On Bullies, Bullying and Brett Ratner

This season’s girls and boys are no strangers to bullying. Spoiler Alert! Many LGBTQ youth are ridiculed for being perceived as different and, sadly, it doesn’t always to stop when they get older. It does get better, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Just listen to Shane’s gut-wrenching account of his recent confrontation with a homeless man, and then watch Jared recount another big bully…the Ku Klux Klan.

Now, with the Klan the issues are pretty obvious. I mean, bullying is pretty much in their mission statement (and that might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about the Klan). Bullying is, however, such a huge problem because people who seem normal and don’t run around in funny hats think the horrible stuff they say, and do, is acceptable.

Take Brett Ratner’s recent statement at a screening that “rehearsal is for fags.” It was a reminder that bullying isn’t just a kid thing at all. I know what you’re thinking–Brett Ratner? The guy with a neckbeard who refers to sexual intercourse as ‘banging’ and openly scratches his crotch in public? He would be so insensitive as to use a gay slur for something like rehearsing? Okay, the guy doesn’t seem like somebody I want to grab a beer with but, there are a lot of people who would. So this situation brings up an important issue–people (including grown adults with millions of dollars) don’t understand the connotations of using ‘gay’ to describe something as ‘stupid’ or ‘lame.’

Example: Oh, I just saw Tower Heist. It was so gay! That’s not the way to express an your thoughts…it’s more like Tower Heist was stupid. There we go. Progress!

Small changes like that can make all the difference. If you don’t expose kids to language like that, they won’t associate ‘gay’ with ‘bad’ or ‘wrong. Said hypothetical children will probably not wind up being bullies who call other kids ‘gay’ to make them feel bad about themselves, or other such nonsense that drives kids to commit suicide. You can trace all of that stuff back to the “stupid things” some idiot director or idiot parent or idiot gym coach said.

And that can mean the difference between a happy childhood and a youth filled with pain. So, Brett Ratners of the world, please think of the children.

An all new season of GIRLS WHO LIKE BOYS WHO LIKE BOYS is just around the corner. Tune into Sundance Channel on for the Season 2 premiere Friday, November 18th at 9 PM et/pt.