. How can we genuinely expect people to stop using these words against us if, when they come into the community, they hear them all the time as either pseudo terms of endearment or malicious insult?

I mean, seriously. We aren’t children.  We go around calling each other names like the bars are playgrounds. It is really simple to stop: Just don’t glamorize it by calling your peers “Faggots” and “Dykes”. It’s just not necessary.

When you do hear the term used against you and your friends, take a page out of the book of a guy I saw walking down Wilton Drive. A group of “real men” drove past him and yelled out “Faggot”. He simply turned, took a bow and yelled out, “Thank You!”

That is the way to diffuse the immaturity of people who want to drive through a gay area yelling out a silly word from the safety of a moving car.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.

Alex Vaughn is the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Agenda.  He can be  reached at editor@FloridaAgenda.com

Student Suicide Over Gay Sex Film – Parents Want Roommate Prosecuted – But Not “Harshly Punished”

Tags: , , ,

Parents call for justice, not punishment

Tyler Clementi

The parents of, Tyler Clementi, a student who committed suicide after a film of him having sex was streamed live on the internet have said they don’t want the alleged culprit to receive ‘harsh punishment’.
But they said they still want the invasion of privacy case to go ahead to prove their son’s death was not the result of a mere ‘college prank.’

Exactly six months after his suicide, Mr. Clementi’s grieving parents issued a statement saying they still want justice for their son – but they don’t want his fellow student Dharun Ravi to be harshly punished.
Jane and Joseph Clementi’s lawyer told the Newark Star Ledger: ‘We feel it is important to establish accountability and to further establish that Tyler was subject to criminal acts, not merely a college prank as some may argue.’

Clementi, 18, jumped to his death from a bridge just a few weeks into his first term at Rutgers University, New Jersey after his roommate allegedly taped the gay encounter.

Ravi faces two charges of invasion of privacy after allegedly hiding a camera in Mr. Clementi’s room to film his intimate encounter with another man.

He is also accused of trying to set up a second tape.

His classmate, Molly Wei, also faces invasion of privacy charges after she allegedly watched the video with Ravi.

Both students have since left Rutgers University and are on bail while prosecutors pursue the case. They have been neither arraigned nor indicted and the investigation is still ongoing.

Mr. and Mrs. Clementi said they want their son’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, prosecuted. They made no comment about Molly Wei, who was also charged.

Mr. and Mrs. Clementi’s lawyer, Paul Mainardi, said they would like the case to be resolved soon.

He said: ‘Now that the criminal investigation has been substantially completed, it is hoped that the prosecutor will announce additional charges against Tyler’s former roommate and proceed to submit those charges to the grand jury promptly.’

They did not comment on whether they wanted Wei to be prosecuted too.

Mr. Clementi is believed to have thrown himself off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on September 22 last year after discovering messages on Ravi’s Twitter page about the film.

He left a message on his Facebook page which said simply: “jumping off the gw bridge sorry”.

Since his death his parents, who are deeply private, have made plans for a foundation in his name, which they plan to launch in the next few weeks.

They told the Star-Ledger the Tyler Clementi Foundation will aim to help raise awareness about cyber-bullying and how the internet affects the privacy of young people.

Mr. and Mrs. Clementi said: “We have received overwhelming kindness and support from friends, neighbors, our church family and many good people who do not even know us — through cards, letters, calls, flowers, food and prayers.”

Earlier this month the Point Foundation announced it was launching a scholarship in Mr. Clementi’s memory, which will be awarded to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

Tyler Clementi was a gifted violinist. His death has served as a rallying point for anti-bullying and gay rights campaigners, became a focus for gay rights and anti-bullying campaigners, and brought about sweeping changes at Rutgers University.

In January, officials announced they will allow men and women to share rooms from September to make the campus more inclusive for gay students. Parents will not be allowed to veto their children’s choices, and undergraduates will not be asked to reveal if they are gay.

The university is also offering more training to help its staff deal with suicidal students, and has added a module on diversity and bullying to this summer’s freshman orientation program.

Study: Gays and lesbians more likely to be victims of hate crimes

Tags: , ,

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – More than 6,604 incidents of hate crimes were reported in 2009, according to a study released by the FBI. A majority of those violent hate crimes are against gays and lesbians, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

According to the report, 1,436 crimes were motivated by sexual orientation, which is down from 1,617 in 2008. The Southern Poverty Law Center said that gay people or those perceived to be gay, are more than twice as likely to be attacked in a violent hate crime than Jews or blacks; more than four times as likely as Muslims; and 14 times as likely as Latinos. The number of hate crimes reported has dropped by 30 percent since 2008.

Last year, Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which expanded federal hate crime laws to include crimes where the victims were targeted on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability.

Oakland Park supports anti-bullying resolution

Tags: ,



At the Nov. 3 Oakland Park City Commission meeting, all five commissioners voted in favor of Resolution No: R-2010-174, support for legislation prohibiting discrimination and bullying. While the resolution is not a law it does officially state that the city of Oakland Park, “supports legislation that prohibits discrimination and bullying in general” and “in particular when it is due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.” The resolution was the brainchild of Suzanne Boisvenue, Oakland Park’s vice mayor, who is a strong advocate for LGBT rights.


Tags: , , , , , ,

The recent teen suicides of Tyler Clementi, Blake Davis, Eddy McIntyre, Kevin Cline and several others rocked the nation. These young people felt that it was better to kill themselves than to continue living with the anti-gay bullying they were treated with almost on a daily basis. Bullying, self-doubts about sexual orientation, coming out, loneliness, loss of clear thinking, feelings of hopelessness, or worthlessness, loss of a loved one, inability to cope, severe anxiety, increased use of alcohol or drugs can all be warning signs of depression, even suicide.

The LGBT community of Miami- Dade and South Florida has an important resource to help others become more aware and perhaps prevent LGBT suicides like the recent ones the nation has seen. The LGBT Helpline and Suicide Awareness Program at Switchboard of Miami is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to help.

Unfortunately, it’s not just teenagers who are at risk at times approximately 50% of their callers have been between 35 and 59 years old — sadly forgotten, literally and figuratively, are the midaged and older adults, especially men,who, for reasons of loneliness, health or financial problems turn to suicide as a solution.

Each member of the LGBT community has a special responsibility to one another. Since many in the community are separated from their biological family, either geographically or emotionally, their de facto family becomes their friends, co-workers, neighbors or even acquaintances.

The Helpline can be reached at (305) 646-3600 anytime to speak to a counselor. At the other end of the line will be a member of The LGBT Helpline and Suicide Awareness Program to listen, to help in a crisis, to discuss the warning signs of suicide and depression or to design an action plan with information and referrals for you, a friend or family member. It’s free and completely confidential.

The LGBT Helpline and Suicide Awareness Program has been serving the Miami region for 5 years via the Switchboard of Miami, Inc.

The organization’s staff and volunteers have played an important role in over 260 crisis situations with members of our LGBT community in their hour of need and have provided information and referrals to more than 400 additional more individuals, their friends and families.

fap turbo reviews