Dying from the inside out
a) You’re behaving like a NAZI
b) I was JEWED out of a promotion
c) Quit that NIGGER
d) That shirt is so GAY
Which of these statements are you most likely to let slip by without raising an eyebrow? None of them should. They all are very offensive and represent the of type verbal bullying that has become all to normal.
In light of Jamie Hubley’s suicide which was caused, in part at least, by bullying, I wanted to make sure that we all realize that bullying is not just the big ogre in the school that picks on smaller kids. Bullying comes from all of us in the most subtle ways. And in today’s society, the gay community is a commonly placed at the receiving end of this hurtful practice.
Part of the problem is that we feel we can easily identify who is gay and who is not. You think that boy or girl who fits the stereotype is the gay one is obviously the gay one just as easily as you indentify the obese person or the foreigner. But it’s not that clear cut. There is no such thing as “gaydar”. There is no way to tell who is gay and who is not; just like you can’t tell someone’s favourite colour just by meeting them.
But because society has shown there is a prejudice towards the gay lifestyle, many, many people choose not to share that part of their lives even with those who are very close to them, family included. And why should they? They don’t want to butt of ridicule or denied a promotion or lose their friends because they are gay.
Jamie’s story, while very sad, is also very common. No one should have to be driven to feeling so badly about themselves that they have to try to hide it just to cope. For all you know, your best friend is gay or your boss is gay or your cousin is gay. So next time you hear phrases like, “that shirt looks faggoty” or “he runs like a fairy” or “she dresses like a boy”, remember the person beside you may be the one that dies a little more inside.
Clip from In & Out with Kevin Kline