“You never go out,” my mom says. It seems like she doesn’t get it.
“They call me names, mom–fag, faggot, homo.”
“So, why do you provoke them? Why do you dress like that? What are you trying to prove? Why can’t you be like all normal people?”
“Normal!? Am I not normal? Mom, they insulted me; one of them hit me and pushed me to the ground, staring at me with a clenched fist. Once, they even threw stones at me.”
“Why do you have to look like this? Why do you provoke? What did I do wrong? What on earth did we do wrong with your father in raising you? We haven’t taught you anything. No, no, you always choose to be stubborn. You love to see me hurt. You do all this not because you are what you say you are, but because you know how much it hurts me. Even the psychologist told me that maybe all of that is just a phase, a period, that it will pass, and you will find a girlfriend. Children are now overwhelmed with all sorts of information, so they get confused, don’t know who they are, or have a problem with their identity. They want to explore, some try to be fashionable, but do you have to parade in public? Be whoever you want to be, but nobody has to know it, or at least it doesn’t have to be so obvious.”
The problem in the communication above is obvious. Can’t you see the misconceptions on so many levels? I won’t even get into the right to self-expression or the importance of articulating our authentic thoughts when interacting with the outside world. Those ideas are somehow left in the background in this case.
First, let us summarize the conversation. A mother sends a message to her child that he is a shame for the family, that being gay is just stubbornness and fashion. Most importantly, being a victim of violence is only and exclusively his fault. He simply provokes the environment with his appearance.
The world of the teenager is slowly shrinking to an intimate, tiny island full of accusations and, even worse, self-blame, with attempts to suppress his true nature — endless sinking to the point of losing breath in the sea of guilt.
What’s most striking in this whole situation is the tolerance of violence. Hey, some aggressive thugs full of anger and hatred knocked your child! How loudly does it have to be said to be heard? But that doesn’t concern you. The problem lies in your child, not them.
When violence is given credibility, it is legitimized and forgiven. There are always arguments and justifications why it happens and why it continues to exist in all of its forms. Violence is being normalized and remains unsanctioned, which makes it lasting. When it remains unpunished, it gives the message that it is ok. We can see the logic behind this kind of thinking, right? Of course, it’s illogical logic. Just like the following statement: I am not violent, except with boys who behave and look like females – one student told me–justifying his behavior.
What about the victims? Where are they? How do they cope with this situation? Do they live their lives to the fullest?
Meanwhile, the bullies will continue where they left off. After all, the world is left to them, right? I do not think so. There is no room for them here.