Monday, October 4, 2010

The Punching Bag Fights Back Bullying and Homophobia

Usually I would have a Monday musings in which I would talk about what has inspired me this week with my writing and so on.  Well this kind of goes along with my musings, but more importantly this is a topic that reminds me why I started this blog in the first place.

When I first decided to blog I wanted to show how I overcame obstacles, the punching bag that was able to fight back all the things that fought against her throughout high school.  Then it kind of came to a point in which the blog then became all about my writing.  I was desperate to talk about my work in progress or running contests to get more followers and kind of lost tract of everything.

Then a tragedy happened:  The Rutgers suicide.  For those of you haven’t heard about this horrible act of bullying here is the shortened version:  a young college student at Rutgers was having an intimate moment with someone of the same sex in his dorm room.  His roommate decided to film it with him unknowing and then broadcast it on the Internet.  This caused the other roommate to became so depressed that he committed suicide.

Not only did this upset me greatly, but when I saw some people’s reaction to it I was even more shocked.  An acquaintance put a link to an article on facebook and then defended the roommate, saying “I’m sure he didn’t think that by doing that he would kill himself.”  Really?  So just because it wasn’t his intention for his roommate to die it’s okay to bully him in such a brutal way?  Did he realize how much it could affect someone, who is already so vulnerable?

Let’s face it, the first year at college is stressful enough.  You are just getting to know who you are as a person and a lot of times you don’t even know your roommate when you start school.  Having something like being outed on the Internet not only can hurt someone emotionally, but also professional.  What would have happened if he went for a job, they do a google search and that video pops up?  I don’t know why this guy thought it was okay to display his roomate’s sexual life for the world to see and then think that would be okay.  The only thing I can think of is extreme homophobia and if that’s the case then he’s the one who really has the problem.

Which leads me to my next point:  Homophobia.  For those who haven’t noticed my recent Adam Lambert obsession (why yes I do know that he is gay and doesn’t feel the same way about me, I’m SO glad you pointed that out), ANYWHOO a lot of people aren’t too happy with my new found love for Adam Lambert.  I started listening to his music more when a friend pointed me in the direction of him and said he might help out my science fiction inspiration.  (Note:  Listen to his song Time for Miracles and you may just come up with scenes for an epic intergalactic battle).  Immediately I got a lot of flack for this.  People would stop following me on Twitter or my blog.  I wondered what was going on and asked a friend about it and she said, “People aren’t comfortable with Adam Lambert, he’s just too over the top flamboyant.”

So..wait…I have to get this straight here, (ha straight).  Even though Adam Lambert has a voice that even the most hetero of men will admit is amazing, because of his sexuality people don’t’ want to hear about him?  Yeah that’s what it pretty much comes down to.  When did homophobia become okay?  If we keep telling people that it’s okay not to be okay with homosexuality then what’s to stop people from bullying people of a different sexuality?  Or even using demeaning words for people?  How about I don’t like machismo heterosexuality?  I don’t want to see the Jersey Shore guys walking around and demeaning women and flaunting their heterosexuality, but do you see as much of an uproar for that as you do for guys walking around with their rainbow flags?

What’s the point of all this?  The point is to be open, the point is to open your eyes and realize that bullying and homophobia is not something that should be ignored.  What can we do to help?  What are your thoughts on this topic?

Good or bad I’d love to hear your responses!


  1. What a good, important post. I'm so sick of people trying to force their beliefs for fears on other people.

    I live in Cambridge, MA, where we have a LGBTA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Association) for parents. And when some protestors came to protest the organization, students, gay and straight, counterprotested. I was so proud of my city. It's not perfect here, but it's one of the better places to be gay and feel accepted.

    But it's not perfect. This is a post I once wrote about a kid in my class with gay parents:

  2. Thank you for your comment and for linking your blog! I actually cried reading your post! (Yeah I'm pregnant I cry alot). I remember the last election and going to my Human Rights class after the results of Prop 8 and discussing the Human rights violations of it instead of our lesson plan. I wish I had more teachers like you when I was growing up in small town USA! Keep it up!

  3. While I agree with most of your views, I am not quite ready to send the two college kids to the death chamber yet. I don’t know them and don’t feel I can judge them. Other reports indicate the roommate had no problem with gays.

    I condemn society for the tragedy. Why did he take his own life? Was it because his public sex act would result in ridicule or horror? I blame society for that attitude. It made the kid feel he had no way out but to kill himself.

    But…what happened to his partner? Why didn’t the other young man feel the same censure?

  4. Huntress, I definitely see your point and you make a very good argument. I don't think the roommate and his girlfriend deserve the death chamber, but he's also acting very non-chalant like he didn't do anything wrong. It's kind of a catch-22 isn't it? Society condems acts of sexual deviance, but at the same time everyone can't stop talking about Tiger Woods new sex video. *shakes head* crazy.

  5. ugh...tiger woods. Nuff said.

    I forgot to add a comment about Adam. Love him and his music. I might change the personal pronouns in his lyrics to suit myself :) but otherwise...give me a rendition of Strut anytime.

  6. THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT AS A GLAMBERT FAN...I feel like there are too many of us in the closet. Including my dad...who informed me that he saw him life before I did...jerk.

    I wish I could pull of a pair of tight leather pants like only him and Martina McBride can!

  7. RE: Not hanging the roommate out to dry - The roommate committed a crime. This isn't just bullying - he distributed pornography without the consent of those involved. It would be just as wrong if he had filmed himself having sex with a woman and distributed it without her consent. It's illegal. So, yes, I absolutely think he deserved any legal repercussions.

    Legality aside, it's obvious to me that it was intended to embarrass and hurt this kid. I can see no other reason for it. This isn't some "ha ha just kidding, bro" joke. A young man was outed in a horribly embarrassing and public way. I'm (obviously) opinionated on this issue, but I have no sympathy or leeway for people who behave this way. It's just flat-out mean-spirited.

    I'd feel the same way if he'd filmed the roommate being intimate with a woman.

  8. Steph,

    I agree with you, completely, it's why I wrote the post. I feel the same way when people make homophobic statements like "Ew, I don't want to see two men making out," WellI really don't want to watch a man and a woman making out infront of the Smoothie King either.

  9. Totally, I know :) I've just also seen some instances of people excusing or playing down the behavior of the two students responsible for the sex tape, and it admittedly makes me froth at the mouth a little, lol.


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