I remember my school experience was based entirely on being bullied. No, it wasn’t for being gay – I only vaguely started to come out to myself in my very late teens – it was just for being me. I was different to the other kids in school – I came from a wildly different background, understood the world in a different way, was of a completely different social class (which I didn’t even understand). I got bullied by most people most of the time, had to negotiate a solution with one to avoid serious victimisation, and beat up another one to end his violence. It was even tried when I was a senior in that school, and when I brought it to the attention of a senior teacher he condoned it to my face. There was no way I could have brought the problem to my parents’ attention – the scale was too big, so how could they solve it?
These are not the experiences young people should be generating their future worldviews on, that in order to survive you have to disconnect yourself emotionally from the world around you. There are schools which have zero-tolerance against bullying and anti-discrimination policies which are enforced, but so many people’s coping mechanisms are still being maladjusted and so many lives damaged or ended by bullying.