Monday, November 1, 2010

Bullying doesn't stop but handling it better

Discussions on teen suicides are on the rise in the US. Some victims of teen bullying are gay and some are not. Just the same, bullying comes with a lot of pain and with suicide, that pain is shared by the victim's families and friends. In my own experience, bullying may also stretch to the direct victim's family.
I grew up being bullied as well and one of those reasons is because I am gay. My parents wanted the best for me and they thought sending me to a Catholic school would make me a successful person someday. They are aware of what I went through and they have seen me cry so many times after school.
When I was in fifth grade, my classmates would tease me in and out of the classroom. I had to deal with lewd gestures and words and my teachers were aware of it. These teachers did not  punish these kids though maybe because it is hard to explain to the students' parents that their children dislike fags in school.  Gay kids are supposed to be sinners anyway in that Catholic school.
I also had one teacher who threatened me by saying if I turned out to be gay (I could not admit to anyone that I was) in high school, she would hunt me down. That scarred me far deeper than my classmates words.
But that was not the end of it.
In high school, I had one teacher who had a gay son as well. It was very obvious that animosity existed between the teacher and her gay son and she took it out on me. She taught my classmates to turn against me--she ordered them to report to her whenever I acted in a gay manner. She would put me infront of the class and let my classmates tell her of my behavior. I would cry and sometimes, I became inconsolable so she had to take me to the staffroom. On the way from our classroom to the staffroom, she would parade my sobbing self as students from the other classes watched.
This evil teacher said if I did not stop being gay, she would ask my mother to report to class and let her be infront of my classmates. She threatened that my mother would suffer the same abuse that I was receiving. At 32 years of age, I can still say that that was the lowest point in my life.
I thought of suicide so many times in my life. I would cry myself til I could not cry anymore. I did not do it because I knew life has something so much better to offer.
Has the bullying stopped? Hell no! Adults have their subtle little ways of doing it by asking who is the woman in my relationship, by saying that I cannot have children and by saying that my partner is my boyfriend.
But now I know better--they have nothing that I need or want. I, myself, am complete. I am a happy gay man and they can stick their ignorant words in their hell-bound asses.

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