These are two social subjects that sadden me and hurt me deeply whenever I hear or read about them.
I’m not a young man anymore. I don’t consider myself old either, even though I’m 67 years old, I am active and exercise. When I was growing up, being gay was basically hush, hush, at least where I grew up, and I’m certain other places too.
Being laughed at, ostracized, and bullied was something I lived through most of my middle school years. To keep the evil tongues at bay and stop the name-calling and laughter, I started dating a girl in high school. We’d go dancing every Friday night at the community center, so as long as I was dating someone the opposite sex, the teasing ceased.
I was bullied, intimidated, and laughed at well into my late twenties, it deeply scarred me. I eventually met some wonderful gay friends, and my life began to make sense.
Fast forward twenty years, and you know, as much I would hope from generation to generation humanity would be more accepting of difference in people, I see much of what I went through still present today. Why haven’t we evolved in acceptance? Why is being different such a stigma for people in today’s society?
Is it because some generations held on to past intolerance and passed it on to their immediate entourage, and these intolerances flourish from family to family? I think it’s important to talk about this to educate people about what hate and bullying do to people, young and old. This is a reason why I decided to write stories about homophobia and hate crimes. It’s close to my heart, and if my stories touch people and see how much someone suffers when they’re bullied, laughed at and ostracized, and If I can have bullies and homophobic become more tolerant and acceptant, that would be a step forward in a loving and accepting society.