Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Earlier this month Newsround reported on the racist bullying of a boy in Swindon. All types of bullying are unacceptable, but what makes things worse is when the victim is too frightened to say anything about it or seek help. This is why homophobic bullying, especially, can lead to terrible consequences. Its effects can be grave in religious households because of the homophobic attitudes promulgated by some faiths. The Pope, for example, once declared that gay people had a tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.

With such prejudiced attitudes in society it's hardly surprising that kids are worried about being thought of as gay, and why all too often they won't seek help if they're bullied. Some kids see suicide as the only way out. Seth Walsh, 13, from Tehachapi in California was one such boy. Ten days ago, after years of bullying, he hanged himself from a tree and died this week in hospital.

People should be able to feel proud of who they are - whatever their gender and sexual orientation. As Prime Minister David Cameron said in June, homophobic bullying needs to be addressed by a change in culture. Yet only last Thursday on the CBBC channel (4.25pm) Iain Stirling was referred to on-air as a pansy. Hardly the sort of culture change needed to eliminate homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools. In fact absolutely appalling.

No comments: