Controversial title! Oo!
No, I'm not saying "gays" are a problem. I don't believe that, so I won't encourage others to. No, the problem is not the homosexual community, but the insult, "Gay." I know people who do like members of the same sex don't consider it an insult, but to children, who really can't be sure, and who don't even fully understand the word, it is an insult. Besides... people use homosexual more and more these days, instead of gay. Gay is now a derogitory term for just about anything bad.
I read an article today that encouraged this blog post. I think it was in the Irish Independant. Basically, kids these days use the words "gay", "girl" or "woman" to insult other boys. Why? Because they're children and don't quite get that people can have feelings regardless of gender. It's things like this that stir up foul emotions in people, but they're so afraid to say anything about it, because they'll get jeered again for not being an emotionless robot, that they bottle it up.
I'm no psychologist, but the last I heard bottling things up for years can do a lot of damage. We're talking emotionally unstable, no self-esteem, no belief in themselves - insults dig deep and affect people in a number of different ways. They begin to doubt their own abilities, they might cry themsevles to sleep, they could develop severe problems in getting any sleep at all, or become overly aware of their own emotions, trying their best not to show them at all. Eating disorders can pop up into the equation, because kids don't know when to stop.
Bullying in schools is a real problem in Ireland. If what I've said isn't enough for you, consider that your friends, your children, or even yourself may have been bullied, or could still be bullied. I went through a period of isolation that I freely admitted to. It hurts to think that other people could go through the same thing. It's affected me in far too many ways, because I let it and because no one did anything about it.
I urge you to take notice of these things. Is someone acting strangely? Can you see bullying every day, and are you doing anything about it? Is the word "gay" the playground favourite for slagging matches? These are children we're talking about! They shouldn't have to go through the same things we did. They're the new generation.
It's just children, of course. Adults can go through it too. Find a confidante and tell them if you need to talk. Contact the Samaritans or a similar organisation if you find it all getting too much. They can't offer you advice, but they can be a listening ear. They can respond when you need them to. It will make you feel better. I can almost promise that.
And of course, take of yourself. Don't let bullies get you down. Don't let the word "gay" come to represent the worst of all of society, and don't let the word stop people from having feelings. It's okay. This is the twenty-first century. Men aren't robots.