Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bullies then and now

It is quite sickening to read about a child or young adult being bullied into depression and either suicide or an attempt at one. The thing that I have noticed is bullies today are even bigger cowards than they were when I was a child and the city freak and primary target of boys.

One of the biggest changes is there are a lot more girls bullying even boys and particularly other girls. I am sure girls tried to bully other girls in the late 50's through mid 60's when I was a teenager but it wasn't to the extent it is today and they never dared bully a boy. You had to be up front and personal to bully someone 50 years ago. Other than laughing at me when a boy knocked my books from in front of me to the corridor floor that is. In 1959 when everyone knew I wanted to be a girl I had some verbal harassment but I reversed it by by responding 'prettier than you' which got them upset.

Some of the worst bullying I received was from shrinks which I began seeing at 8. The first time I ever heard the words fag, queer, gay, homosexual, drag queen, fruitcake, transvestite, and sundry other insults was from a rather noted Psychiatrist from Harvard and that brought about suicide attempt #1. It was an ongoing situation with most psychiatrists until mom brought Benjamin to me.

Boys started picking on me around 8 because I didn't fit in. Like I have said I was not flamboyant and didn't lisp like the so-called stereotypical gay kid.  I just didn't project boy well and I threw a ball like a girl until my brother Ray spent two weeks one summer teaching me to catch, throw and hit. Boys notice the differences in other boys and I call it the peeing on the tree syndrome or turf marking syndrome because they will use that difference to dominate you by making you inferior to them. We teach boys to be macho and tough and they see another boy that is different they get to practice that fine art.

Physical abuse began at 9 and between 9 and 13 I visited the local Emergency Room 20+ times for assaults and not once was anyone prosecuted. I had an arm broken, bruises, sprained shoulder, broken wrist, and sundry other contusions and bruises. My motto was cover the face and duck. every time the cops said I asked for it being the way I was.

What hurt the most was not the physical abuse but the verbal abuse from adults and particularly certain family members. People often do not understand the phrase "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" is total bullshit if you are a trans kid being verbally abused. I would have rather been hit than what was said to me many times but at least the assholes saying it had to say it to me in person.


Today bullies will be prosecuted if they hurt you physically if the GLBT kid reports them which is often not the case because reporting someone usually means retaliation. The verbal side of the bully has expanded and their arsenal now includes the cell phone, cell camera, twitter, email, and Facebook and better yet for the bully they can set themselves up anonymously and verbally assault another child into suicide from the comfort of their computer or cell phone. Painless bullying for the bullies of the world. How nice and convenient.

If reported it is usually from a parent to a school and unless the school has access to sophisticated equipment the bully can stay anonymous. Usually nothing is done until too late and what most people fail to admit to even themselves is any GLBT kid struggling with either gender identity or sexual preference is often afraid to report it because it might mean telling people what they are or sadly admitting to themselves  who they are and a lot of that has to do with certain wingnuts running around telling them they are evil if they are trans, gay, lesbian, or bisexual and parents that have no clue what unconditional love is. Gods word my ass. Most of them would re-crucify Christ because he would tell those children to come to him and he would love them as they are.  I am not very religious by the way but do identify as Christian.

There just seem to be more nasty kids nowadays or maybe the opportunities and ease of access to media that allow bullying is so much better more kids enjoy being mean. I still think it all started in their home with their parents and the wingnuts denigrating everyone that is different.


Sorry for the serious post.

Liz

3 comments:

Michelle Marie said...

the kids today have no concept of reality when it comes to technology. my daughter thinks she is safe because she always has a cell phone. the lack of face-to-face contact makes it way too easy to get away with so much more these days. i was bullied as a kid but I stood up to the much larger boys physically and that got rid of a lot of them. It took more than just 1 punch to knock me down and they did not like that I would hit back. Without the possible physical contact, kids today are much more likely to feel invincible and will "say" anything they want.

Elizabeth said...

Michelle

Technology is why more kids bully today. Being an anonymous moron and hurting others verbally is more sanitary and makes it easier.

Elizabeth said...

Girl I just read up on the posts that I missed and you are on a roll here and I super love it.

Kids today kill me. It is as if no one teaches their children to do the easiest thing in the world which is to simply mind your own business and with social networking, chat, web cams, and so on, it is almost as if no one has the right to a private life anymore. I am not a religious person but it would be safe to say that if I was one, the internet would probably be my guess as to what would end the world.

I just wish that people would follow the simple golden rule.