Friday, March 30, 2012

What Would You Do?: Gay Parenting and Bullying

About a year ago, I wrote about a "What Would You Do?" segment dealing with a gay family that was harassed by their waitress and kicked out of a restaurant. The ABC program apparently approached the subject of gay parenting again, but this time they wanted to see how strangers would react to the blatant bullying of the kids of gay parents by other kids in a restaurant. Check this out:

In this scenario, two dads and their kids are at a restaurant. The dads leave for a bit, after which two bullies begin throwing taunts at the kids. It's interesting to watch people cringe, but it was more interesting to watch people directly challenge the bullies. One woman in particular approached the boys and essentially told them that it wasn't right to mock the kids for having parents that love them. But my favorite was the big guy who got fed up with the teens and screamed "Get out!" at them. The bullies jumped out of their seats and quickly left the area.

I've asked my boys at times if they get teased about having two dads and fortunately that hasn't been an issue (usually any teasing is related to disabilities, which isn't cool). But I would hope that there would be people to stand up for my boys if other teens began mocking and taunting them about me and Mark. Frankly, I would hope that protectors would step up if others began mocking D's glasses or Les' unique quirks.

Bullying is never cool. Even if punches are never launched, the verbal sting of bullying can last a lifetime. Those who are bullies need to learn how to step up for themselves, but they also need others to step up for them when their own efforts aren't successful.

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