If A Straight Teen Attempts Suicide For Being Called Gay But is Straight Is That Still Anti-Gay Bullying?
This is the fourth case I have heard of a straight teen trying suicide after being endlessly accused of being gay. Just not sure if separating types of bullying is doing anything to address and reduce the issue. Is bullying just bullying, or because of the higher incidents of GLT teens attempting and succeeding at suicide attempts, does that mean research has shown that ‘straight’ and ‘gay’ teen bullying are different animals and need to be viewed separately. I could well understand it being hard to teach a ‘gay hating bully’ that doing such was wrong when they are taught to believe that gay people are lesser humans. And that God hates them so their hate is justified.
UPDATE – Penny Ashton just made an excellent point on ‘The Gray Zone’, and it is one i tend to ignore as it is so saddening for my heart. Because the fact seems to be that this people would rather be dead than thought of as gay. Just how low is their opinion of gay people that it is better off to be dead than thought of as ‘one of them’?
Gray’s parents told News Channel 8/Tampa Bay Online that their son tried to kill himself at home after being tormented “nonstop” by bullies at Zephyrhills High School in Pasco County, Fla. “Gay Zach, fag, queer — it was nonstop,” Lynn “Sissy” Gray said, describing the taunts her son used to receive, even though he was not actually gay and had a steady girlfriend.
The latest incident of torment came just before Gray, then 17, allegedly tried to hang himself with a dog chain in a shed behind his home. Together with neighbors and paramedics, Gray’s mother was able to save him by administering CPR, but sadly, the teen is now unable to walk or talk, requiring 24-hour care at a local medical center.
Gray’s girlfriend Keylee Harris, who reportedly dated the teen for five months, says she noticed the bullying as well. “I really didn’t start paying attention until we started dating in January,” Harris is quoted as saying. “And then I started noticing people calling him ‘fag,’ ‘gay’ in the commons area – writing notes, treating him bad, just saying things.”
EDGE Boston cites an investigation conducted by the Pasco School District after the suicide attempt, which found that Gray had complained to teacher Brenda Carlson that other students had called him “Zach Gay” during a field trip. Carlson told the school investigators she responded by asking Gray, “If someone calls you a tree, are you a tree? And if someone calls you gay, does that make you gay?”