Homophobic bullying in schools can and does killBy The Calgary Herald, January 30, 2008 http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=cbc74181-3103-4366-bacf-bea306ede7ca
Walk past any schoolyard at recess time and what do you hear? Kids as young as five calling each other “gay” and “fag.” At the junior and senior high school level, the word “gay” has become a universally pejorative term: “You’re gay,” kids sneer at each other, or “That is so gay!” I’ve even heard “Gay it all!” as an expression of annoyance over some triviality…
What is homophobic bullying
Homophobia is the hatred or fear of homosexuals – that is, lesbians and gay men – sometimes leading to acts of violence and expressions of hostility. Homophobia is not confined to any one segment of society, and can be found in people from all walks of life. Organized hate groups have viciously attacked homosexuals and have used especially violent language in attempting to persecute and intimidate them.
Discrimination against homosexuals comes in many forms. At times homophobic beliefs lead people toward prejudiced actions at work, at schools, at clubs and in many other areas as well. Prejudiced views directed at homosexuals often stem from the perception that homosexual activity is immoral. Homophobia makes some people think that they are superior to homosexuals. In fact, studies show that anti-gay bias is far more accepted among large numbers of Americans than is bias against other minorities
Many researchers claim that homosexuals still find themselves the target of bias within institutions like churches and professional organizations. Many church and religious groups maintain that homosexual behaviour is a sin and runs counter to the will of God as expressed in certain Biblical passages. Up until 1980, many psychiatrists still looked upon homosexuality as a mental disorder. Today, medical professionals believe that homosexuality is not an illness, mental disorder or emotional problem.
Homophobia is most dangerous when it serves as the justification for violent action against homosexuals. In recent years attacks on homosexuals have risen. While the violent crime rate in many areas continues to drop, anti-gay crime is moving in the other direction. What is most disturbing is the cruelty and viciousness of many of these attacks.