"It can reach out and get you 24-7. I think that's really hard for youth," says Vickie Henry, senior staff attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). "We've had situations with youth spending a lot of time online trying to respond to these attacks."

The same Iowa study found that gay bullying victims were less likely to go to an adult for help, especially if their parents were inclined to restrict Internet access or take away their cell phones.

In an attempt to stop anti-gay harassment, Facebook has stepped up its reporting options and formed a coalition with groups like the Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Advocates have fought in and out of court with districts that claim to be absolved of responsibility for student behavior off school grounds.

Jamie Nabozny—who won the first gay-bullying lawsuit against his school in 1996—and fiancé Bo Shafer get measured for their wedding tuxes.
Photo by Emily Utne (for City Pages)
Jamie Nabozny—who won the first gay-bullying lawsuit against his school in 1996—and fiancé Bo Shafer get measured for their wedding tuxes.
Seth Walsh, 13, was bullied relentlessly in his California school before he took his own life in 2010.
Courtesy of the ACLU
Seth Walsh, 13, was bullied relentlessly in his California school before he took his own life in 2010.

Tyler Clementi's parents say that if their son's complaint had been taken seriously by his dorm's resident assistant, their son might still be alive today.

"Maybe if his RA had reported it as a crime right away, if some adults had gotten involved, the police could have assisted Tyler," his mother, Jane Clementi, says. "We didn't know about it until it was too late."

They hope Tyler's story will open parents' eyes before it's too late.

"We realized that losing a child is probably the worst experience a parent can have," says Tyler's father, Joseph. "We started the foundation to remember Tyler and try to keep other parents from going through this kind of suffering that we went through."

Yet social media has also been an invaluable tool for the anti-bullying movement. After Dan Savage posted the first It Gets Better video, he received 200 submissions in one week. Now the campaign counts 50,000 contributions—everyone from Adam Lambert to the L.A. Dodgers has participated.

"I just spoke at a high school journalism conference in Seattle," Savage says. "There were thousands of high school journalists, and half a dozen kids approached me and burst into tears because of the difference It Gets Better has made in their lives."

When schools tell students they can't have a same-sex prom date or wear a "Jesus Is Not a Homophobe" T-shirt, advocacy firms like the ACLU, Lambda Legal, and GLAAD come to their aid. They now also have a powerful ally in the White House.

"Once Obama took office, people started really running," says Deborah Temkin, the Department of Education's research and policy coordinator for Bullying Prevention Initiatives. "We are engaged with nine other federal agencies, and I believe at last count, it was 32 offices within those nine agencies all working on this issue, which is unprecedented. We came together without a congressional mandate."

Despite howls of outrage from Republicans, GLSEN founder Kevin Jennings was appointed to the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools in 2009. The Matthew Shepard Act became law, making assault based on sexual orientation a federal hate crime.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently sent what's known colloquially as a "Dear Colleague" letter to every school in the country declaring this administration would consider discrimination against LGBT students a potential violation of Title IX.

"We're seeing a much more active role by this administration," says Alison Gill, public policy manager at GLSEN. "It's started to create this tipping point."

Two days after the Dear Colleague letter, the Department of Justice received a complaint from Wendy Walsh. She wrote that her son was harassed from the day he came out in sixth grade until the day he hung himself. Federal investigators took the case.

"Despite having notice of the harassment, the district did not adequately investigate or otherwise respond to it," the Office of Civil Rights concluded. "Based on the evidence gathered in the investigation, the departments concluded that the school district violated Title IX and Title IV."

New York Civil Liberties Union attorney Corey Stoughton reports that the Department of Justice was eager to help when she sued on behalf of Jacob Lasher, a gay student in the Mohawk school district of upstate New York who dropped out over violent threats from other students and harassment by teachers.

"They called us. They told us they'd been looking for a case to establish this Department of Justice's approach," she says of the DOJ. "The Bush administration never would have done this."

But no school district received as much national attention as Anoka-Hennepin in Minnesota. The district experienced nine student suicides in two years, many of them directly related to LGBT bullying. A district policy mandating that teachers remain "neutral" on topics of sexual orientation left the adults standing on the sidelines.

Six student plaintiffs told of being stabbed with pencils and urinated on in restrooms. The media frenzy culminated with a Rolling Stone article that caught the attention of celebrities including Aziz Ansari and Howard Stern.

"It was the first time anyone had taken any interest in what was actually going on," says Rebecca Rooker, whose son Kyle used to plead to come home from his Anoka-Hennepin school. "We got basically everything we asked for."

Years of denial finally ended when the district tossed out its "no homo promo" policy and agreed to five years of DOJ monitoring as well as a raft of anti-harassment precautions.

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26 comments
Sugarmommydate.com
Sugarmommydate.com

I like older women, and I find the perfect place to meet them, S_u_g_a_r_m_o_m_m_y_d_a_t_e___c_o_m , Safe and interesting, you should have a try.

Jo B
Jo B

I think you tell big lies when you see only victims on your side.Have you ever thought what goes on in someone who got raped by a 'gay'.Protecting children would be a good thing.

I was raped when I was a teen - not by a priest - by a "normal" everyday Gay.And if I withdrew my child from a school with gay teachers, I would be on the "bad" list, maybe even on the sexual danger list.

Mind you, I was teaching not only in universities but also schools (got Ed. Psych. too) and found a boy very disturbed. It turned out: a classmate had blackmailed (only a very minor misbehaviour) to come to his home, received him in his sister's dress and make up, and forced him to be "her" "boyfriend". The background was a very dominant mother, under-heel father, two preferred daughters. Anyway, I was "homophobic", called in a good child psychologist - for both of them, because I dared think that they both needed help. That is, of course, an unforgivable crime against the poor "gay" boy and his "natural" feelings.

Media and "liberal" politicians blame everone whoever is the "suspect of the day" (with exclusion of many real ones on your side), and it is exactly that political campaign that has increased the dangers:

Hyper-liberal "families are rape and violence", "fathers are incestuous", "sex is bad - gender is good" and other "liberal" ideologies have for long worked on the destruction of these places and tradition which contained rules and orders - but were not oppressive, as "liberalism" wished to tell us, but caring, loving, and protective. That's what needs to be turned around. Huxley's "Brave new World" was not a recommendation, but a warning.

Soldeslouboutinfr
Soldeslouboutinfr

vous pouvez aussi certainement me souviens pas dans le processus d’acheter une, spécialement en haut options de qualité apprécieront Christian Louboutin Homme Supra Fifre ou des bottes. Serious gor0uei le massif notamment apporte une partie de ces sortes de chaussures en développement une de soulager vraiment la peine des organismes associés à la réglementation d’organisation se sont avérés l’utilisation de ces sortes de produits identiques en ce qui concerne les Christian Louboutin Homme. jameskk19881226

MkeLuv
MkeLuv

But does it really ever get better? The bullying may stop eventually, and while the sense of worthlessness that you're left with for years after you graduate from high school fades, it never really goes away. I mean, getting beat up or fearing getting beat up every day for seven years because of something that is an intrinsic part of you does something to you that never really goes away. Being denigrated for being "queer" and listening to all the gay jokes forces you to internalize your classmates hatred and turn it on yourself. No one deserve that kind of treatment, the kind of self-betrayal and self-loathing that bullying cultivates.

For those of you who believe that this is "just part of growing up" and that bullying "builds character," I'd challenge you to help co-fund longterm longitudinal studies to show how bullied kids fare versus their non-bullied peers, and we can see what turns up. Because I'm willing to bet they'll tell you what I already know instinctually: kids who are severely bullied, for any reason, suffer from its effects for their entire lives.

Ron McCune
Ron McCune

“Romney likes to brag how he took a company named Bain and turned it into a money making machine so we should trust him to run the country because of that. Yet when you look at how he made Bain make money you will get second thoughts about voting for Romney. Investigate how Romney and Bain took over companies, drained their resources to enrich themselves as Romney and the investors took expensive salaries while cutting wages and benefits for workers and then shipped the jobs overseas or closed the company. Many of the companies that Bain took over were doing good until Romney and Bain got a hold of them. The few companies that Bain did take over that succeeded were retail stores like Staples and Sports Authority. However these stores sell mostly foreign made products so they aren’t helping America’s manufacturing jobs much at all. You will learn as this campaign goes on just how Romney and Bain made their money. Romney is not good for the American worker. Romney is only good for the rich as he plans, if elected president, to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich and give the rich other tax cuts and increase military spending, This will lead to higher deficits which will make Romney and the Republicans to cut the budget more which will hurt the middle class and the poor. Then Romney and the Republicans will cut or gut as many regulations and environmental laws as possible. We ALL know that lack of regulations led to the collapse of Wall Street and the BP Oil spill in the Gulf. Do YOU want another Wall Street hustle or another environmental disaster! The Republicans want to drill for oil off the coast of Alaska! What happens if we get an oil spill up there! Heck Romney and the Republicans don’t even care to do anything about global warming! Then Romney says that he wants to overturn Roe versus Wade. If Romney and the Republicans win control of the government in the next election or any election that’s exactly what they are going to do! Think about ALL of this before you vote!

Let’s talk a little more about Romney’s character. It’ been reported in the news that when Mitt Romney was a kid in school he bullied other kids. Romney says that he doesn’t remember anything about it. Let’s take a look at this story. First of all if you ever did something in your life that you know was very much wrong you don’t forget about it. You regret it for life. If you do something seriously wrong but don’t consider it a big thing and then forget about it it shows what a lowlife that you are. But for Romney to act like he don’t remember anything at all is a lie because he did harass other kids frequently so he would of remembered some of things. After all he did say that he pulled prangs on other kids and he remembers that. But Romney wants to lie about not remembering the harassment s that he did to other kids. What Mitt Romney did to those kids as he bullied them when he was young was seriously wrong because those kids felt seriously affected by it. Romney lies as he says that his harassment’s of others had nothing to do with picking on kids assumed to be gay. Yet when he attacked that kid and cut off his hair it was reported that Romney said to his followers that they should attack the kid because he was different than them and he harassed the same kid by saying to the kid in class ‘atta girl’ before the whole class many times over. Romney not only bullied those kids but he was the instigator, the leader of the bullies that harassed other kids. Those other kids with Romney most likely wouldn’t of harassed other kids had not Romney egged them on to harassed other kids. Those other kids with Romney who harassed other kids regret what they did so much that they remember what wrongs that they did. They have a conscience, an understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Romney hasn’t much of a good character because what he did didn’t bother him. Romney was rude, inconsiderate, mean, and despicable to others when he was a kid just as he was at Bain and just as he was in the way he was to other Republicans in the Republican primaries. Think of how he will be as president if he wins in November. Your character shows what kind of a person that you are. Romney has shown what kind of character he is and we should be fearful of the kind of character he is to lead our nation. Romney even let an adviser go in his campaign all because the person was gay. He can’t even stand up to the Right wingers of his party as they exert their control over the Republican Party. A lying, despicable, weak spine etch a sketch president is not what America needs.

The ONLY reason that Romney uses to show why he thinks that we should elect him as our president is that he has business experience. Nothing else, no other reason! However when you look at how he operated at Bain you see that he was bad for the American WORKER as he actually cut AMERICAN manufacturing jobs as he and Bain ripped off the finances of manufacturing plants and poorly ran them till they went under and then shipped the company across the border or overseas. Most of the jobs he created were in the retail industry at Sports Authority and Staples which mostly sell foreign made goods. Retail jobs are ALWAYS American jobs because NOBODY comes from a foreign country to work as a retail clerk at ANY American retail store. So add up ALL of the retail jobs that Romney and Bain created and subtract those from how many jobs Romney says he created. Then add up ALL of the American jobs that Romney and Bain cut and let us know NEWS MEDIA! Do YOUR JOB news media and report the facts instead of repeating and echoing Romney’s lies!

Ron McCune
Ron McCune

“Romney likes to brag how he took a company named Bain and turned it into a money making machine so we should trust him to run the country because of that. Yet when you look at how he made Bain make money you will get second thoughts about voting for Romney. Investigate how Romney and Bain took over companies, drained their resources to enrich themselves as Romney and the investors took expensive salaries while cutting wages and benefits for workers and then shipped the jobs overseas or closed the company. Many of the companies that Bain took over were doing good until Romney and Bain got a hold of them. The few companies that Bain did take over that succeeded were retail stores like Staples and Sports Authority. However these stores sell mostly foreign made products so they aren’t helping America’s manufacturing jobs much at all. You will learn as this campaign goes on just how Romney and Bain made their money. Romney is not good for the American worker. Romney is only good for the rich as he plans, if elected president, to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich and give the rich other tax cuts and increase military spending, This will lead to higher deficits which will make Romney and the Republicans to cut the budget more which will hurt the middle class and the poor. Then Romney and the Republicans will cut or gut as many regulations and environmental laws as possible. We ALL know that lack of regulations led to the collapse of Wall Street and the BP Oil spill in the Gulf. Do YOU want another Wall Street hustle or another environmental disaster! The Republicans want to drill for oil off the coast of Alaska! What happens if we get an oil spill up there! Heck Romney and the Republicans don’t even care to do anything about global warming! Then Romney says that he wants to overturn Roe versus Wade. If Romney and the Republicans win control of the government in the next election or any election that’s exactly what they are going to do! Think about ALL of this before you vote!

Let’s talk a little more about Romney’s character. It’ been reported in the news that when Mitt Romney was a kid in school he bullied other kids. Romney says that he doesn’t remember anything about it. Let’s take a look at this story. First of all if you ever did something in your life that you know was very much wrong you don’t forget about it. You regret it for life. If you do something seriously wrong but don’t consider it a big thing and then forget about it it shows what a lowlife that you are. But for Romney to act like he don’t remember anything at all is a lie because he did harass other kids frequently so he would of remembered some of things. After all he did say that he pulled prangs on other kids and he remembers that. But Romney wants to lie about not remembering the harassment s that he did to other kids. What Mitt Romney did to those kids as he bullied them when he was young was seriously wrong because those kids felt seriously affected by it. Romney lies as he says that his harassment’s of others had nothing to do with picking on kids assumed to be gay. Yet when he attacked that kid and cut off his hair it was reported that Romney said to his followers that they should attack the kid because he was different than them and he harassed the same kid by saying to the kid in class ‘atta girl’ before the whole class many times over. Romney not only bullied those kids but he was the instigator, the leader of the bullies that harassed other kids. Those other kids with Romney most likely wouldn’t of harassed other kids had not Romney egged them on to harassed other kids. Those other kids with Romney who harassed other kids regret what they did so much that they remember what wrongs that they did. They have a conscience, an understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Romney hasn’t much of a good character because what he did didn’t bother him. Romney was rude, inconsiderate, mean, and despicable to others when he was a kid just as he was at Bain and just as he was in the way he was to other Republicans in the Republican primaries. Think of how he will be as president if he wins in November. Your character shows what kind of a person that you are. Romney has shown what kind of character he is and we should be fearful of the kind of character he is to lead our nation. Romney even let an adviser go in his campaign all because the person was gay. He can’t even stand up to the Right wingers of his party as they exert their control over the Republican Party. A lying, despicable, weak spine etch a sketch president is not what America needs.

The ONLY reason that Romney uses to show why he thinks that we should elect him as our president is that he has business experience. Nothing else, no other reason! However when you look at how he operated at Bain you see that he was bad for the American WORKER as he actually cut AMERICAN manufacturing jobs as he and Bain ripped off the finances of manufacturing plants and poorly ran them till they went under and then shipped the company across the border or overseas. Most of the jobs he created were in the retail industry at Sports Authority and Staples which mostly sell foreign made goods. Retail jobs are ALWAYS American jobs because NOBODY comes from a foreign country to work as a retail clerk at ANY American retail store. So add up ALL of the retail jobs that Romney and Bain created and subtract those from how many jobs Romney says he created. Then add up ALL of the American jobs that Romney and Bain cut and let us know NEWS MEDIA! Do YOUR JOB news media and report the facts instead of repeating and echoing Romney’s lies!

Jade
Jade

It is our responsibility to address the problem. A Presidential candidate that signs a document that may send young men to die on foreign soil has the personage that will acknowledge the gay/lesbian attacks in favor of the individual concept of freedom? I sincerely doubt that level of concern regards that brand of morality.

Andrewwright12
Andrewwright12

Gay kid has bangs cut off, screams, runs away from school....Straight kids get beaten up, deal with it daily.'Adversity strengthens the soul' as a wise dude once said. Get a sense of proportion, folks!

Bev
Bev

Someone once said this so well. "Live and let Live" we should never try and Judge someone forbeing something we do not fully understand.

LIMEN !
LIMEN !

I knew that I was gay by the time that I was 3 years old. I just knew. And no one was going to change me. No matter how many times that I got beaten. At more than 60 years old it disqusting, offensive, and repulsive that people who are not homosexual think that they know what or who a homosexual is. Their the scew-up that need to hate people that they do not even know. The truth is that their not secure or happy with-in them selfs, so they need some one to look down on. They should look real long and hard at the misfit monkey in the smeared mirror. I see GOD my creator as the only one that was the right to judge. For he created me. Iwish that we lived in a better society, country, and world than we do. It's those so called holier than though that are the real f-ups in this world. They take great joy in hurting others that are different than them. In turn they slowly fade away into their patheticness. Your a perfect creation of GOD! Be proud! Heterosexual are way far more miserable than we gays are! It's their karma pay back that they get for hurting us. 1 in 2 marriage end in divorce! Pay backs a real bitch. Love your self as GODS'S gift to you and only you. He loves you. Do not beleive the blind indoctrinated sheepish followers. That can't think it out for them seleves. So they need some one to tell them what to think. Just ask GOD to be your Divine guide under all your lifes circumstances. And know that the true GOD is personified in your being!

Rahiq Syed
Rahiq Syed

If the gays would grow a pair and stop acting like little girls perhaps they would not have this issue. I don't feel sorry for any boy who likes to wear dresses.

DuluthToronto
DuluthToronto

I just want to add that as someone who came out at 14, I saw all sides of this - in fact, other gay people are even more ruthless, rejecting and mean-spirited towards each other, thanks to the absence of social skill development and ability to grow up because we never got a chance. Now all that rage we have from being bullied, we take it out on each other.

Straight friends, if you want to help, help us by including us in your lives. We need to feel like we have a shot at finding friends and relationships just like you do. Supporting gay marriage is nice, but I'm telling you from the front lines that most of us aren't even meeting anyone, if we do, it's over within weeks, and while it's great we come out online, very few gay people are coming out in real life. How are we supposed to find anyone if everyone's hiding at home? There is no excuse for anti-gay bullying, but I'll tell you from experience what makes a gay person end it: once it's realized that not only is the straight world cruel, mean and unkind, but the gay world looks for any spot of weakness amongst its own and exploits it (a la 'Mean Girls' attitudes). Most gay people feel good about themselves when they see another gay person succumbs to suicide or gay bashing (the 'hey, at least it wasn't me! I guess I'm not that bad off after all!'). This has to stop within the gay community. It's not funny, it doesn't make you 'better' and it means you're no different from the bullies because you DID NOTHING to prevent it.

Melissa Alter
Melissa Alter

My brother was bullied for people thinking he was gay...and it was more than horrible...I never thank Presidents for something because I always know there is an agenda behind it...but thanks Obama....the only agenda for anti-bullying is to stop it before it happens

bub
bub

I'm all for the schools not teaching some crap about homosex is bad yadda yadda. But as someone who was a freak in high school and had to fight to survive every day until I finally dropped out, I just wonder how so many people seem to think youth culture is shaped by what Miss/Mr. So-and-so said in health class.

Also, the evangelicals are a factor obviously when it comes to issues like gay marriage, but in my experience the bullies were just dumb nihilist assholes. The abstinence ring wearing, straight-laced goodie-goodies might have all grown up to vote Republican, but in school they were not the bullies. If anything they were another sub-category of outsiders in their own right.

Where I was, the issue was simple enforcement. It was open season on the freaks. Conversely, I was constantly being suspended and even placed in alternative school for defending myself. To give some benefit of the doubt to those who don't deserve it, I'm willing to bet that if every kid who threw the first punch at one of the freaks had been suspended, those kid's parents would have made a big stink about it.

Guest
Guest

This piece makes heterosexuals appear as if they are not human beings at all, but rather barnyard animals.

bobbybluetoyou
bobbybluetoyou

I think you tell big lies when you post here. Clearly, you need your meds. And a gander at Matthew 7 : 1-5

Michaelmous1
Michaelmous1

Good lord what a confused, disturbed individual you present yourself as here. Your remarks have no bearing on the issue of bullying of gay youth but concern a whole other topic (rape). Clearly you are unable to show empathy for gay kids and your hysterical anti-gay rant here is simply bizarre. I have also been abused as you say you have but that does not prevent me from delineating between valid social issues. I find your remarks here deeply homophobic and stereo-typing of Gays as child rapists.Clearly you need help and I hope you find some before you fear and loathing destroys others.

Dog Eater Obama
Dog Eater Obama

al franken must be a cock sucking dope who got bullied...god bless cock sucking al franken.

Jla47
Jla47

Any time any child gets beaten by his classmates, it's wrong. I can agree with that position. What you may not understand is that gay children are singled out far more frequently. Even straight kids who may APPEAR gay to some bullies are tortured. I have spent over 40 years in schools and this issue is clearly not a question of "adversity strengthens the soul." It's an intimidation of a person's spirit and it effects are lifelong.I suggest that you rethink your position.

LIMEN !
LIMEN !

Who the hell do you think you are thinking that you have aright to judge an other person, because that their a transsexual. All true gays or homosexual have an inner feminine soul. No matter how much you can not handle or accept it. The Native Americans called gay men he-shes, and female gays she-hes. And they were not only highly respected and held in high honor! Far greater than we are now. You wipe your rectum your way . And do not think or worry how they wipe their a$$. I would say that you still are very unready, fearful, and incapable in accepting and embracing you natural femininity. Untile you do you will never be full and truly complete, AND TRUE TO YOUR SELF.

guest
guest

Actually, most writers for this mag are hetero, so this feature obviously is not trying to smear heteros. And, is your slur against barnyard animals apt? Though some do, most barnyard denizens do not engage in systematic bullying of their fellow inmates.

LIMEM !
LIMEM !

Your very wrong , chickens are the worst. Where do you think the term, peckking order comes from. I was a farm boy and raised 1,200 a year. And I hate chickens. The word foul is well placed.

 
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