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Author Topic: One Town's War on Gay Teens  (Read 3433 times)

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Offline SamaelTopic starter

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One Town's War on Gay Teens
« on: February 03, 2012, 12:43:50 AM »
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

I don't think there's any summary I can give to this, or any excerpt that would be more appropriate than another.
It's long, but it's well worth reading.

I really don't know what to say right now.
I don't understand how this shit can fly...

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2012, 12:55:56 AM »
Wow.. just.. wow.

words truly fail me in how totally failed they have the truth behind the words of the bible.


Offline Zakharra

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 10:19:50 AM »
 You took the words right out of my mouth Calli.  That school district is so wrong.  Homosexuality is not a crime.

Offline Caela

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 08:03:23 PM »
This makes me sick. How the school could do this is beyond me, but I have to admit I have to wonder why these kids parents didn't do more as well. If my child came home telling me of even ONE incident of harassment like this I would be so far up the Principal and School Boards asses that they'd do something just to get rid of me. It sounds an awful lot like most of these parents didn't do anything until their kids were dead.

Everyone failed these children and that makes me ill beyond words.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 08:07:27 PM »
Just IMAGINE what it would be like if Bachmann had made it on the campaign trail? This on a national level?

Offline Shjade

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2012, 02:21:28 AM »
Quote
It's a point of view shared by their congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has called homosexuality a form of "sexual dysfunction" that amounts to "personal enslavement."
I...what? The fuck does that even mean?

Edit, after having read further: I used to be a pretty violent kid. Not, like, dangerous violent. I wasn't a vandal or a criminal (often) or anything. I was just, y'know, I'd get in trouble for starting fights in school, I set up an informal fight club, that kind of thing. I just liked "expressing myself kinetically," let's say. I grew out of that in the late teens.

This article is giving me a powerful urge to fucking curbstomp some kids half my age. Given the trigger, I can't decide if that's a healthy response or not. It's unsettling either way. Yeah, I know the adults are the ones fostering an environment for blah blah blah, but it's still these fucking kids who have no reason whatsoever to be this shitty to other kids that are the pointy end of the long sword that is discriminatory religious politics in action. So sue me for wanting to kill the messenger, so to speak.

On a more level-headed, less hostile note, there are times when I have to have "the talk" about religion with people, since I work at a church. This usually resolves with my explaining that, while I believe in God in some form, I'm not a Christian. I don't follow religion. I don't say I'm "spiritual" or some other alternative explanation that usually comes up in that context, I just put it that way: I believe in God, not religion. Usually this confuses whoever's asking and I have to try to explain why I am incapable of having faith in people, especially people who purport to speak for/on behalf of/in the spirit of/whatever, God.

Now I can just point to this article if they don't understand why I might have a problem with religion and what it can produce. It comes down to people: they take perfectly good ideas and fuck them up beyond recognition, and they claim they're doing the right thing all the while. It boggles my mind.

Before defensiveness arises: I am well aware religion can also lead to good things. I can look at various mission projects taking place at the churches in my area to see that. However, given both these good things and the above completely screwed up things are derived from, at least by their claims, the same religion, I have a hard time resolving the two.

Oh, also, before I forget:
Quote
Minnesota Family Council president Tom Prichard blogged that Justin's suicide could only be blamed upon one thing: his gayness.
Fuck you, Tom Prichard. Politics and religion aside, how can you be the president of any kind of "Family Council" and tell a parent to her face* that her son's suicide was his own fault within weeks of his death?

Her son just died. It doesn't matter what you think of him or how he died, show some fucking tact. Jesus.

*Yes I know it says it was a blog post. Not the point. Shoosh.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 03:10:34 AM by Shjade »

Offline Serephino

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2012, 03:57:16 AM »
I couldn't even read the whole thing.  I knew kids could be cruel... but damn....  Adults were doing this too, and they should know better!

People need to wake up.  This kind of crap does real damage.  I was a bullied outcast in high school, and I still have issues.  Words cannot describe how happy I was on my very last day of school.  This is why Christianity has such a bad reputation.  These idiots would rather these teenagers be dead than gay apparently.  My biggest consolation is that they will get what is coming to them, one way or another.  Karma is a real bitch. 

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2012, 04:17:45 AM »
I was the new kid.. I came to the sand hills of South Carolina from a more urbane section of North Carolina, add in the fact that I had just spent 2 1/2 years in the Europe. It made me.. a bit more open in outlook than most kids in those days. Not that I got a chance to say one thing one way or another. First week there, I was accused of being a 'fag' because I wasn't born there.

My response? Well THAT person was about 7 inches and 30 pounds my lesser. And he hadn't just spent the last 2 1/2 years being a Protestant in an Irish Catholic School (in the Republic granted.. but still I learned to fight DIRTY). He moved on me.. I put him in a trash can. Literally. Head first.

I was lucky. There were a couple 'good old boys' who would have shanked me if I had tried that with them. One of them was part of my scout troop and I found out a year or so after I graduated he carried a piece to school most of time. Nice guy.. once you got to know him.

Thing is.. I see a LOT of what I had to go through in some of those recounts. I was the 'new kid' all through high school. I got lucky and had some breaks with some of the guys because of scouting or where I worked and I spent EVERY summer working staff at camp. So I avoided a lot of the crap in that small town.

That being said.. I got a shiver or two from the way things went. A slight difference in attitude in our fundies when I was in school and this, rather than our theater program, would have been a major issue.

It's sad to see so many people in denial about what was killing these kids, and it is only going to keep going that way till they get their head on straight and CRUSH the people doing the bullying. Because it's gotten to be an institution now, you have to come down HARDER than before on it.

So, most likely it will get worse before it gets better.

Offline Anjasa

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2012, 07:15:48 AM »
I started to read this on Feministe and I just had to stop.

I don't understand how people can be so filled with hate.

Offline Shjade

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2012, 11:07:07 AM »
I can understand it sometimes. Racism, for instance, is relatively easy to understand: this guy looks so much different than I do, he even sounds and acts differently, and I don't understand, and that makes me so uncomfortable! Make him stoppit! Okay, simple enough, I get that. I don't agree with it, but I get it.

This I don't understand. The same principle of "behaving differently" applies, but only sometimes. It's not like being gay/bi/etc. means you're Elton John by default; it's not some obvious, unavoidably present aspect of a person, at least not all the time. If the only reason you can even tell someone is gay is because they've told you so, and they otherwise just seem like another average middle/high school student...what's the problem? Why is this a target for harassment? I don't see the reasoning behind it, or the benefit, even in theory.

Offline kylie

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2012, 11:08:59 AM »
     It seems like a good example for Kristin Luker's position in When Sex Goes To School.  Outspoken conservatives tend to believe social norms and limits are these hair-trigger things, that if they're so much as touched in serious conversation, corruption and mayhem must "naturally" ensue.  Liberals tend rather to believe that they are fluid and useful points of reference, there to be brushed and peered across so we might learn something about what's actually happening anyway. 

     Here some conservative-identified people tried really hard to shut the whole conversation down and to blame its very existence on difference.  And what happened?  Corruption and mayhem.  A kind you get when only one way is framed as acceptable. 

    And the rejoinder?  'Oh but if we even spoke of that, then only that way would be acceptable instead.'  As if it were Eve's apple!  So much as mention the name and the people, their people, all people cannot survive?  We're in the realm of medieval thinking here.  What with withcraft and curses infecting people like some kind of airborne disease:  Word of mouth.  It makes more sense though, if you assume that so many more and less different experiences and sexualities are already there, in front of everyone's faces.  Then it's more trying to undo natural variety.  Never mind trying to "prevent" variety from latching on or spreading.

     Unfortunately, with or without Bachmann on the campaign trail, there's still this sort of moralizing "your experience is your problem, at most I'll 'respect' the difference by refusing to speak of it, but my way will be all we do speak of as valuable" sort of national morals undercurrent getting bandied about.


« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 11:11:13 AM by kylie »

Offline kylie

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2012, 11:17:31 AM »
Quote
This I don't understand. The same principle of "behaving differently" applies, but only sometimes. It's not like being gay/bi/etc. means you're Elton John by default; it's not some obvious, unavoidably present aspect of a person, at least not all the time.

     It's more apparent by appearances for some people, enough to make a difference.  And more so, it's apparent in many day to day situations where people are forced to say something about how they see social norms.  Note all the attention given in the article to what a student wears, who they socialize with, how they accessorize, how they relate to politeness and authority, whether they are taken as "good girls" or (oh no) "too aggressive"... 

     And then we get to, who do they walk with after school, how do they prepare for the prom exactly, perhaps even what's on the inside of their locker to be seen whenever it's opened, is the job they aspire to "proper" for a "real" man or woman...  Really the list goes on and on.

     You're right that it isn't strictly applicable only to people who feel they are GLBT.  There are so many nagging little criteria that even people who are not so identified, even some people who are not even questioning if they might, also become targets of bullying under the assumption that they "must be" gay etc.!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 11:19:38 AM by kylie »

Offline Trieste

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2012, 12:38:25 PM »
It's not just the kids that are coming out as gay. It's the ones that 'act' gay, that 'look' gay. The kid might not even be gay, but if he (for instance) has a lisp or likes pink, suddenly everyone is calling him a faggot and a homo and a queer. Even if he's not. It's not actually about personal orientation or choices at all. It's about the appearance of orientation, the appearance of being out of the norm. The kids might as well be running around screaming, "Conform! Conform! Conform!" because that's what it's about.

Offline Shjade

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2012, 01:13:08 PM »
Sometimes it's not even something that "stereotypically" gay (quite a stretch for a lisp, but I know where it comes from). I wasn't bullied in this particular way in school frequently - it was more the geek/nerd brand of things - but I recall one time when a few older students in a truck were heckling me while I waited to catch a ride after school, eventually leading up to the point of shouting, "Hey! Hey, are you gay?" and similar from there until I flipped them off and they drove off laughing.

What was I doing to prompt this question?

Lying down on a bench, reading a book. ... Which is gay, I guess? *shrug?*

I'm glad I don't hear "gay" used as such a broad pejorative as often as I did, say, five years ago, but I guess it was only an indication I didn't have to be around that kind of person as much anymore, not that the concept of that term and all that goes with it being something to condemn a person for was becoming any less popular. :|

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 02:24:47 PM »
It's not just the kids that are coming out as gay. It's the ones that 'act' gay, that 'look' gay. The kid might not even be gay, but if he (for instance) has a lisp or likes pink, suddenly everyone is calling him a faggot and a homo and a queer. Even if he's not. It's not actually about personal orientation or choices at all. It's about the appearance of orientation, the appearance of being out of the norm. The kids might as well be running around screaming, "Conform! Conform! Conform!" because that's what it's about.

We had one guy who 'fit' the role to a 'T'. Richard had a lisp, dressed fairly 'bright' (even for the 80s) and did all the sort of things the stereotype dictates. He got more ass than a mule farm, and when someone taunted him or accused him of being gay he just laughed and walked away. Typically with one or two of the hot girls from the cheerleading squad/drama club/glee club.

I wonder if what he'd say about this sort of treatment.

Offline Serephino

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2012, 05:16:19 PM »
Kids don't need actual proof.  What they hear is always true *rolls eyes*  They were actually right with me, but I'm thinking they just got lucky.  I was a quiet kid who liked to read.  I had no interest in sports, and sucked at them.  I didn't fit into the geek category even though I was smart.  And last but not least, I was good at home-ec.  So, naturally, I was a fag...

Supposedly their proof was that someone saw me checking out another guy.  I did sneak looks, but honestly, I looked at girls too.  They could've seen me drooling over a girl, their minds had been made up, and nothing was going to change it.  And since I was never obvious about it, I have to wonder why they were watching me.

Mostly I ignored it.  I had a few female friends; never any guys.  It was an unwritten rule that if you were a guy and were nice to me, you too were a fag.  In order to prove you were not a fag you had to shove me into a locker, or spit on me.  One guy even took his girlfriend's blue lip gloss and put it all through my hair, which I had to get a professional grade hair stripper to get out. 

One thing that really sticks out is I was used in a personal spat.  We had some downtime in a class, and some guys that sat near me started talking about how they thought this one football player was gay.  They saw him checking the other guys out in the shower after practice.  They were talking loud enough for me to hear every word.

A friend of mine overheard a conversation that the reason they were talking that loud was because they wanted me to hear, and wanted me to ask the guy out.  They were pissed at him, and being asked out by me would have been proof for most of our classmates that he really was gay.  After all, who has better 'gaydar' than another gay person?  That would have publicly humiliated me too, but my feelings didn't matter.

Offline Caela

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2012, 07:46:25 PM »
As a mother the idea that my own child could be this cruel, or be treated this cruelly by someone else, terrifies me. If ANY parent comes to me and tells me MY child is bullying someone like this she won't see the outside of her own room for months...except when I send her over to her victims house to clean THEIR room or mow their lawn or whatever other act of penance I can come up with to be done.

Part of the problem is that a lot of parents just take a, "Well kids can be mean," attitude and brush it off without ever disciplining their kids for being cruel to each other. If we, as parents, don't teach them better, how the hell are they supposed to learn?

Offline Shjade

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2012, 08:07:26 PM »
A lot of parents encourage it. Some more overtly than others, but when your kids see you hate X, chances are they'll assume they should hate X, too.

Offline Saerrael

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Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2012, 10:12:11 PM »
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

I don't think there's any summary I can give to this, or any excerpt that would be more appropriate than another.
It's long, but it's well worth reading.

I really don't know what to say right now.
I don't understand how this shit can fly...

I couldn't even read that in full, but had to stop. It read like a horror tale. Unbelievable things like this happen in these times. *shakes his head* I can't even imagine what these people went through.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2012, 10:38:44 PM »
I couldn't even read that in full, but had to stop. It read like a horror tale. Unbelievable things like this happen in these times. *shakes his head* I can't even imagine what these people went through.

It was.. I had to work hard to finish it.

Offline Caela

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2012, 11:20:36 AM »
A lot of parents encourage it. Some more overtly than others, but when your kids see you hate X, chances are they'll assume they should hate X, too.

And that just kills me. I don't understand encouraging your child in violence and cruelty, especially by people who claim to follow the teachings of a man who preached love and understanding. I despise that sort of blatant hypocrisy.

Offline Starlequin

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2012, 12:11:41 PM »
Hate. It's just a habit. It starts out small, so people dont realize how dangerous it is until they're consumed by it. "I hate that little quirk; people who do that drive me crazy." Becomes "I hate people with that little quirk; they drive me crazy." Becomes "I hate those people; they drive me crazy and make me miserable." Becomes "I hate those people; I want to make them miserable..."

Offline Caela

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2012, 03:18:58 PM »
And see that's a mentality I just don't get. Hate makes the person doing the hating miserable. It's mentally and emotionally draining and it gives the very thing you hate power to control your reactions and thoughts. Why give someone/something that kind of power. The only thing I can think of that would genuinely make me hate someone would be if they deliberately hurt my loved ones, particularly my child. Beyond that it's just not worth the emotional/mental tole it takes on a person to actively hate someone else like this.

Offline Starlequin

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2012, 04:01:07 PM »
What it sounds like you mean is, there's no logical, rational reason for hate. And you wouldn't be wrong. But hate is very similar to love. It burns, it drives, and it doesnt give a damn for reason. Hate like that is purely based in emotion. People who hate don't feel drained by it; they feel energized. People almost always prefer something certain, something absolute, over something ambiguous or malleable, and if you hate something, it gives you a feeling of purpose, a sense of worth. It motivates you, and gives you a terrible kind of strength. "I may be x, but at least I'm not and never will be y." If you hate something that others hate as well, if your hate is shared, then boom -- you have an instant membership in a community where you know you will be welcome and embraced. It's a dark and twisted path, and those who follow it often don't even realize something is wrong. They may not even realize how full of hate they are, because its all theyve ever known. Like fish who have no concept of 'dry', they just assume that how they feel is natural, and we are the ones they cant understand.

Offline Caela

Re: One Town's War on Gay Teens
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2012, 10:20:01 PM »
I guess I will just never understand that mentality. For me, hating with no true cause (hating someone whose never hurt you or someone you loved, someone who likely doesn't even know you, for things outside of their own control) is like taking a small amount of poison every day. You may not feel the effects but it's slowly killing you. In this case that's more metaphorical, killing your compassion and clouding your judgement but the point remains the same.