Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

HAHAT 2014

“You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!” John Lennon

Cyber bullying is now part of our vocabulary. It’s a disturbing trend that is not going away any time soon. Here are some alarming statistics from the i-SAFE foundation:

1. Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying.
2. More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyber threats online.
3. Over 25 percent of adolescents and teens have been bullied repeatedly through their cell phones or the Internet.
4. Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.

With the advent of social media, people can take on another identity; connect with thousands without showing their faces to the world. The statistics of face to face bullying has declined, while cyber bullying has increased. It’s terribly easy to bully someone when there is no accountability. Further disturbing is about 9 out of 10 LGBT teens have been the victims of cyber bullying.

I was bullied in grammar school. It was a girl. She taunted me in the halls and threatened to fight with me. I was terrified and too ashamed to say anything, until I developed stomach ulcers and finally confessed what was happening to me in school. The reason this girl bullied me…she liked me and thought I didn’t like her. I don’t know if there was more to the ‘liking me’ or not. I was too naive as a kid, and maybe I had said something to her, or looked at her the wrong way. It lasted a only a few months, but it gave me a taste of how terrifying it is to be bullied. I couldn’t imagine having to go through something like this throughout my school years. And, if it had been today, with Tumblr and social media, I hate to think what she could have posted about me. I was a pretty sensitive kid, and I know cyber bullying would have crushed me at that age.

No child should be subjected to humiliation and fear because of their sexual identity or because they are ‘different’. No child, period.

That’s why I am a believer in the work of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, a national youth leadership organization. The focus of GSA is providing a safe environment in school for LGBT teens.

Their mission statement:

Gay-Straight Alliance Network is a national youth leadership organization that connects school-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) to each other and community resources through peer support, leadership development, and training.

GSA Network supports young people in starting, strengthening, and sustaining GSAs and builds the capacity of GSAs to:

1. Create safe environments in schools for students to support each other and learn about homophobia, transphobia, and other oppression.
2. Educate the school community about homophobia, transphobia, gender identity, and sexual orientation issues, and fight discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools.
3. Fight discrimination, harassment, and violence in schools.

To read more about GSA: http://www.gsanetwork.org/about-us
To read more about bullying: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/gay-bullying-statistics.html

VL_OutofBounds_covertn**Leave a comment about the disturbing trend of cyber bullying or experiences you might have had related to bullying. I will choose one commenter and donate $50.00 to the GSA Alliance in the commenter’s name, and send the winner one digital copy of Out Of Bounds, a coming-out story that addresses the issue of homophobia.**

May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and the reason why this blog’s start date is May 17 – to read more about this day, here is their link: http://dayagainsthomophobia.org/

Thank you for your support!

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Viki Lyn

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32 Responses to Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia

  • Sherry S. says:

    My niece has told me about a girl at her school that has been cyber bullied for a long time now. As soon as one post is shut down another pops up. From what she says it gets pretty nasty.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  • Shirley Ann Speakman says:

    I was bullied at school only for a couple of months and it really shook me I started not eating and hated going to school I never told anyone but she then went in another class I can’t remember why I was so relieved. But cyber bullying is a whole new threat you can’t get away from it, it should be sorted out as soon as it comes to light nobody deserves to be bullied.

    ShirleyAnn(at)speakman40(dot)freeserve(dot)co(dot)uk

  • Viki Lyn says:

    Wow, the hop is over after tomorrow. I will be choosing a name for my giveaway bu early next week! And, I’ll email the winner and announce it here on my blog. Thank you so much everyone who has commented and supported this hop. It’s wonderful to see. Viki

  • H.B. says:

    When I was a child cyber bullying was kind of nonexistent or at the very least not yet prominent I guess (or maybe it just never affected me?and that’s why I didn’t know about it until my teen years?). Bullying usually occurred in the classroom. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum. I’ve bullied (nothing bad just very light teasing and a little kicking this was when I was a lot younger by the way) and I’ve been bullied. I’ve also been told to bully someone by a friend. I didn’t take well to that since that was years after my little bullying stint and I didn’t think the person deserved it at all and told that to the friend who told me to ignore and bump into the girl.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  • Lena Grey says:

    I will never understand bullying. Why would you want to deliberately hurt someone? lena.grey.iam@gmail.com

  • Michelle says:

    This was a really interesting post. There have been some great comments. It seems there are so many ways for kids to be bullied these days. Thanks for the giveaway but mostly, thanks for the donation.

    MHupp20032003(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Cornelia says:

    It’s so hard for kids to just grow up in a happy life without being bullied. It cannot be tolerated in any form

  • Bullying, gosh. Such a buzzword, so many people with opinions and solutions, and still it continues. People say to tell a teacher, but what can a teacher do? People tell teachers to notify admin/counselor/police, but what can they do? I’m not convinced that mandated reporting always works. In some cases, it can prevent kids from talking to teachers and counselors. On the other hand, we can’t let adults stand by while this is happening.

    I wish we could find a way to let kids focus on being kids. It’s hard enough already to grow up without being bullied.

    • Viki Lyn says:

      ‘I wish we could find a way to let kids focus on being kids. It’s hard enough already to grow up without being bullied.’ A resounding YES!

  • Rissa says:

    My sons school recently had a cyber bullying assembly. It’s so heart breaking that kids go thru this at any age but to be worrying about it in such early grades is terrifying.
    Thank You so much for being a part of the hop!
    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

    • Viki Lyn says:

      Yes, my heart also breaks when I think of kids going through this, especially at an earlier age when kids are so vulnerable. But then, I guess humans are vulnerable species at any age. Cyber bullying doesn’t stop when we become adults.

  • laurie g says:

    bullying is never good. i was bullied years ago before the internet and i am glad that i didn’t go thru it in this day and age because it seems so much worse

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    • Viki Lyn says:

      Laurie, I was bullied too. And I agree with you, I’m so glad there wasn’t social media at that time. It would have been worse, a hundredfold, if I thought ‘everyone’ knew I was being bullied.

  • Pingback: Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia | ScuttlebuttReviews

  • Shorty Chelle says:

    Any type of bullying is wrong. The bullies should have to answer for what they’ve done, no matter how old they are. Everyone has an IP address so I know they could be tracked down. Thank you for the giveaway.

    marsh10@netzero.com

  • Viki Lyn says:

    Thank you all for commenting. I love all your posts and your support against cyber bullying. It’s a real hot button for me. I’m the youngest of four, and my sisters tease me that I use to cry over every little slight. Ah, so I know, if I ever was cyber bullied, I’d not have recovered easily. Now I’m warrior ready, but then, I was too sensitive and wasn’t very confident. It breaks my heart to think of children being abused in this way.

  • Penumbra says:

    I’m so glad cyber-bullying wasn’t around when I was growing up. I think it’s horrible and wish that more could be done to catch and prosecute the people who do it.

    penumbrareads(at)gmail(dot)com

  • Ray says:

    “You are what you are!” John Lennon The quotation is so true. I loved your blog post. It was an issue really worth focusing on. Also, thanks on behalf of everyone for deciding to donate money on behalf of the winning commenter. If I win, this will be one of my best gift in life and will forever remain special. I really love to help people in the little way I can.

    • Viki Lyn says:

      Thanks Ray for your comment. I loved John Lennon and can quote him all day. He truly lived his life how he believed he should live it.

  • Emily W. says:

    I was bullied all throughout my childhood just for being a bookworm who loved to read and learn. I’m just glad that cyberbullying wasn’t really around until I was into high school/college. It’s messed up and just plain wrong. Thank you for talking about this serious issue.

    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

    • Viki Lyn says:

      I agree, cyber bullying takes bullying to another level because the situation becomes public. Suddenly what’s happening is out there for all the world to see, not just the privacy of the school playground.

  • Rod B says:

    Great post. I was punched in the face years ago as a teenager for being gay. Luckily I wasn’t seriously hurt but I’ll never forget it.
    rockybatt@gmail.com

    • Viki Lyn says:

      That must have been a horrible experience. I was bullied (for no reason but being myself!) but never hit. I hope your school experience got better.

  • Yvette says:

    Cyberbullying is something I am always concerned about as a teacher. We must all be vigilant.
    Yvette

    • Viki Lyn says:

      Yvette, that’s great you are aware of it in school. One of the stats I read is bullying is more prevalent in schools that aren’t vigilant.

  • Cherie Noel says:

    Viki,
    I loved your post. My kidlet *teen edition* talks about this with me from time to time. She personally knows a lot of kids who’ve been bullied online, and hates it. I agree that the trend is a truly disturbing one. (don’t count me in for the prize, as I’m one of the organizers).

    Thank you so much for participating.
    ~~Cherie Noel~~

  • Gabrielle says:

    I am constantly talking to my children about bullying in all forms and hope that they feel safe enough to come to me if it ever happens. Thankfully I have never experienced online bullying. I have seen how quickly things get out of hand with the bullies. I do not understand why they do what they do. It seems as if they have no life other than to be online and bully. I am glad there are networks and such around now to help those in need. We need more people taking a stand against those that bully.

  • Lee Todd says:

    I’ve advised my daughter’s school of an incident of cyber bullying a couple of years ago, the post was removed and a school wide assembly addressed the issue (although I don’t believe there was any discipline meted out to any of the bullies)

    leetee2007@hotmail.com

    • Viki Lyn says:

      I’m glad the school listened and removed the post, but I believe some action should have been taken against the bullies. At least some first steps were taken.

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