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Teachers from a British County are under fire for telling victims of bullying to “act less gay” and wear their hair differently, according to the London Evening Standard. They defended this horrid advice by saying the the students were making themselves targets for bullying because of the way they carried themselves. The Essex County Council stated in a report that the teachers were not trained in how to handle the issue of bullying.

“Teachers received very little training at college around bullying and most would welcome additional support and guidance.”

The council simply reprimanded the teachers and asked them to think hard about their advice before they give it out to students.

What would you do if a teacher told your child to “act less gay?”

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  • Whatever

    This is very interesting and I just had a similar conversation. I was at a career fair and there was a young man (early 20’s) doing a presentation. He was a black and gay. He sounded like Damon Wayans in “Men on Film” skits from In Living Color. I was horrified for him because the audience (filled with professionals) were laughing at him… not with him.

    While speaking with my friend I told her that he may have blew his chance. She continued by saying “that’s his personality” but is it really? I found it to be extremely unprofessional. There is a place and time for everything, and just like I can’t go into the workplace sounding like “homegirl”, he shouldn’t think he can go into the workplace sounding like “Twan”.

    For the matter at hand… There isn’t enough information. Of course “act less gay” sounds ridiculous but what exactly were these students doing?

    • Water

      Why should it matter what the students were doing? How is “Don’t act so gay!” going to help with bullying as a whole? That is telling someone to not be what they are if they don’t want to get bullied. It is the same as someone saying, “Well, try not to look so black, then maybe they will leave you alone.” Um, hello? Your blackness can’t rub off and either can your possible “gayness.” If you’re gay, you’re gay. Now, it appears as if you and the audience members in your group were stereotyping the young lad. That would put you in the wrong. Why should he suffer because of the way he sounds while presenting? You should have been paying attention to the presentation as a whole, and not have automatically stereotyped him because he had a certain way. Your entire comment screams “I stereotype people.” The issue at hand is the teachers’ lack of tolerance. They should be pulling the bullies aside and giving them a long lecture on tolerance, sensitivity and kindness. They should explain why it’s wrong to bully someone because of their sexual orientation and why bullying is wrong PERIOD. The gay students are not at fault here.

    • lotus

      next thing you know they’ll be telling people to “act less asian,” “act less black,” “act less latino,” “act less female,” “act less male,” “act less educated,” “act less …………”

    • Whatever

      To EVERYONE, Stop comparing being BLACK and being GAY. It is totally different. you cannot look less black, asian, latino… whatever. As soon as you enter a room you are identified by your race and physical attributes.

      Now as for the young man and his flamboyance during his presentation, yes he was being unprofessional. Sometimes you can get away with this stereotypical “sister-girl” act at work, like say for example if you work at a mac counter, however it just does not work everywhere.

      Also, equating gayness with over the top flamboyance and acting like it is a birth right is just as ridiculous and stereotypical as equating being black with being sassy and acting like we were all born that way and reserve the right to act as such anywhere, anytime…. even in a professional setting.

      I of course stated above that a teacher making the STATEMENT “act less gay” is ridiculous. It just made me think that as ridiculous as it sounds to ME, it made me think of this young man. I didn’t want him to be “less gay”. I never sat there and thought that just because he’s gay he automatically reserved the right to act a certain way like some of you clearly think. I actually find your statements to be prejudice.

  • Genuinesol

    There are many things wrong with the piece of advice that teachers gave to the students but, the most profound is that students need to learn to not necessarily accept but, respect the differences that are inherent in people. We live in an extremely heterogeneous society and therefore there will be differences, some pronounced and some not as pronounced. It will behoove those students if they learn to accept the fact that there are different types of people and respect those differences and the teachers need to support that message.

    Trust me, I am an educator and a pervading lack of respect is just one of the many challenges plaguing our youth and threatening their chances of success.

  • Yorubella

    @Whatever…

    There is a difference between being obviously gay and acting unprofessional. It’s obvious that you equate the two. If that man giving the presentation was behaving unprofessionally, then that is his problem. If the audience was simply biased against a man that was more feminine, that is bigotry.

    • B

      Thank you! Girl, I was just about to type a response to Whatever’s comment, but I don’t think more needs to be said. Suggesting or implying that a person gay identity is somehow inherently unprofessional is just prejudiced (or even just equating male feminine behavior with gayness), simple old-fashioned prejudice. I was flabbergasted by Whatever’s comment, as much as I was by the the teacher’s statements to the bullied kids. Shame, the judgmental, prejudiced culture we live in – it never ends.

    • Whatever

      YORUBELLA: “There is a difference between being obviously gay and acting unprofessional.”

      B: “Suggesting or implying that a person gay identity is somehow inherently unprofessional is just prejudiced (or even just equating male feminine behavior with gayness), simple old-fashioned prejudice.”

      YOUR statements are actually prejudice. What is “obviously gay”? What is “gay identity”?

      “Homosexuality is romantic and/or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender.”

      Sexual preference should not and does not have to be anyone’s identity. Period. Straight or gay… Whatever.

    • B

      @Whatever: You asked, “What is ‘gay identity’?” Bless your heart, if you have to ask that question, I’m done. I don’t converse with those who are willingly blind. It’s a waste of energy, as I have learned over the years. Every time you type a response to this post, you dig yourself deeper into a hole and reveal your true sensibilities. Btw: real smooth: the prejudiced accuses those who call him/her out on it of being prejudiced. Very familiar, and a really cheap way to respond to this topic. At any rate, have a nice life living in a that universe of denial.

      Peace and love,

      B

    • B

      @Whatever: I should add that I usually understand your viewpoints on this site (they are often refreshing and honest), but I’m just not feeling you on this, and I mean no disrespect. But you really should consider the implication of your original response to this post. None of us are just trying to point fingers at you. Anyway, just wanted to add that and apologize for my own harsh tone and keep it classy on this blog site.

    • Whatever

      I have no problem stating my honest opinion. I find all these responses interesting because one of my best friends is a gay male and I never have to put on kids gloves or tip toe around anything for him. I shoot straight and he appreciates it. We’re equals and I don’t ever feel the need to censor my thoughts or sugar coat for anyone else. As a matter of fact when I told him the story about the young man we had a long conversation about why some gay males feel they need to act a certain way to fit in, they fall into that act because it makes others feel at ease sometimes (the sista-girl act as we call it). He isn’t the flamboyant type and hates when people expect him to be like he’s some stereotypical comedic act who puts a people in their place for fashion mishaps.

      As I stated in my original comment, I was horrified FOR the young man not BY him. He was laying it on extra thick when all he had to do was be himself.

      We can agree to disagree…. shrug, it’s really not that serious. It’s a website.

  • Perverted Alchemist

    Yeah, this will go over pretty well…*rolls eyes*