Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Have you ever heard of bullied by association or associate victim? Well if you haven’t, stick around, because I am going to share my story with you.
Grade 3 is the time when as children we start getting introduced to careers and getting all dressed up for career day. So, I had a best friend who decided and announced that she wanted to be a gynecologist. That didn’t sit well with some of our classmates who figured she must be a lesbian to be interested in a career like that. And of course, because we were best friends I was labelled too! Since when does one's career choice determine one's sexual orientation?
That was the beginning of a most frightening period for us as we were constantly teased and called names by the students in our class. The bullying continued throughout grade three into the first month of grade four and it got so bad that I was very afraid to the point where I no longer wanted to attend school.
Eventually it became so unbearable that I had to tell my mom. She came to the school and met with both the bully and the teacher to have this problem dealt with. Can you believe that the bullying was led by a girl? Well there goes the myth that girls don’t bully.
After both my mother and a teacher spoke to the girl, the matter was addressed, but not only was she bullying me she was also bullying many other students in the class for various reasons. In my case I was extremely fortunate to have the issue taken care of “at my first try” unlike others who get bullied even worse after reporting their problem.
As I got older, my experience helped me understand how young people with a different sexual orientation are affected by bullying. Even though my experience cannot be compared to what this group of people experience daily, I would still like to share my opinion on this issue. I believe how each individual respond to their specific situation helps to determine how they are affected by it. For example, being labelled a lesbian did not affect my friendship with my best friend and it also did not have any effect on my friend’s career choice. But on the other hand, if the situation is such that the person being bullied does not love and accept him/herself first and foremost then the bullying will have an even greater effect on that person. This can be bad enough to cause major damage to the victim’s self-esteem and even result in possible future mental health issues and anti-social behaviours.
Bullying in any shape or form is just plain and simply wrong and should not be condoned.
Let us be kind to each other. Let's be friends!