TW for suicide.
This story from Pam’s House Blend leaves me with a serious case of mood whiplash.
2009: A Massachusetts boy, Carl Walker-Hoover, hung himself earlier this week after enduring bullying at school, including daily taunts of being gay, despite his mother’s weekly pleas to the school to address the problem. She said she found her son, a sixth-grader at the school, hanging by an extension cord upstairs at their home.
He was a junior at New Leadership Charter School in Springfield who did not identify as gay. Carl felt there was no way out from the bullying, and he killed himself. And that’s the point–anti-bullying laws are not only about sexual orientation–even perceived orientation can trigger the bullying. But his mother has turned an unspeakable family horror into concrete, positive actions to keep Carl’s memory alive this past Saturday (9/17), as hundreds gathered for the second annual Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover Foundation’s 5K Road Race at Springfield’s Forest Park on Saturday morning.
Pam’s House Blend mentions two anti-bullying laws currently before Congress, the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which specifically ban bullying against QUILTBAG* students or students perceived to be QUILTBAG. This bullying disproportionately affects male-assigned children, especially children who are perceived to be gay, feminine or otherwise not real men. I encourage our American readers to write their congresspeople in support of these bills.
*Queer, undecided, intersex, lesbian, trans, bisexual, asexual and gay. Best acronym ever, y/y?