03 November 2012

The Mean Girl Effect

Gay on gay bullying, prejudice and what nots..

We all have seen it, well if you haven't you have to check it out on Netflix. Mean Girls, is a story about a young girl from South Africa  who travels to America to attend public school. Desperately trying to fit in she discovers how similar high school is to animals in the wild. Throughout her journey she realize all we are searching for is acceptance and love. She also noticed how everywhere has their on clique there is always the plastics, and the Goth or "emo" now a days. Not sure if punk is still a thing. And bring the new one we desperately try to fit in at any means necessary. But what happens when the group you feel the most comfortable with doesn't make you feel welcome. What happens when you run to your safe haven for comfort from prejudice and bullying and you find the same?

Bullying has not just become an external issue, it is also internal and it is ugly. The gay community can be at times not welcoming to its own. Gay on gay bullying is an issue that is rarely addressed, most LGBT organizations would rather address straight on gay bullying but never its own. Most LGBT groups see the bigger issue is heterosexual acceptance of us; comments Dawn the Self Esteem Queen, a 33 year old motivational speaker, author, and teen mentor in the Los Angeles area. "Its a travesty to me" Dawn says " there is so much hatred in the LGBT community that we would never have to be bully by the heterosexual community.. We want to be accepted by the heterosexual world but within your own world, your not accepting each other." Coming out is a hard enough if not daunting task, however some gays loose their self identity, they believe they have to fit within labels of the community and act a certain way in order to fit in. It is not enough to say "i am a lesbian,  I'm gay, I'm transgender, I'm bisexual. If your definition is not the same as theirs ( other LGBT peoples) definition, then there is bullying, there has become so much divide by these titles." Being a gold star cis-gay male¹  is the best way to get in the "queer country club". However those who may identify themselves outside of the strict guidelines of homosexuality can find themselves to be considered a second class citizen. The only thing worse than being marginalizes is being further marginalizes within a group that is suppose to offer support. Gay media seems to act as though these issues are confined to older gay population, and the young modern gay are about inclusively. Sadly it is not all true, many times you hear friends saying they could never date a bisexual guy or a transgender individual. Creating a bridge in the gay community which is suppose to be a safe haven to all who feel different. Opinions against bisexuals, transgender's, and other gay individuals sometimes is the result of deep seated prejudices that needs to be addressed.

Many of times gay on gay bully happens online or in person from a person who is not comfortable about there own sexuality.  Dr. Gary Howell, Tampa Fla. and Illinois psychological associations chair of sexual orientation issues section, explains that gay on gay bullies often occurs when the bully is hiding his homosexuality. " they bully to keep from being found out... they're trying to protect themselves." Which the clinical term is reaction formation, a defensive mechanism when a person goes to the extreme to avoid anxiety and to feel safe. The flip side is when a heterosexual male is secure with his sexuality, they are comfortable around gay men, and do not participate in gay bullying.

Mobile dating has in a way transformed the lives of gay men worldwide. You can be on a desolate island, home depot (like you would catch me at home depot), church, or even on another date to easily find someone near by or far away to meet or even marry, depending on where you live. However online dating can be a emotional battlefield for anyone who feels like they are too skinny, fat, too ethnic, not enough ethnic, to hairy, to feminine or girly, or even the dreaded one too old. Which in the gay world seems like anything over 30. The newer gay designated social media sites has changed the way we date, we are judged by our profile picture. It seems if your not borderline breaking this rules of the app you are unnoticed.  Or an easy trigger for an angry gay looking for their next prey.  Some guys think of nothing than attacking each other publicly and proudly with profiles filled with knife cutting put downs.  One points out " i block more Asians than the great wall of China" or the usual "no fatties, or daddies. Creeps, fur balls, queens... etc. Times like these gay dating becomes more like a high school cafeteria than the fun loving gay community you see on TV. Ask yourself this when does personal preferences become racism?

We live in a time when being gay isn't easy. We also happen to live in the digital age, which had made bullying so much more prevalent, subtle, and pervasive in all aspects of gay life. While straight people may find it difficult to believe there is such a thing as gay on gay bullying.  The main issue is how separated we are. The cross category division is one of the factors that prevents gay rights movement from making more progress for equality. Addressing gay on gay bullying and prejudices with the help of straight allies is a strong key towards making progress. As our gay society is becoming more tech savvy and more outspoken we forget at times that we need to strive to accept us all. Strive for understanding of one another and accepting our own differences. The gay community is designed for being a safe haven a place of learning and understanding, not hate we already get enough hate from others, we don't need it from ourselves.  Tell me what you think of gay on gay bullying and prejudices.. do you feel like the gay community is one giant scene from mean girls?

Thanks for reading! Add a comment or send me an email!!

Almost 90% of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students report being verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation LGBT teens experience homophobic remarks d harassment throughout the school day, creating an atmosphere where they feel disrespected, unwanted, and unsafe. Homophobic remarks such as "that's so gay" are the most commonly heard. These slurs are often unintentional. If you know someone who is being bullied reach out and help we have all been there.
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