A lot of us who’ve been picked on at any time in our lives, for being different in whatever way, likely know this on an emotional and/or psychological level. Try to convince others who haven’t been picked on is sometimes not so easy; reactions might range from sympathy to apathy or indifference, all the way to saying that bullied kids are being overly sensitive (sensitivity, in and of itself, is problematic for some in our society, but that discussion’s for another time) or, worse, inflaming things and somehow making them worse.
Fortunately, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) has started compiling quantifiable data on this issue, and the ACLU is covering it and adding it to its informational databanks. Mind you, a study likely won’t change the minds of the biggest bullies or the most strident homophobes, but to reach reasonable folks who just need to understand, some empirical evidence might just help.
How does that saying go? Tell two friends and they’ll two friends? (Or maybe two parents will tell two kids?)