Unfortunately, I do – and the ramifications are staggering.
#DontSayGay #NoHomoPromo #StopBullying
Anyone who’s lived through real bullying knows that it is anything but ‘kids being kids’. Sure, it starts in childhood but carries on throughout lifetimes. Some childhood bullies become adult bullies. Some victims remain with that mind set their entire lives.
Today’s bullies still use traditional techniques of torment, but they’ve expanded their skill set to include cyberspace and social media as well. They don’t contain their cruelty to their immediate peers anymore, they spread proof of their inhumanity around the internet and sometimes the world, receiving anonymous support and encouragement.
I know this because of the research I did in 2010 following a rash of suicides in the Anoka/Hennepin school district in the counties next to mine. Each news broadcast about another kid dying by their own hand broke my heart.
As I learned about their lives and the bullying they suffered with no help from teachers, staff, and administration, my anger deepened. As I read articles like this MinnPost article: Bullying Gay and Lesbian Kids are How a School District Became a Suicide Contagion Zone my anger turned to rage.
When my emotions get out of control, I create something that uses up that energy. In 2012 I published The Boxer Shorts Rebellion. In vulgarity laden scenes taken directly from real life, I unflinchingly described the vicious reality that surrounds kids living in Don’t Say Gay school zones. It was incredibly difficult to write, and harder to read. That’s the way with unvarnished truth – it glares.
But, as much as slapping people across the face once appealed, when I heard about new Don’t Say Gay policies popping up around the country, I began an immediate rewrite to make the story more palatable so it might reach a wider audience, one that could help stop them. I left in about twenty percent of the original vulgarities, but did not tone down the bullying for the very purpose of letting you know the truth about Don’t Say Gay policies.
I’ve released the 2nd edition, significantly rewritten: Don’t Say Gay in Tranquility Bay, and during the first ten days of publication I’ve listed the book for free every other day and alerted as many LGBTQ+ celebrities as I could so they could download, read, and possibly endorse the book.
Alternate days and thereafter Don’t Say Gay in Tranquility Bay will be listed at author’s cost to encourage easy gifting to libraries and school districts across the country.