Stop The Gay Bashing This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The lack of compassion and acceptance today shocks me. I've heard all the dirty jokes and have been exposed to more than enough gay-bashing to last me a lifetime. I cannot believe the wave of ignorance that is sweeping America. Unfortunately, even our schools have fallen victim to an increasingly popular disease: homophobia.

You can be exposed to it anywhere - in the locker room, the classroom and even at home. In fact, it seems that the home is sometimes part of the problem. Children learn by example, so in this age of diversity it is very important for parents to be open-minded. What teens see and hear at home, as well as what they learn from their peers and the media directly affects the way they think.

I know many adults who are openly prejudiced towards homosexuals. I've also seen homophobic students tease other kids and toss around all of the derogatory names that they know. This saddens me. I wish that we could accept each other for who we are and leave sexual preferences out. It all comes down to a matter of personal choice. And isn't that just it, personal choice?

Why is such an emphasis placed on sexuality? When ABC heard from Roseanne Arnold that an upcoming script called for a lesbian kiss, the network nearly pulled the episode. This created quite a stir and undoubtedly drew in some ratings, but anyone who tuned in to Roseanne that night would probably agree that the scene was no big deal. Let's hope the episode opened as many minds as it did eyes. The movie Philadelphia also deals with homosexuality in a tasteful way, showing that gays are real people with important places in this world.

The public needs to realize that everyone has feelings and emotions, not just the straight percentage of the population. We all have families, problems and relationships. The fact that many young people can't see this is sad. Even Bert and Ernie from the beloved show Sesame Street have been dragged into this ridiculous struggle. What is this saying to our children? We need to trash the stereotypes once and for all because they will only intensify as time goes on. Maybe someday we'll realize that everyone is different and celebrate these differences, for they are what makes us each truly special.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

happyagain said...
May 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm
I agree except when you say that it is a choice. They don't choose. To prove this to you why would they? If they could choose to be straight don't you think they would to escape all the torment?
 
possenda said...
Apr. 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm
I think this article is dead on in terms of explaining how the influence of ignorance parents display at home effect their kids thinking and behavior in school.
 
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