Bullying is something that I have explored in previous articles in my column, and it’s something that’s changed my view on different types of communities altogether. When I spoke to a few LGBT individuals while promoting a coffee morning, there was one person in particular, we’ll call her Lydia (for anonymity), who managed to grab my attention when she spoke to me about the bullying she has recieved from a place where she felt safe, and that was a place which usually holds no such form of prejudice. She found herself in the midst of a situation that can only be described as terrifying.
Lydia attends a gay bar every weekend, mainly because it’s one place that she feels the safest due to abuse in normal bars.
“I don’t look like every other girl” She says “As a lesbian, I guess you can say I am a bit on the butch side, and like a lot of others in the LGBT community I have had comments thrown my way because of my appearance and my sexuality but I thought that in the gay scene I wouldn’t have that sort of hassle.”
She started to go out to the scene with a few friends and it wasn’t long before she started having comments and snide remarks thrown her way. She brushed them off at first, but as they started to get worse she began to feel a lot more insecure.
“Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the gay scene to blame, just a few certain individuals that made it their mission to make me feel bad for no apparent reason. I didn’t know these people, and I had no idea why they were bullying me. They just were.”
This went on for a few months, and Lydia began to try and find out why they were doing it and why they seemed to target her.
“I found out through the pipeline that they were just doing it for no apparent reason. I hadn’t done anything wrong, and I didn’t even respond to their comments, but I just went on with things. I’ve learned that sometimes, we go to places we feel safe and when someone on the inside shatters your feeling of safety you can get taken aback quite a bit. My advice would be to ignore the negative things that people throw at you and just be yourself. There will always be people like your friends who will support you for whoever you are!”
Lydia is now happy with herself and looking to help others who are feeling bullied by people the same as them.
Another LGBT that was bullied on the gay scene, named Adam, experienced it in a way that has changed his life forever. 2 years ago, Adam was sexually confused, and even though he had a few gay friends, he wasn’t ‘out’.
“It was getting to the point where I guess I knew I was gay, but for some reason I was too afraid to come out of the closet or even admit it to myself, but it wasn’t long before people began to pick up on it. People who I wasn’t close to and they made it their mission to use it against me!”
For the next couple of months, Adam was sent text messages and emails blackmailing him and controlling him, threatening to tell everyone about his sexuality.
“I didn’t want to hide away and look like I’m holding something in, so I continued to go to the same bars with my friends and I saw those people there, and that’s when I decided enough was enough. I came out to my friends first of all, and told them what was happening, and that’s when we confronted the people and demanded it stop.”
Now he’s much happier and has control on his life. He’s been out for nearly 2 years and urges people to confide in someone you trust before things get out of hand.
“Don’t hold anything in. Be true to yourself and don’t let anyone take control over you or your secrets. Be you. Be proud.!”
I am going to continue investigating bullying within the LGBT community, so if you have a story to share or want to get word out and share advice with others, contact me on Joshua.Thomas91@aol.co.uk or come along to the LGBT coffee mornings in the office every Friday morning at 10:15am.
Thanks for reading.
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