Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bullying and Gay Bashing

Lately the case of the suicide of 18-year-old Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, has made world news.  It is alleged that Tyler's dorm roommate and his girlfriend secretly captured webcam video of Tyler kissing another man and then broadcasted the video to a wide audience.  Tyler committed suicide soon after he found out about the internet broadcast of a very private, personal situation.

This is a clear case of cyber-bullying, and it just has to stop! 

I have blogged about how I felt as a kid in junior high -- always picked on and bullied.  But the bullying was done in person by name-calling and physical attacks when teachers, other adults, or my taller "protector super-jock" twin brother weren't around.  I was picked on simply because I was an easy target.  I was small for my age.  I was weak and undeveloped.  I took everything personally.  I was easily hurt.  I couldn't hold a "poker face" so the bullies knew they were getting to me.

They would call me names like "fag" but I really didn't take it as being related to my being gay.  I really meant it when I said that I never really knew about my sexuality until much later in life.  I really was a "late bloomer."  I wasn't interested in girls or guys when I was in my teens.  But I know that's not true for lots of teens who have active sex at young ages, and some of those sexual encounters are with someone of the same sex.

Nonetheless, I guess I was lucky that Al Gore hadn't invented the internet when I was in junior high school, as assuredly I would have been picked on via social networks and other ways had those methods been available when I was 13 years old.

A commentator on TV said that the problem with the Internet is that bullying can continue, non-stop, and inside someone's home -- where he (or she) feels safest.  That scares me.  I think Ellen DeGeneres statement says best about how I feel about this situation, too.  I have embedded it here:

Life is short:  be civil.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You were always there for me. So what that you were small and wore your heart on your sleeve? It's one of the many reasons why I love you, as only a twin brother can.

That situation in New Jersey has made the news over here in Paris, and there's lots of discussion on the street about "those awful Americans." It is very hard to defend and protect our country when some of our own people behave so abominably. I am truly sorry that this happened, and I can only imagine how you and your partner must be feeling.

Know always that you are loved deeply,

Your brother,