High School Homophobe Delivers Online Taunts and Real Life Violence

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

In a disturbing attack recently caught on video, a young man is helpless to defend himself, and no one comes to his aid, as one of his much larger peers rains blows down on him. The motive? Days earlier, the same attacker referred to the victim as “the definition of a faggot.” The victim, who remains unnamed, suffered a chipped tooth and possible concussion. The attacker was given three days suspension.

Comments on the YouTube page for the report request the attacker’s address and refer to retaliatory violence via baseball bat, and while the impulse to kidnap the little shit, drag him to the mouth of an active volcano, and lower him — slowly — to  a miserable death by lava, is strong, this “bullying” problem is much larger than one hateful individual, and needs to be dealt with on an institutional level.

Pieces of legislation like California’s FAIR Education Act hold promise, as they will ensure that future high school students are made aware of the “history, current events and social movements” of the LGBT community. An educational environment with a clear message of inclusion might not end homophobia forever, but it’s certainly a big step in the right direction. Social conservatives rail against this kind of legislation like rabid marmosets, calling it “indoctrination,” as though the simple knowledge of who Bayard Rustin was will somehow cause teens to suddenly crave gayness. Their concerns are laughable, but their influence is real, and our community has to rally just as passionately to see these reforms through or queer youth is going to continue to suffer.

In the meantime, a petition to “protect LGBT students by prohibiting harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity” is has gone up on change.org. Many of us recorded “It Gets Better” videos at one point or another, but as stories of bullying and violence continue to pop up on the cultural radar, it’s apparent that the promise we’ve made to the next generations aren’t going to come to fruition unless we Make It Better.

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