In my first blog post, I introduced the topic of my You & The World Project, which is bullying LGBT+ children in schools. You can find that blog here. I talk about the types of insults children use, the statistics behind insults, and who people hear them from. I also talk about where bullying stems from, and how it affects children from a young age. That’s all in my first blog post.
I found a new source, talking about being openly gay in high school, and still hearing homophobic slurs from a water polo team. Tony Covell still heard homophobic slurs from his teammates in the locker room. The team would jokingly use the words and look at Covell, he would blow them off and ignore their ignorance. These boys knew their teammate and who he was, but day after day they continued to use these words. So why do people continue to use slurs and hate speech, even if they know someone's sexuality? Covell says it’s about the hate behind it. That being called a “faggot” is supposed to be offensive. Covell says “The term “faggot” is degrading — it gives a derogatory term to a word that in most cases are being used as a synonym for “gay.”
GLSEN, sponsored by Celebrating Kindness, created a “no name calling week”, to reduce kids in high school from using homophobic or gay slurs. This week has no set time, and schools and does it whenever they feel necessary. They propose ideas and things to do to keep kids from using these slurs, and how to celebrate LGBT+ students in their schools.
For my project, I had to do original research to find out more about my topic. I did a survey, which you can find here, and sent it out to children who go to my school. My topics asked about how students felt about the LGBT+ community if they’ve heard slurs against it, if they’ve witnessed bullying, and if they’ve tried to help it. It was an anonymous survey, so no information was recorded about the students.
I learned from the students that most people thought the slurs were moderately hurtful, mostly heard them from students, and heard them in school. None responded that they disliked the LGBT+ community. This information helped me understand how a group of high school students feel about the LGBT+ community. It also helped me see that people sometimes don’t think that the slurs are hurtful, and some even said that they don’t hear the slurs at all. Personally, I think that the “hurt” of the slur depends on the person. It all depends on your experience with the LGBT+ community, your supports, and the type of people you’ve been around. I’m not affected much by homophobic slurs, but I do know people who are bothered by them a lot.
This image shows if people have seen bullying towards people in the LGBT+ community, taken from my survey results
For my agent of change in the real world, I’m not sure what I want to do yet. I was thinking of fundraising and giving the money to organizations who help prevent bullying or make safe spaces for teens who are LGBT+ and not supported. Or I wanted to fundraise and give the money to organizations that make “care packages” for Transgender teens who can’t afford, or whose parents won't let them buy clothes that make them feel comfortable. Those are some options that I have.
If you want to read more about sources I have and see where I’ve looked, you can find my annotated bibliography here!