“Fag!” “Queer!” “Dyke!” “Tranny” How many of us have heard these words being used to belittle someone else? *look around to see who raises their hand* Better yet even, how many of us have swung this word sword towards a person with the intent to hurt them? *look around to see who slowly raises their hand* Regardless of your answer, the end result is the same----it’s still bullying.
Bullying can be either verbal or physical. Most of us maybe more familiar with the physical form of bullying (i.e., pushing, hitting, punching, shoving, etc.); however, bullying maybe verbal (i.e., remarks intended as derogatory for another person). The intent is the same regardless of the form---to invoke fear and promote a ‘standard’ that is more socially acceptable.
Recently we have been providing more support for youth that have been victims of bullying. I think it's because youth now have minimum escape due to the increase forms of social media. There can be no escape at school from classmate and/or sometime teachers, no escape at home from sibling and/or parents; no escape online and/or social media.
For those of us that have never been or don't remember what it feels like to be bullied you should participate in this exercise: Look in the mirror, say out loud the worse possible words you can think of (i.e. Fag, Queer, Dyke, Tranny, Bitch, Sissy). Do you see each cut from the word sword? Do you see all the blood from each cut giving this bright red target for the bullying bulls?
So let’s take bullying by the horns…PROMOTING A SAFE SPACE that provides unconditional positive regard, empathetic understanding and a sense of belongingness help promote a cohesive, harmonious community. If you or anyone else that you may know are facing bullying in ANY form, don’t hesitate to report it. Don't hesitate to stand up for them or stand with them. Also, there are designated SAFE SPACES (places where an LGBTQQI ally can provide social support, if needed). The signage looks like this one below: