Teenage Wasteland Dear Classmates, Don't Insult Someone's Sexuality! Mikaela Foster

Friday in class, a boy called me a fag. I was very bothered considering that he was using such an offensive term, and that he was using the term incorrectly. Naturally, being the smart alec nerd I am, I walked across the classroom and got the dictionary. I opened it up, and read the dictionary definition of the word “faggot” to him. The dictionary definition was: “a male homosexual”, and then pointed the definition to him in the dictionary. I said “First off, I’m obviously not a man. Second off, I’m not a ‘homosexual’. But even if I was, it wouldn’t matter”. He just looked at me. I don’t know if he thought I was being a complete loser, or I had a point and was making him look like a jerk, but he just walked away. Leading onto my topic this week: Kids who think that using a sexuality against others is bad.

Everybody knows about how many teen suicides there are a year. It’s horrible. Every day on the news you can hear a new story about another teen that has killed themselves because of bullying. I think it’s safe to say that most of these are because of bullying. I also think it’s safe to say that a lot of teen suicides that involve bullying are because of someone’s sexuality. In one of the most recent Glee episodes, a boy tried to hang himself because he was being bullied. He was gay. In my opinion, that was the most powerful Glee episode that has ever been aired, because I know a lot of kids struggle with the same issue.

At school, there will be a bully, and they’ll be picking on someone. The insults they’ll use are usually about being a “fag” or a “homo”. I bet there is going to be a boy who actually is gay, and he’s going to feel horrible about himself because of all the words tossed out about him. A classmate will use the word gay in a conversation like it’s nothing. “Wow… my sister was being such a fag this morning! She was in the bathroom getting ready all morning…” No. NO. If someone wants to call their sister annoying, call her annoying. Not gay. Is it really that hard? Apparently it is. It’s just another thing in our society that’s making our generation of young people looking bad.

I believe that if someone is gay, they’re gay. Its a part of them, and that’s perfectly okay. Kids don’t understand that when they’re using the word “fag” or “homo” against someone who may or may not actually be gay, it could be making someone feel bad for who they are. If these bullies think that it’s wrong to be gay, then by all means, they have that opinion. I just think that it’s rude and horrible to try and make someone feel bad about who they are. I wish kids could just keep it to themselves. Making someone feel bad about themselves SO MUCH that they want to end their life? Its completely ridiculous. It makes me feel embarrassed that our generation has so many mean kids that other ones are ending their own lives because of them. Is that really who we want to look like? NO!

So in conclusion, if someone uses such words against someone, they are cowardly and ignorant. And they need to stop.

Until next time!

Main image via Stonewall

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  1. When I was in high school, my best friend was in the closet, we went to an all girls high school and when I would hear the other girls use hateful demeaning language toward others based on their “supposed” sexuality, I would turn around and say “stop using those words, they are hateful”. This usually lead to me getting bullied for speaking up, but I never paid attention to it, because when you let ignorance exist without interruption you are just as bad as the person committing it. Keep on being kind and thoughtful, it will only make life better for yourself and everyone you know. :)

  2. I’m so glad this subject was brought up. It’s so sad to hear that words like that are still being used in schools. What’s also sad is that not just your age group still uses it. My father just used it this past weekend while I was home visiting. It got really quiet in the car because I’ve actually told him before I really dislike that term and other ones like it. I quietly stated to him, again, that I really HATE that word and he was gracious enough to admit he was in the wrong. However, it just makes me so sad that that word still gets thrown around so nonchalantly. Especially by a generation that should be teaching the following generations that hateful words like that should stay as a British slang term for cigarette (which it is). I myself like the opposite gender, but as someone who was talked about in high school and questioned to be a lesbian, because I unknowingly hung out with some (story of my life), and as someone who has really good friends who are gay, I’m actually quite passionate about this subject.
    Thank you so much for being such an intelligent 13 year old and standing up for those around you who have been bullied into silence just because society is still biased against certain sexual orientations. You give me hope that the generations behind me will be quite amazing after all :)

  3. What needs to be thought about is that the bullying doesn’t come from nowhere, and I reckon that many parents lack knowledge on how to bring their child up and how do discipline their children when it’s necessary, schools and teachers play their part in it too.
    Society has failed us, but at least you are doing the little you can to make it all better =) good on you for educating someone who bullied you and cheers for sharing

  4. I was called a lesbian back in the eighth grade (but it was much worse word than lesbian, trust me on this). I even explained to the guy who laid the term on me that I was not gay, but being the new girl in school, the label stuck for the whole year. Congrats to you for giving him the true term for homosexual. And good on you for promoting equal rights and anti-bullying!

  5. Brilliant piece with a powerful message! Well done :)
    It’s going to be mandatory reading this week in class for my Grade 6′s.

  6. I think it’s important to point out there was once a point in life where “gay” meant happy, I think it’s just the way words change their meaning over time. However, if people are saying “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” when they’re associating it with homosexuals, that’s when it crosses a line. But who knows? In 20 years gay could be a slang term with a soccer ball, that’s just how the world works nowadays.

  7. Spot on Mikaela! Hope your peers are listening………
    It’s the bigger person who thinks before they speak and considers the powerful impact their words can have. Only small people belittle others.
    XOXOXOX

  8. Oh my god, how are you only 13? Brava kiddo

  9. how does one become a writer for HelloGiggles? it sounds like an awesome time especially if you want your voice to be heard

  10. Couldn’t agree more! :)

    Anonymous | 4/08/2012 07:04 am
  11. Great article Makaela! It makes a huge difference when it comes from a peer :D But I’m an uncool mom/big sister use these reminders out there too sometimes. Growing up is rough enough without people trying to make it worse ;)

  12. It’s SO wonderful that you chose to write about this topic. Raising awareness is one of the first steps we’ll have to take to fix this problem. And yes, changing our generation’s image is one of my top priorities. You go girl!

  13. Actually, in high school, some people went through a phase of using the term “that’s so gay” when they wanted to say something was stupid/bad. I’m honestly not sure if there were any gay people in my class (I’m sure there must have been one or two) and I wonder how they would have felt, because using that phrase is basically comparing gay people to anything stupid/bad. I’m sure they didn’t really think about the ramifications of their words, but I hope that using words in such ways will eventually stop.

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