sports-related stereotyping in school bullying

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Earl
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sports-related stereotyping in school bullying

Post by Earl » Sat May 12, 2012 9:53 pm

Yesterday evening I came across an interesting thread at www.democraticunderground.com that had just started and is relevant to this forum. (By the way, I'm not a Democrat. I have no political allegiances at this point in my life for reasons of my own.) I've provided a link to the thread, as follows:

washttp://www.democraticunderground.com/1002676844#post31

I've also copied and pasted the OP so you won't have to click on the link and be ejected from the forum. I'll post a comment of my own tomorrow. But in the meantime, you can read the following:
cthulu2016 wrote:My (hetero) brush with being murdered for being gay

Last edited Sat May 12, 2012, 02:20 AM USA/ET - Edit history (17)

A lot of high school gay-bashing doesn't even involve gay kids... or certainly didn't used to. When I was in school there were no "out" gay kids. I can scarcely imagine what life would have been like for them.

But bullying was full-on gay-bashing without even any out gays to bash. I was called "faggot" like it was my name. That was the deal. The athletes and the redneck contingent called you faggot and told you to suck their dick and pushed you down the steps. This torment was exceeded only by the torment of my intense desire for sex with girls... irony is civilization's greatest renewable resource.

The boyfriend of the cutest girl in school used to chase me around with his shorts around his knees, waving his penis while calling me a fag. Perplexing... but I digress.

Anyway, it was quite irrelevant whether I was gay. I was small at the time and bookish, and was thus well accustomed to glass bottles being flung from passing cars to smash around me, accompanied by shouts of "homo!" (With the doppler sound compression you get from a passing car. HooooOOOOOmo.)

But that was just normal stuff. That is how all late-blooming boys were treated.

And it was explained to us that we could never get into college, or even get a diploma, if we did not daily present ourselves to our tormentors fully nude in the shower. The only metric for passing gym was shower attendance ascertained by demonstrating to the gym teacher that you had gotten fully nude... by presenting yourself to him in that state while dripping wet so he could put a check next to your name. (It was never explained what educational purpose was served by gym class resembling one of those "women in prison" exploitation movies.)

But all of that was just high school. Several of my friends got the same treatment. How many of the "faggot" group were actually gay? I have no idea. Probably a few... and I do not doubt that the taunts stung them even more dearly. But I'd guess gays were at least as well represented among the tormentors as the victims. After all, is being small for one's age or smart actually a major indicator of same-sex attraction? I would guess not. (Or uncircumcised! As an adult I wish my parents hadn't bothered but as a child I was glad to be in the regional majority for once, because being uncut was another indicator of faggotry, curable only by punishment.)

And certainly some others had it MUCH worse than me. The gym class bullies probably did get the obese Korean boy to commit suicide... but he was on a leave of absence from school at the time he finally did it, and hey... there's bound to be some collateral damage in this process of making MEN. That young person once tried to shower wearing his underwear under his towel. When his deception was discovered the gym teacher had some of his pet athletes BEAT this boy with wet towels, leaving welts, while he squirmed and shrieked hysterically on the wet tiled shower room floor. I remember the sharp echo on tile of the snapping. The gym teacher laughed until he cried and managed to hit the boy a few times as he tried to escape... almost running into the halls of the school nude. Then he wasn't around. Then we heard he was dead.

One tormentor who had a special affection for me was one of the redneck clique (they were called "grits" in my class conscious school, and probably due some sympathy also, as most kids are), not one of the athletes. And he was not the usual high school bully.

This guy would, routinely, corner me in the locker room and press a knife to my throat while muttering about the proper fate of faggots. He was obviously insane.

I don't want to offer personally identifying information and his name is a matter of public record, so I'll just call him M. (And whistle "In the Hall of the Mountain King.")

Did I or any of his victims ever tell anyone? No... are you serious? They gym teacher would have made us run laps for squealing. And we knew that any reaching out to adults would merely escalate the matter. (And assault with a deadly weapon wasn't a major no-no in my school. All the self-styled rednecks at my school had those four to six-inch blade folding knives on their belts. It was a fashion and was considered uncontroversial. In retrospect, could that ever have been policy, or was it just not enforced? I don't know. But either way, there were a lot of knives around!)

Anyway, I survived high school.

Fast forward a couple of years... I pick up the newspaper and read about a gay man being beaten to death at the local spot where gay men cruised the park for anonymous sex.

And the perpetrator was M.

He probably was in the habit of trolling for sex there and doubtless offering a rougher experience than his partners felt they had agreed to. But nothing that happened in this park was ever reported to the police, for obvious reasons. Most of the frequenters of the place after dark were surely deeply closeted.

And then M. finally got around to murdering someone. I was just a matter of time. It was a notable story because at the time (long ago) my city had one of the few distinct, aware and vocal gay communities and violence against gays was just starting to become an out issue.

On the wrong day it could have been me. I was his pet target for two years. I don't think I ever actually feared for my life at the time. I feared injury, but the idea of having my throat slashed in class, even gym class, seemed fantastic. But in retrospect... the guy was, in fact, a murderer! I should have been more scared than I was, but the hazing kind of all runs together. Demented psycho-sexual threats of murder with a knife to your throat seemed normal... typical. Just an unusually vivid variation on the sort of stuff that happened all the time.

Overt sociopathy from a future murderer was sufficiently like the way most of the popular boys acted that it just didn't stand out that much! What a world...

Long story short... any reduction in the bullying of gay kids will benefit a lot of gay kids, and also a lot of straight kids who have glasses, or limp, or have an accent, or "high-water" pants because their family is poor... or anything different or weak. It's a human issue that gay people take the worst brunt of, which must be recognized, but it should not be seen as "a gay issue," as "somebody else's problem." It is vitally important to anyone who even thinks about having children. Eliminating the bullying of gay kids will help break the back of the whole syndrome.
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." -- Oscar Wilde

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