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  • Anon
    February 28, 2011 - 18:18

    Yeah, tolerance, equality, etc. I get it. Here's what I don't get. WHAT THE HELL IS HOMOPHOBIA? If I call someone a derogatory F-word, it means that I am an ignorant C-word not a homophobe. If I crawl under a table in fear, huddled in the fetal position while screaming "MAKE IT GO AWAY, MAKE IT GO AWAY..." I am likely a homophobe as it would be clear that I suffer from some irrational fear of Homosexuals. We don't call Anti-Semites Semetiphobes, we don't call Sexists, heterogenderphobes. and we certainly don't call Racists well... I could go on but I'd allude to some things that don't get past the filteres but you get me. So while we're out there telling our gay youth not to kill themselves. Can we stop rationalizing bullies with labels like Homophobe? Can't we just call them what they are; A-- holes!

  • Reid
    February 27, 2011 - 12:06

    Having grown up in Newfoundland I can only speak of my large group of friends and acquaintances when I say I never experienced any homophobia, slurs etc., once they knew I was gay. My friends' parents are very accepting and some of them are in their 60s. I moved to Toronto when I was 25, about 6 years ago. While Newfoundland still has traditional roots and a strong heritage, I think there is a true sense of welcoming and an 'it makes no difference to me' attitude. I grew up in a very small rural town. I think high school may be the worst time in an individual's life for such things and without a doubt, after high-school, it definitely gets better. That being said, the majority of my closest friends are from that small town. I've never encountered any problems in university or the work environment and I am fully out to everyone. However, bullying is a tough subject. Whether it's because you're gay, a geek, or you dress differently, there is no one solution that will stop the bullying. Some bullies back off for good when they are confronted with force, sometimes a conversation works, and sometimes showing they have no effect on you does the trick. Bullies don't care what is different about a person, they'll just find any reason to bully someone they see as 'bully-able' because they need to bully someone, anyone. Typically a bully has issues with him/herself, family at home, and/or feels popular and superior when they beat other people down. I think it's important to form gay-straight alliances in high-schools so confused, bullied, and gay kids can have somewhere to go and feel they have backup. But there also needs to be positive teaching in the classroom. Kids need to be taught to embrace diversity. Privileges need to be taken away from kids who cause trouble (no gym class, no computer class, no recess etc..) and like on TV behavioural shows, they need to be sat down and told why they are being punished. School counsellors need to take their jobs seriously and figure out what the true issues are behind a bully's actions and attempt to help the bully deal with those issues.

  • Herb Morrison
    February 26, 2011 - 14:57

    Newfoundlanders are a society steeped in tradition and folklore.. However, there is a downside to being a society steeped in tradition. The idea that to be homosexual is unacceptable socially and morally, and even a sin against God; has resulted in the nurturing of homophobia within Newfoundland society. I recall that when the federal Government was poised to legalize same-sex marriage, members of one fundamentalist denomination here in NL, actually went to court, in a futile effort to prevent the legislation from being approved. This example clearly indicates that discrimination against gays and lesbians is, unfortunately, alive and well here on the rock. It is particularly disheartening for me as a Christian to know that the seeds of homophobia are being spread, like a cancer, by persons who profess to believe in the same God of universal love in whom I believe. The fact that there is no Biblical basis for any condemnation of homosexuality, doesn’t seem to deter those afflicted by homophobia. Consequently, I applaud the efforts being made by people like Ailsa Craig and those who support her, as they attempt to offer support to young Gays, lesbians and transgendered persons, who should not be required to go through life being bullied and berated. I believe that the same God who created them man and woman, also created people gay and straight. Best of luck to Ailsa and those who support her in her work.

  • Zena
    February 26, 2011 - 08:45

    I'm a heterosexual female, but I think it's wonderful that steps are being taken to support young LGBTs. Best of luck with it!