Bullying : Understanding the long term effects. 

By @pridematters1

A message for all to understand about the effects of bullying!

​From someone who has experienced bullying  first hand, being bullied is an experience that doesn’t go away that quickly. It marks you for years to follow. Some things will stay with the victim forever.
A friend of mine spoke to me at the beginning of February,  about their experience of being bullied and as a young adult who left school in 2009, ran into his bully in a pub over the weekend prior.
The bully went over to him and they began polite conversation. They didn’t apologise at all and used the term ‘water under the bridge’.

It’s a horrible term especially when you’ve spent the last eight years learning how to float.

If you was the bully, not many victims will want anything more than closure. Go over to them and apologise, it will help the healing, trust me.
One of my bullies actually said to me ‘gawd that’s xx years ago, get over it! “…… 

You may be over it but your victims have been through hell!


Don’t say we were kids or things were different back then.

These are pathetic excuses.

You did it! Period. Be more compassionate when you have to face it.
That conversation was when I was in my mid 20s and it didn’t help the healing, I still believed then,that the bullying was my fault.

I never told my parents how severe it was. It’s something I do recommend if you are being bullied. One person can not face abuse alone.
Between 1981 and 1986 I had to face my bullies several times a day. One teacher actually gave me extra home work due to one of my bullies holding me over the stairway at school and all he saw was me messing about, that teacher refused to listen. Another sat and laughed while one of my major bullies invented a nick name I constantly heard a good twenty times a day, from that moment on and for years to come. 

That wasn’t the worst and it didn’t stop at the school gates.
When I broke my leg in 2011, I was on Facebook for a lot another bully message me.

She was compassionate and she had learnt and it all began,  the healing process after two decades had finally started. The pain began to go. The hurt and anger lessened. Trust me on this it really helps to hear how they have learnt from it and moved forward and it helped me to move on.

I refuse to play the victim and now I refuse to feel the guilt I once did. 

Simply face up to the fact that even though you was a child, you hurt someone who probably carried that round for years.

If you did bully someone remember….. 

It’s not about you but them! 

As for my friend, he has a long journey ahead of him but he will get there, talking to him and someone else recently made me see how much I have healed. That’s down to ME no one else.

Is it time that we all faced up to our responsibilities?

I placed the above a while back on my private account, which I received many replies from people who I went to school with. Many of them wish they did more to stand up for me. Others had been bullied themselves too. My experience was unique to me, just like those where to them. I mentioned to one person that I actually believed there was a dictionary of sorts with all the evil nick names I had.

It wasn’t because I was gay, because I was still discovering who I was and it most certainly didn’t effect my sexuality, that is built into you like a default. The name calling followed me around, even the many passive bullies called me these names in the street. I couldn’t get away from it. I never found comfort. Untill the school broke up for summer, then it came and went. 

Years on I am a completely different person, stronger and confident, with a unique understanding others, something I’m proud of. 

This is the view of the author and may or may not be the view of Pride matters or any other authors. 


What does diversity means to you? 

​By @pridematters1

We asked What diversity means to you? on @Mattersofpride here are your thoughts……. 


@SShingatok 

Looking beyond your difference and accept people for who they are. 

@LetsKickASS_PDX 

Diversity = Accepting everyone as they are, even when they don’t look like us.


@himikenelson

Simply being free to be who you really are without fear!


@spiralsuntweet 

Diversity means everyone’s equal but different and it’s not something to just tolerate, but something to celebrate. 🙂

@PaulSacque

It means no gay bars, just bars, where everybody is welcome and feels safe, regardless of what label they’re supposed to carry. 

@dragonflygirlme

It’s means that my children can be who they are meant to be without fear and prejudice, both came out as bisexual

@TrueFMOnline

Giving, Growing, Giving Back and Being that #onevoice to make change happen!
@BFostersbox 

I can do it in one word:

Everything…

Here are my thoughts on diversity and it’s meaning! 

Diversity is simple, each of us are different. From the obvious to the intricate detail. 

For me diversity is about accepting others colours, just like the Rainbow flag teaches us. Looking inside of others and accepting everyone as equals untill they prove otherwise. 

Black, white, Gay,  straight, lesbian, Muslim, Asian, transgender, Cisgender, Christian, disabled, bisexual and so on. It’s not about the group but the individual. Don’t condemn someone because what you think of the group but only if they are harmful towards you. Solely being a gay male or a Muslim doesn’t make you dangerous. There are good and bad in all of us and you become as bad as the homophobe or racist woman hater if we did that. 

But you knew that anyway! 

The dictionary stats……..  

noun

  1. the state of being diverse.

    “there was considerable diversity in the style of the reports”

​The fight for Equal age of consent in the UK

When The Sexual Offences Act: 1967* was implemented on the recommendation of The Wolfeden Committee in 1957 the age of consent for homosexual sex had been set at  twenty-one.

Many believe even now that between 1967 and 2013 homosexual acts were only partially decriminalised as more men were prosecuted after the decriminalistion of homosexual acts than before. 

Evidently, from the outset the new enthusiastic gay right campaigners were already fighting for equality to lower it to sixteen, the age of consent for heterosexual sex.
In 1979 a Home Office report recommended that the homosexual age of consent be lowered, and come into line with heterosexual. It was part of a report that suggested the age of consent was far too high anyway. The internal report wasn’t acted upon for fifteen years, despite a cross section of MP’s backing calls for the alteration. 

John Major’s conservative government acted in 1992. 

Edwina Currie brought forward the amendment to the bill, to equalize the age of consent to sixteen.

Currie was a wise choice to use as she sent a clear message that this act affects everyone, including a mother of two girls and wife, pointing no fingers at the sexuality of the MP bringing it forward. At the time there were very few openly gay MP’s in Westminster.
There was never a lesbian age of consent in the UK, until 2003, protecting young females.
Tony Blair, then Shadow home secretary stated “People are entitled to think that homosexuality is wrong, but they are not entitled to use the criminal law to force the view upon others. A society that has learned, over time, racial and sexual equality can surely come to terms with equality of sexuality”.

It was what is considered as a “free vote”, and down to the individual MP’s. Even though the cross party backers did their utmost in order to persuade other MP’s to vote in favour, it failed by only twenty-seven votes.

On a second vote the same night Currie and her backers managed to get the age of consent down to eighteen. Edwina claims to this day, twenty years on, there are pubs in Brighton (a place known for a high LGBTQIA  population) she doesn’t pay for drinks. 
In 1996 a hearing began in The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), alleging that the difference in age of consent between heterosexuals and homosexuals was in breach of human rights.
The conservatives lost power after eighteen years,  making way to a more historically LGBT-friendly government in 1997.
The new Labour Home Secretary, Jack Straw, vowed that Labour would do everything within their power to change the law. The ECHR hearing was suspended at this point, later dropping it. 

It was Labour’s MP Ann Keen, who introduced the amendment as Currie did previously; once more it was a free vote.

This time it sailed through the House of Common with 207 MP votes.

However, in July of 1998 the House of Lords threw out the amendment with 168 opponents. One such opponent claimed “We are not anti-gay, but seeking to protect children”, regardless that it was to bring down the law of consent in line with heterosexuality. The amendment was dropped in the fear they would lose the entire bill that the amendment was now a part of.
If you are not familiar with how Westminster works; if a bill has been approved by the house of Commons then it must go to the House of Lords in order for approval. It is often passed backwards and forwards with recommendations from the House of Lords until both houses agree.
It was former Conservative MP Baroness Young who led the objections, vowing that she would do all in her power to stop further attempts of the amendment. Young and her supporters regarded the issue as a battle for the defence of family values.

One of the key objections raised in 1998 was that lowering the age of consent would leave sixteen year olds prey to older men. If this was so, then why not raise the age of consent for heterosexuals protecting girls too? 

In this author’s opinion it shows the homophobia of the no-lobby peers. Campaigners attacked this as an attempt to equate homosexuality with paedophilia. The government sought to neuter this argument by introducing the “abuse of trust” clause into the legislation. 

Abuse of trust legislation meant that if anyone (male or female) is in a position of power, such as a college tutor with a student between sixteen to eighteen, or an adult under care then they could be prosecuted if they abuse their trust in this way, regardless of sexuality.

Jack Straw reintroduced the measure as the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill in the 1998 parliamentary session, the House of Lords defeated it for a second time in April 1999.
The government reintroduced the legislation again in the 1999 session, threatening to enact the Bill regardless of the opinion of the Lords. If the Lords refused to agree to a bill that has already been approved by the Commons, the government can pass the Bill into law, after a delay of one year, using the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. These restrict the power of the House of Lords to block the will of the government that has been voted in by the people. 

The no-lobby peers ignored threats to use the Parliament Act and threw out the legislation for a third and final time in November 2000, claiming that they had public opinion on their side.  The figures clearly showed that an overwhelming majority that was asked did agree with the changes being proposed. However, the no-lobby campaigners insisted it was only the voice of metropolitan London and not the rest of the UK that agreed. 

Stonewall UK at the time stated “Religious leaders have missed the point about the proposed new law. This bill is about the principle of equality and the principle of protecting young people”.

 With time running out, the Home Secretary used the Parliament Act on 28 November 2000, and the age of homosexual consent was brought down to sixteen in England and Wales.

This fight for equality in the UK is one of many, but shows that even in one of the most democratic countries in the world there is still resistance from a small number from the far right, that don’t seem to understand that equality should be for all.

* The Sexual Offences act: 1967 only was in England and Wales, other UK nations had varying dates of the adoption of this law and other affecting acts.

A little Respect. 

By @pridematters1

I have spoken to a few individuals over the years about our wonderful rainbow families attitudes towards each other at times.
Sometimes some of us appear to forget the struggle we faced when coming to terms with our own sexuality. Forgetting the times when some of us felt like outcasts or “freaks”, forgetting the fact that everyone of us is different.

I often hear one group of the LGBTQIA community having arguments with another.

In the LGBTQIA  community, we have different views on different issues, however, diversity should be embraced and accepted.

When in a bar early one night waiting for friends to arrive, talking to a trans female, a friend of a friend said to me in earshot of the lady, “what are you talking to that freak for?” which I replied “we are all freaks here my dear!”.

Truth is none of us are freaks! Truth is we are all individuals!

As a community that believes in equality, sometimes, some of us lack compassion and empathy amongst ourselves.

I wondered how the young guy would have felt if some straight guys saw him on his way into the bar and called him a freak.

 
It’s true that I am probably, to a certain extent, still in the category of trans-unaware. Slowly my knowledge is growing as all of us will if we modify our attitudes.
It also needs to be addressed the other way too. That is, we should not accuse people for being phobic towards any given group,  simply because someone doesn’t understand the needs of another in a different group, yet showing no true signs of hatred.

We need to listen to each other more! 

We need to make each other understand as we need to make the external homo-unaware understand.

Look at it this way.

We live in a house together with many rooms, we live in this house for a reason, each group will occupy a room and there may well be rooms that we are not aware of as yet.

There will be the obvious ones for the people who put themselves in certain groups, then others who don’t wish to be labelled, and that is fine.

The reason we live in this house together is to protect each other from the people outside the house that sometimes are against us.  Imagine what it looks like to the neighbours when we argue internally. Just the same as the celebrity role models I have mentioned previously, we are all role models in our own way, to each other and the people outside looking in.

We need to show a little compassion and try to put ourselves in the others shoes.

A while back, a famous diver came out and then a few days later a Hollywood writer, who is also a member of the LGBT community, publicly ridiculed the diver’s boyfriend, on everything from the age gap to his taste in interior design – or the lack of it. Yet it really is no one elses business who someone lives with and loves, or how they live their life. Just the same as the person who wrote the comments would argue that his sexuality has nothing to do with the homophobes, we must learn to accept people for who they are even from within the same room of the house, accepting that as long as they are not hurting each other then all is well.

There is another ‘retired’ British diver who has become famous in Hollywood. He and his partner have roughly the same age gap as the younger diver and his boyfriend. It is blatant sexual discrimination when age gaps are ridiculed for some and not for others and perhaps a touch homophobic. In this author’s opinion, it should never be discriminated against period, just in the same vein as sexual preferences.


We never will understand the inner conflicts of others if we don’t make the effort to.

Another Hollywood star came out as gay and then suddenly made a U-turn and went back into the shadows, wishing not to be in the public eye. This star then got criticised by other gay people; it’s impossible to be in the minds of others and yet we seem to condemn others for their actions.
All this can also apply in our own lives too. It’s easy to condemn someone because you can’t understand why they do something, but we need to be more respectful and ask why. Furthermore, if you have issues with someone, discreetly talk to them and learn from them. This applies to both individuals trying to understand the other who is in another part of that house, or even someone who shares the same room as you do.

Going back to the house for a moment. In order to grow as a household and find ways around the issues that we have to face, we need to be united even more than we are at this moment in time. 
People have been publicly attacked by other members of the LGBTQIA community because they fail to understand the other’s intentions; they impulsively look for reasons why others do things rather than try to ask discreetly. They have either publicly ridiculed them or talked amongst their friends about the others actions, rather than try to better understand. If they had taken the time to understand and communicate with each other in a respectful manner, maybe they would have been open to examining the ‘failings’ they had been ridiculed for.
If someone attacks you, they are only qualifying themselves as an enemy, yet someone who has probably had similar issues to yourself could potentially be an ally.

We need to show love, compassion, and understanding for each other.

Otherwise we have failed as an LGBTQIA  community to accomplish what we set out to do. I am asking you to think, ponder and react instead of attacking and ultimately destroying each other; let’s grow and learn from our diversity and show each other a little respect.

E is for equality

image

I personally try not to use the term “Lgbt Rights” though I believe in it passionately. I think words like this could be misunderstood by those who are not truly open to the message of equality, and could antagonise.

Everyone should have the same rights as the next, shouldn’t they?

When you say ‘lgbt rights’ what some people are actually hearing is “to hell with the rest of us!” rather than the equality we are aspiring to. Naturally this goes for ANY minority group.

By this point you may be thinking “to hell with them” after all I think most of us that are openly lgbt have come across some form of phobia in some form or another throughout our lives.

image

If we are not portraying ourselves as more inclusive, are we pushing others away now that we are making significant progress? Does it not make the bullied turn into the bully? Would the circle of hatred inevitably continue into a downward motion? This of course is something most LGBT persons would agree is not what we actually believe in.

Somehow we have to continue getting the message across that we don’t want anything better than anyone else, simply the same as others. Anyone who recognises themselves in any minority group should also understand what we have learnt over time through the injustice of others and will understand how important equality is for everyone. In order to grow we need to embrace the term “Equality” and amalgamate.

Often I have come across LGBT persons suffer prejudices from other minorities, and similarly I have seen prejudices against other minorities from LGBT persons. Yet just like the other groups of our LGBT family could these other minorities make good allies, as we all could learn from each other?
We need to ask ourselves could we sit down with other minorities and form bonds, growing, learning and supporting each other on our journey.

In the more organised world of equality with groups such as the Human Rights group Amnesty International, the concept has been fulfilled for decades. However, to move that into our own attitudes is taking some adjusting. Perhaps it’s not only the attitudes of the aggressive homophobes that need focus but our own tactics and attitudes in order to subtly overcome them.

image

The battle for attitude adjustment will probably end much later than the change of laws. Attitudes can take centuries to change as they are often passed down from generation to generation.

I have adjusted myself over the last few years, instead of using the term “Gay Marriage” I now use the term “Equal marriage for all”, in this author’s opinion, I am surprised by how many people that don’t use this phrase.

It’s just a question of thinking up some subtle power phrases that suit our own temperament in order to adjust our words and get our point across. I have also noticed friends using terms I have passed across to them, no doubt getting the message through to people beyond them who are homo-unaware (or worse).

image

We also have to accept that everyone has the right to believe in what they wish to, ultimately others need to do the same. Just the same as they must accept that some people may not believe in their God. Thus, in one person’s eyes the argument that “homosexuality is against the laws of God” is irrelevant to another person. In the same light their Religion should be respected too, but more to the point we should emphasise this. Should anyone’s beliefs be mocked by others?

image

For example, gay rights, feminism, disabled rights and black rights all will have people in them that fall in other groups too. Remembering back to the LGBT house that we all live in together, perhaps it’s time to move the house into Equality Street in order to protect and learn from each other and be stronger in the eyes of our enemies. You may even discover that a few of us live at Number 12 and party at 14 on a regular basis!

By mixing more with other minorities and working together on an organised and unorganised basis will also benefit society in general. Slowly we will adjust and understand the world’s of others, and their needs ending a ghettoised street where no one mixes, allowing others onto Equality Street and making it a village, town, city, country and ultimately an Equal World.

What does Equality mean to you? 

​Last updated on 30th December 2016 

The dictionary definition of equality is…… 

  1. The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.



  2. “an organization aiming to promote racial, Gender or sexuality equality”


    synonyms: fairness, justness,equitability,
     
    impartiality, even-handedness, egalitarianism,equal rights, 

Clearly different people have different views, but I asked my followers on @mattersofpride how they see equality. 

@_As_You_Were 

Fulfill of the Declaration & of the fact that all people are created equal and are born with unalienable rights. Life Liberty & Happiness.

@earlgreygirl11
Being able to be who you are without being persecuted for it. Equality=having the same opportunities without prejudice.

@Oaky_van_Dokey 
When straight people are no longer offended when being misidentified as gay and stop taking it as an insult.
@DMSeII 
To not judge others negatively because someone tells me to, hold any bias out of respect. 

@cjmann13



Stay true to yourself through these ridiculous elections, know u deserve same rights as everyone else , stay safe. 

@Fenrison
Having the same rights and privileges as others without hatred, oppression or punishment and the right to love and be loved. 
@kookaburra17 
May we all have the same number of chances to grab happiness, have all the efforts, gifts and part of drams to be reflected to life quality. 
@Caledonian76 

Easy, loving & accepting each other no matter what a person looks like, believes in or identifies as. Be who you love xx

@ZivGray

Equality to me means being able to express my gender identity without fear of being labelled “wrong”

@JoanneMonck 

Equality means being free to live your life without fear of discrimination,  hatred,  or abuse for who or what you are.

In the UK ‘Equality and Diversity’ is the current term used for ‘Equal Opportunities’. It is the legal obligation to protect against discrimination.

@BeeClaudi59



Equality means to me to fight for sth that should be sth not to fight for coz it’s normality.

Everyone has a heart!

The Equality Act become law in October 2010 and replaced all other acts. This act enforces such discrimination not only of disability, race but religion, sexuality and gender.

Acas is set up in the UK to ensure employees get a fair deal in terms of equality and diversity. 

http://m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3017


@NitriteReform

Judging me on my character rather than how I look.

@LatinoBoy350 

The ability to be who you are without following what society thinks you should be.

@TruthIsland1

Equality means not only being seen as an equal human being but actually treated as an equal by one’s fellow human beings.

Section 28: A brief look.

3570 ‘Coming Out Day’ is celebrated globally in many countries on October 11, with 2016 marking the 28th anniversary. In the UK, however, it was untill recently celebrated in February and has been observed within ‘LGBT history Month’  as it coincided with the celebration of Section 28 being abolished in the UK back in 2003. Now Section 28 is an historic debunked law that affected many LGBT youths that were ‘questioning’ their sexuality, so I thought it would be appropriate to take a look at this act.

In 1988, the call for Section 28 was fuelled by such beliefs the myth that AIDS and HIV were “gay diseases”, with some people even believing it was an act of God. The stigma behind these beliefs were further escalated by certain media circles taking a negative stance. In an opinion poll carried out the year prior, 75% of the public believed that homosexuality was almost (or) always wrong. Only five years previous it was much less.

house_of_lords_1248028cIt was feared by some parents that some more liberal councils would spend their taxes on “encouraging their children into homosexuality and being taught that a normal family with mummy and daddy was outdated”.  There was also  an unfounded opinion that connected homosexuality with paedophilia.  Some groups also felt that the very notion of “promoting” homosexuality was undermining marriage. Please note that at this point in time, we were a long way away from equality in marriage that has become a more recent occurrence here in the UK and other countries.

Section 28, also known as Clause 28, was intended to prohibit any schools or youth organisations promoting homosexuality in any way. The amendment was enacted on 24 May 1988.

Part of Section 28 reads “homosexuality shall not be promoted in the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

The use of the term “promote” in the wording was open to interpretation, as Tony Ben pointed out when the bill was being debated in parliament;

“…if the sense of the word “promote” can be read across from “describe”, every murder play promotes murder, every war play promotes war, every drama involving the eternal triangle promotes adultery; and Mr. Richard Branson’s condom campaign promotes fornication.” The House had better be very careful before it gives to judges, who come from a narrow section of society, the power to interpret “promote”.

The pro-Section 28 side argued that “The act didn’t stop legitimate discussion of homosexuality and did not prevent the intervention of children being bullied. At the time the public in general appeared to be behind the law”.

Even though there were no prosecutions through fifteen years of it being part of legislation, some supporters will insist even today it was necessary in order to “protect” youths from homosexuality. Conversely, equal rights groups will posit how the youth questioning their sexuality at the time were made to feel isolated and vulnerable and therefore damaging to a minority in a bigoted and unfair way.
The existence of the act meant that many youth groups closed, limited or censored themselves in fear of being in breach of the act, and were unable to help teens come to terms with their identity.
Additionally, the act caused confusion amongst teachers that feared repercussions if they simply got involved with helping a child who was questioning their sexuality. Worst still, it is feared that some bullying could have slipped through because of teachers wishing not to get involve.

There is evidence that the confusion of teachers knowing what they could or could not teach in schools lasted years after the act was debunked. Some teachers would continue to avoid subjects of sexuality.

mtAfter years of campaigning on both sides the act was finally overturned in 2003. The local Government Bill received royal assent as the Local Government Act 2003 and Section 28 ceased to exist on Thursday 18 September 2003.

On the death of Margaret Thatcher LGBT+ campaigners made their voices heard of her involvement with this act, with David Cameron later issuing an apology to the LGBT+ Community in the UK.

Naturally Clause 28 was a massive deal and I will be referring back to it at a later date………

basically more to come!

 

Interesting References  :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/5710650/David-Cameron-says-sorry-over-Section-28-gay-law.html

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