Even as we celebrate the news that the UN Sec’y General has said that homophobic bullying is a grave human rights violation,
It affects young people all the way through to adulthood, causing enormous and unnecessary suffering. Bullied children may become depressed and drop out of school. Some are even driven to suicide.
can i urge you all to take a look at Robert Leckey’s review of Daniel Monk (Birkbeck), Challenging Homophobic Bullying in Schools: The Politics of Progress, 7 (2) Int’l J. L. Context 181 (2011at Jotwell Equality? And then of course, read the original article here (not available free of charge as far as I can tell, curses! *tangent: see Danah Boyd’s excellent and important ‘rant’ on academic publishing here)? Leckey writes approvingly (inter alia) of Monk’s “counterintuitive” argument that:
the problematization of homophobic bullying has ushered in a shift by which the negative characteristics once associated with homosexuality are now associated with the victims of bullying. “Development into successful normal adulthood is not ‘arrested’ by paternal or maternal attachment, but rather by homophobia itself. In other words, the development question now is not, ‘What makes someone homosexual?’, but instead ‘What makes someone behave in a way that fails to conform to heteronormative behaviour’.” The queer youth remains “a reassuringly distinct and tragic ‘other’ from that of the heterosexual.” Now the developmental cause is not homosexuality, but bullying. The upshot? Queer youth still need help.