Month: July 2017

20 Jul

Anti-Bullying Campaigns

LGBT bullying is a huge problem. School bullying in general is a problem for a lot of students, especially if they come from oppressed groups. Bullying was once seen as a rite of passage. Some people will still say that it is. This way of thinking is so destructive that many anti-bullying campaigns have to personally take it on in order to make all of this work.

Bullies do what they do because they think that they can get away with it. They will usually not attack the people who are perceived as powerful. Anti-bullying campaigns are partly about convincing bullies that they cannot get away with it and that they cannot go after the targets that once gave them a sense of unearned power.

Bullying does demonstrably change. Bullies used to pick on kids with glasses. For the most part, this is not the case these days. Glasses are normal. Many people find glasses fashionable. The culture has changed since the 1980’s in many ways. As this continues, some problems associated with bullying will go away.

LGBT bullying will become less common as the culture continues to change. Kids learn LGBT prejudice from their parents. They bring it to school with them. They also learn it from the media. As the media gets more tolerant and parents get more tolerant, bullies will go after different targets.

However, this is the sort of process that is going to take a long time to really get going. In the meantime, adults have to make sure that they are able to take on the bullying that is happening now. They need to address individual bullies in order to make them stop going after all kids, including LGBT kids.

It is not up to the LGBT kids themselves to take on bullies. This usually does not work and it tends to pit kids against one another in a way that does not keep anyone safe. You may have seen a lot of action movies where this worked out, but it can escalate the conflict in real life and make things worse for all people involved.

School officials need to realize that few things can destroy education quite like bullying. If they care about the education of kids, they need to invest in anti-bullying programs and campaigns. They need to realize that all kids are entitled to an education and that bullies are destroying it for other kids. They need to accept that the kids themselves are not the people with the power and that they need to make their own schools safer. Anti-bullying programs could be regarded as some of the most important educational tools that are available today.

All anti-bullying programs need to make it clear that bullying in general will not be tolerated. School officials need to offer some real protection for the kids who do get bullied. They need to be prepared to work out the issues with parents and with the kids. They need to hold assemblies in order to make kids realize that the culture of a particular school is not going to tolerate bullying. All of these efforts can help.

4 Jul

Be a Positive Voice in the World

Every single person who speaks out in favor of LGBT rights is doing something valuable. Anything that you can do to help is valuable. Support a friend of yours who is queer. Give money to legitimate and effective queer charities. Support social media campaigns that are in favor of queer rights. If you are able to do any of these things, than you have already done more than a lot of other people have throughout history and you should keep on moving forward.

You cannot solve all of the prejudice against LGBT people on your own. No one can. The culture already has changed in the last thirty years, even though it is not where it should be today. We can make it change again.

If you can find a way to be a positive voice in the world, you will help. Thirty years ago, the people who actively spoke in favor of the rights of LGBT people were comparatively rare. Today, this has become common enough that allies are educated on how they can be better allies.

LGBT people and allies are encouraged to try to be positive voices in the world in whatever way will work for them. Some people cannot give money because of their economic circumstances. Some people are too afraid to protest in public because of concerns for their safety as a result of anxiety disorders or past traumas. Some people might have a hard time supporting Internet campaigns because of their negative experiences with Internet trolls. Some people might have a problem with all of the above.

If you are a person who does not tell homophobic jokes and who calls out the people who do, you are being a positive voice in the world. If you support someone who is LGBT, you are being a positive voice in the world. This is how the culture changes. It does not change overnight. It does not change as a result of anything dramatic. A lot of people collectively being positive and working together and refusing to perpetuate bad ideas leads to the cultural change that makes everyone’s lives better.