This video of street interviews is from 2008, but is suddenly making the rounds this week. It’s brilliant and simple at the same time, and I think it’s a good one to share with our tweens and teens. In the video, people are asked whether they believe that people are born gay, or if they choose to be.
The follow-up question is really the part that makes people think: “When did you choose to be straight?”
My older daughters are in middle school now, and they see kids being bullied for even appearing to be gay. This bullying is socially acceptable in a way that other kinds of discrimination would never be tolerated, even by sixth graders. And far too many adults look the other way, sending bullies the message that this is all a-ok with them.
Recently, some middle school students had taken to yelling slurs at one of my daughters’ friends. The words they chose indicated that they believed he was LGBT, and, shall we say, that they didn’t think this was a good thing. They were yelling these words out of school bus windows, and it happened more than once.
In our society, we don’t allow people to be discriminated against for the way they are born: not for the skin color they were born with, not for the disabilities they were born with; not for the heritage they were born with. Had those bullies used a racial slur, I’m 100 percent sure the bus driver would have written up the perpetrators. Instead, it was reported by two 11-year-old girls.
We’re the parents, we’re the adults, and we can’t look the other way when kids are hateful to one another. If we don’t step up, we’re letting it happen.
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