"Thanks, it's my favorite shirt."
"I think that was nominated for an Emmy."
Make The Covert Overt
Communication between people occurs on two levels; the most obvious level, the overt, consists of the actual words being spoken. Then there is the covert message that is unspoken, but still understood. Sarcasm is a common example of this. When the speakers says, "Nice brain, Einstein," the words are positive, but the tone of voice makes the actual meaning clear, "That was a stupid thing to say." Making the covert overt means speaking the hidden message aloud.
"So, you want me to feel humiliated because you called me a f*ggot."
"This is the point in the story where I supposed to be embarrassed."
"You believe by attempting to insult me you will some how improve your self-image."Go Nuke,
When I was in high school there was another student that, for whatever reason, had decided to insult me every chance he got. Whenever he could, he would tell me that I was a queer, a homo, a f*ggot, etc. Thinking perhaps he didn't understand the meaning of these words, I tried to educate him. I pointed out to him that as an athlete, it was he who spent most evenings after school showering with other naked males, while I was busy being sexual with girls, so therefore I was certainly not homosexual. But like most bullies, he didn't allow the facts to interfere with his prejudice. I tried ignoring him, and hoped that when he insulted me in the presence of teachers and administrators they would reprimand him. But because he was a star athlete, he was permitted to do as he pleased. Finally, I got fed up and decided to go nuke on him the next time he did it. We were in social studies class and the teacher asked the students to consider how life might be different if we had been born the other sex. The bully chimed in, "You should ask Hunter, he's always wanted to be a girl." Having practiced my lines, I was ready. I spun around in my chair and said in a loud voice so everyone in the room could hear, "You sure are so sexually obsessed with me. I bet you masturbate thinking about me before you go to sleep, and have wet dreams about me all night long." He just starred at me with his mouth hanging open. When I turned around I saw that the teacher didn't know how to respond either. After what seemed like a long silence, she began again as if nothing had happened. But something had happened, I had sent the message to that bully and any potential bully that I was willing to go too far, or at least farther than they would be comfortable going. That bully never bothered me again.Conclusion
Bullies can only exist in a culture that accepts their behavior. GLBT students and their allies can refuse to take part in those culture expectations and insist that meaningful change take place. The time to do so is now; lives are at stake.
- Copyright 2010, Mic Hunter