Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Attitude magazine have come up with a genius way for everyone (even those of a heterosexual persuasion) to get involved in supporting Stonewall's Education for All campaign. Apart from featuring Sir Ian McKellen, Alan Carr, Dan Gillespie Sells from The Feeling and Mark Feehily from Westlife on this months cover that is.
As editor Matthew Todd mentions in this article you can write to the headteacher of your old school and let them know in a friendly way how you feel about homophobic bullying, either from personal experience or as a concerned relative or friend. After all as most gay couples won't have children those getting bullied at school for being gay "are the children of straight people. We are the children of straight people, mostly" even those who are erroneously branded as gay by others.
So here's a challenge. If you were bullied, or even a reformed bully, or knew someone who was. Or if you have have a child who is or knows someone who is being bullied for being gay. Or are just concerned that the word "gay" in the parlance of today's youth equals "bad" or "uncool" take up a pen or get on your keyboard. If you have a story to tell, tell it, if not just ask what measures your old school has in place to deal with homophobic bullying. Even if just about how they handle the common misuse of gay, which can make a young person questioning or certain of their sexuality feel uncomfortable.
And if you're thinking it is only words and they cannot hurt you read this tragic story of one teenager who died as the result of a homophobic attack by other teens. It has taken one life and has ruined the life's of the attackers. If schools are able to educate, protect and help straighten out earlier future incidents may not occur.
So if you've left school both you and the Head, who may not even be your old head, are both adults and should be able to have an honest discussion. So get over it, the fear that you once had as you walked past their office, and get writting, it needn't take long.