“Faggot! Sissy! Queer!” | PopMatters

Faggot .
Sissy .
Lesbo.

gay .
Gay-boy .
Dyke .
Lezzie .
You ’ re sol gay .

Oh, there ’ s nothing like the sounds of children playing on the school resort area. deplorably, increasingly, it is the legal of hate, as gay-oriented and homophobic taunts have risen to a level that has school officials taking notice. Well, some educate officials, anyhow .
Playground browbeat and classroom tease is nothing new, of course. There are few among us who can ’ t echo at least one incidence of feeling picked on in school. still, the rise in gay-related taunts and abuse has good ramifications for how the adjacent generation views gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. The damaging associations of such language are discernible even when the recipient role of such taunts isn ’ thyroxine old enough to fully understand them .
Take, for example, the font of third-grader Emmett English in Bethesda, Maryland, reported in the Washington Post floor “ A Lesson in Cruelty : Anti-gay Slurs Common at School ”. After wearing a red Gap sweatshirt to school, the boy was called “ gay ” by a schoolmate. The diss troubled him : “ I didn ’ metric ton know what that mean but I knew it was something bad. ” ( Laura Sessions Stepps, 19 June 2001 )
Rebekah Rice knew what it meant when she hurled the diss at classmates who taunted her for her Mormon upbringing. The high school freshman at Maria Carillo High in Santa Rosa was warned about her use of hate actor’s line and the incident was recorded in her school file. ( unfortunately, the students taunting Rice were not similarly disciplined. ) So Rice and her parents are suing the school. The basis of their suit is that the school ’ sulfur actions violated her First Amendment rights over the use of language “ which enjoys far-flung currency in youth culture. ” It ’ s the legal equivalent of the childhood excuse, “ But all the other kids do it. ” ( “ ‘ That ’ s So Gay ’ Prompts a Lawsuit ”, 28 February 2007 )
And Rice is right. Almost all the early kids do it, because they are rarely held accountable when they do. A view of students by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network reveals that 81 percentage of students hear homophobic speech frequently and 66 percentage of school children have used homophobic slams such as “ That ’ s therefore gay ” or “ You ’ re then gay ”, despite the fact that 72 percentage of these kids know person who is gay. ( “ Most America High School Classrooms Have at Least One Gay Student ”, Contemporary Sexuality, November 2004 ) The California Safe Schools Coalition reported in 2004 that 200,000 students were subjected to anti-gay strong-arm in that state alone .
Granted, the word “ brave ” has been accepted by society as representative of the homosexual population and is most frequently used in a non-spiteful manner. But in the situations involving Rice and English, the use of the parole “ cheery ” was meant to be hateful. many kids argue that the slurs have nothing to do with sexual orientation, rather meaning “ bad ” or “ stupid ”. For years, a similar argument has been made about the “ N word ”. Many of those who use it claim that it ’ s not a racial slur, but a slam against anyone who is faineant or devious, regardless of race. But that square rationalization doesn ’ t make the bible ’ second use any less deleterious or malicious. terminology based on a demographic characteristic and used to be deleterious causes psychological damage to the members of that demographic group, regardless of the context in which the speech is used .
Yet it ’ second not just the parole “ gay ” that is heard as an name in schools throughout the US. GLBTQ, an on-line encyclopedia for gay culture, notes that “ fagot ” is one of the most frequent insults used in high schools and all of the slurs listed at the begin of this essay are normally hear. In approximately 80 percentage of cases, the target of the insult international relations and security network ’ t even homosexual or bisexual, according to the National Education Association.

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Whether the recipient of the diss is actually gay or not, the effects of changeless homophobic tease and blustery are staggering. In its 2006 report, “ Strengthening the Learning Environment : A School Employee ’ s Guide to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues ( 2nd Ed ) ”, the National Education Association reports how damaging such demeanor is. According to the report, students who are the victims of sexual orientation-based harassment are two times more probably to use amphetamines and are more likely to binge drink or smoke marijuana. The rate of low is twice equally high for these students, and intelligibly, they are more likely to commit suicide. Their grade point averages are 10 points lower than students who are not harassed. consequently, they are besides less probable to go to college
Most distressing is the aptness for violence in relation to such students. These students are five times more likely to be injured by a weapon at school, and there is a 300 percent higher likelihood that they will carry a weapon to school, either for protection or for revenge. The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network ( GLSEN ) reports that the shooter in five major educate shootings ( Moses Lake, WA ; Pearl, MS ; West Paducah, KY ; Littleton, CO and Santee, CA ) were victims of anti-gay bullying. While there were surely other factors that led to these tragedies, the GLSEN notes studies which shows that boys react more powerfully to being called “ gay ” than any early form of harassment, including being physically assaulted. ( Kevin Jennings, “ GLSEN Statement on Reports of Anti-gay Harassment at Santana H. S. ”, 08 March 2001 )

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What ’ s more, the increase in cases of HIV and AIDS is correlated with the increase in gay persecution. Education reports that students are sol fearful of such persecution that they fail to get educated on safe-sex practices. ( “ Homophobia ‘ arsenic impossible as Racism ’ in Schools ”, 19 May 2006 ) The miss of comprehensive sex erectile dysfunction programs has helped to bolster the myth that only queers get AIDS ; therefore, any student wanting to learn how to prevent it must be thwart. For some students, they ’ d quite risk contracting the disease than stepping forth to learn about AIDS prevention and hazard being labeled as gay by their peers .
then naturally, school officials are doing everything possible to deal with the problem, right field ? That depends on the school district. A growing number of school districts are incorporating sensitivity training about homophobia and sexual-orientation relate strong-arm into their curriculums. such prepare benefits both students and teachers, and reverse to right wing protests, it does not promote a homosexual life style or teach homosexuality. What it does do is allow students of all intimate orientations and religious backgrounds to better comprehend the ramifications of harassment .
still, there are far besides many areas of the US which have even to introduce such train. GLSEN reports the results of 15 lawsuits brought by students subjected to sexually-oriented harassment. These students were subjected to a variety show of nauseating behaviors, including name-calling and verbal mistreat by both students and teachers, simulated rape in front of other students, actual rape, banishment from classes, reassignment to especial education, physical assault, vandalism, stabbing, being urinated upon, and death threats. In some cases, the victim was gay ; in others, he or she wasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate, but was perceived to be ; and in some cases, the mistreat begin at such an early age that the victim couldn ’ t have known what his or her sexual orientation would be .
In all cases, school officials and teachers ignored or dismissed the mistreat, sometimes participating in it, and it wound up costing them. Awards to the victims range from $ 40,000 to $ 1.1 million. ( “ Fifteen Expensive Reasons Why Safe Schools Legislation Is in Your State ’ sulfur Best Interest ”, 01 September 2005 )
unfortunately, there are countless more cases however to be decided, and far besides many cases where school officials aren ’ t held accountable by juries. Most perturb is the undocumented number of cases where the student puts up with the abuse, never raising questions or challenging school policy or actions .
Those who protest anti-harassment train and legislation are those who most open themselves up to the types of lawsuits GLSEN describes. Parents need to fully understand the consequences of ignoring gay blustery. As stated before, students subjected to harassment suffer in their studies and quite personally. It is hard to believe that any parent could endorse practices which make students fail, commit suicide, or bring weapons to school .
regardless of personal or religious beliefs, we all want our schools to be safe places, and sexually-oriented bullying makes them less safe for all students. If that isn ’ thyroxine bonus adequate for parents to teach their children to treat others with compassion, they should realize that their children could be the defendants in bullying lawsuits and could very well leave high school owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the “ sissy ” whose life they made a living hell. One doesn ’ metric ton have to approve of homosexuality to disapprove of cruelty and persecution.

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Kids struggle adequate with identity issues, making friends, fitting in, and finding love, regardless of their sexual orientation. Realizing that they are homosexual or bisexual is a harsh reality for many. A ceaseless reminder of the contempt some in society feel for them is much besides much to handle. It is as children that we learn about socialization ; gay bullying teaches some children that hatred and condemnation is acceptable, while teaching others that they will never be utilitarian members of society. Is this very a lesson we want taught in our schools ?

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