As a child, I was quite unathletic and not interested in sports or rough-housing with the guys. As a teen, I quietly lived in despair of the homosexual desires I was experiencing. I became more introverted, more anxious, more vulnerable to suggestions that there was something wrong with me.
I can’t deny that as a gay, Jewish child of Holocaust Survivors who was not only bullied by others but by a very violent father who made our home a frightening, place to live in, a chip began blossoming on my proverbial shoulder that has left me a very angry, defensive person to this day.
Watching high school junior, Jordan Steffy stand up to a homophobic bully in a viral video last week was cathartic.
No, violence is not the civilized response to problems. But as my story and that of millions of others of LGBTQ people who have been bullied, who have been made to feel like crap for not being like everyone else, being subjected to emotional terrorism sometimes requires courageous action.
If we let them get away with it, we internalize their loathing.
Well done Jordan. With each angry word, with each angry blow you threw at your tormentor, you brought strength and resolve to millions of young people who are experiencing bullying. Thank you.