Teen confessions: Gay + coming out = bullying

By Tammy McAllister
BBC Somerset
A teenager from Somerset has described how the pressures of coming out led to anorexia and homophobic bullying.

The 17-year-old boy said gays and lesbians at his school were subjected to ignorant comments and suspicion.

He was also attacked on a bus by a complete stranger who shouted homophobic abuse while others stood by and watched.
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Research: Middle school LGBT students face more bullying

NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2009 – Middle school LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students are significantly more likely to face hostile school climates than high school LGBT students, yet have less access to school resources and support, according to a new research brief from GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, released as the New York Times Magazine publishes a cover story on students coming out in middle school.
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School bullies destroy lives — GLSEN can help

By Matt Kailey
While Sirdeaner Walker was cooking dinner in the kitchen, her 11-year-old son, Carl, hung himself with an extension cord in his bedroom, a suicide that appeared to be prompted by the relentless bullying to which he was being subjected at school.

Walker testified before Congress earlier this month on the dangers of bullying in school and how her son had been a constant target. Walker testified that Carl had complained of being pushed around at school and been subjected to anti-gay slurs.

“My son was only 11,” Walker said, as reported by ABC News. “He didn’t identify as gay or as straight or anything like that. He was a child. Those kids at his school called him those names because they were probably the most hurtful things they could think to say. And they hit their mark.”

For some youth today, “gay” is one of the worst possible slurs, and it is used against any child who doesn’t conform to certain codes of behavior or who doesn’t fit in with the “right crowd.”

And children who do not display traditional “masculine” or “feminine” gender behaviors stand out as targets. Some of these children might be gay or lesbian. Some might be transgendered. And some might be heterosexual, non-trans children. Regardless of how they identify, they are singled out and targeted, and the results can be disastrous. Full story.

What do you think?

Christian Right: Anti-bullying bills, policies are pro-gay ruse

Congress is due to consider an anti-bullying bill for schools. One outspoken Christian activist calls the measure “a ruse” perpetrated by homosexual groups.

The Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2262), introduced in early May by Representative Linda Sánchez (D-California) and endorsed by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), would require special treatment on the basis of a student’s actual or perceived “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” According to GLSEN, bullying is a “serious public health crisis” — and passage of H.R. 2262 would lay a “foundation of support” for future, similar policies.

Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs for Liberty Counsel, offers a blunt comment on the Safe Schools Improvement Act. “This is a ruse orchestrated by adult homosexual pressure groups intended as a foot in the door for their radical, anti-moral values agenda,” he states. Full story.

Study: Almost all LGBT youth are harassed

Greg Laden’s Blog
… In Illinois, at least. And probably lots of other places.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) released a report Wednesday showing that LGBT students in Illinois face an alarming level of harassment, both physical and verbal, at school.

Inside Illinois Schools: The Experiences of LGBT Students surveyed 206 Illinois students about the level of harassment they receive in school, how much they skip school for being harassed, and how their grades are affected by this harassment. Full story.

Fed watch: Proposed bill to fund anti-bullying

By: Lisa Baiocchi-Mooney
Children and the Law Blog
A recent proposal to amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (HR 1589) would authorize funds to be used for gang prevention and to address the increasingly prevalent issue of bullying. The proposed amendment, by Rep. Linda Sanchez of California, specifically focuses on the negative impact that bullying has on children on school campuses.

This seems especially relevant considering the recent headlines regarding young school children taking their owns lives as a result of bullying.
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