I came across an article recently about anti-bullying programs in Fort Worth ISD. Many of these initiatives are taking place all around the country, but it seems that many of them are not doing enough to help and protect LGBT youth.

People have become so comfortable with using the words “faggot”, “fag”, “gay” and so many other names that they, and the people around them, become desensitized to what it means and how much it hurts. Saying “that’s so gay” has gone so far as to be synonymous with “that’s so stupid/lame.”

In high school, that was how it was, even to me. I brushed it aside and never really thought of how hurtful it was because it was never directed specifically at me. Now that I am involved in the community and actually understand the pain, I correct people all of the time. It is important for people to understand that it is not, and will never be, okay to throw around derogatory names and slurs. It is rude, distasteful, and all around classless.

Even further, many people do not understand the difference between “transvestite” and “transgender.” The latter is politically correct and polite while the former has a more negative angle to it.

People are not educated about these simple, yet important things. It’s not their fault all of the time, but our programs and society. However, there are people who just do not care that they are being hurtful. To them, I have no words, but hope that they see the pain they are inflicting one day.

They say that sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. These people must have never been verbally attacked because they are wrong. Words, too, have meaning and power behind them and people need to be wary of how they are used.

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