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Remarkable must-see video on bullying


By Adam Bink

Now this is what we at the Courage Campaign would call true “courage.” Remarkable bravery and honesty.

Help share the video on Facebook.


  • 1. Bob  |  December 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    thanks for sharing that!!!!!!!!

  • 2. Bay Area John  |  December 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    The more amazing thing is to watch the youtube comments pouring in, hundreds every minute, and about 20% of them are abusive, continuing to bully this boy, by strangers who somehow feel good doing it. If congress or anyone who doubts the need for more attention to bullying were to watch the comments roll by, they would see the damage it does. Note that only 3% hit the "dislike", but 20% of the posts are negative or outright abuse. It''s incomprehensible to me. What makes a person want to hate, want to share the hate, wants to encourage others to hate?

  • 3. Bay Area John  |  December 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    PLEASE recognize the last post as an example of the hate, it is NOT MY MESSAGE.

  • 4. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 4, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I wish we knew the answer, John. Maybe then we could do something to change those who willfully abuse others. Maybe if the hate groups like NOM would pour all their money & energy into solving this very real problem, they could help make our society & the world a better place. Instead, they make it worse by being part of the problem, even though they will never admit it.

  • 5. bndkllr2  |  December 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    And I think we should confront so-called "christian conservatives" who post messages like that and demand that they answer questions. For example, "Didn't God tell us totlove one another?" We've done a great job highlighting the ethical and legal problems with homophobia, but I think now is the time to fight the haters on their own turf by pointing out that their actions are inconsistant with Jesus' message of love and charity. Ask them," whenwas the last time you donated to a good cause or helped the needy?", etc.

  • 6. Bay Area John  |  December 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Perhaps even more enraging than the haters are the "reasonable people" who really believe that being gay itself s what makes people sad and suicidal, or that the sadness and suicides prove that being gay is a defect, and that the hate is just an appropriate response, not the cause..

  • 7. Ray in MA  |  December 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Based on YouTube numbers, this went up 100k in the last 2-3 hours.

    I hope this can make Jonah smile.

  • 8. Derek Williams  |  December 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    This poor boy's video helps me to understand the Columbine High and other massacres.

  • 9. johnfromco  |  December 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    As for donating to a good cause and helping the needy, part of the problem is that they think Focus on the Family,, NOM, etc, are "good causes". They think they are helping those who need help when they preach homophobia.

    But as a Christian, I agree 100% we need to fight this in the churches and we need to let them know that, no, Christianity does not require hate.

  • 10. Bob  |  December 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    where is Jason? how can we help!!!!!! post another video Jason, tell us

  • 11. Bob  |  December 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    return to and OCCUPY CHURCHES we walked away from,, hold them accountable!!!!!! stop homophobia NOW

  • 12. Steve  |  December 4, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    No matter the topic, most YouTube comments are completely stupid, insulting or disgusting. It's one of the most immature comment systems on the internet

  • 13. Reformed  |  December 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    i think occupying the churches is an excellent idea. They claim to welcome everyone. No need to camp out either. No need to protest, just show up. I anyone asks you why you are there, just say you are observer monitoring for hate speech.

  • 14. Juli  |  December 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I'd rather unoccupy my church. There is no place for me there, I was thrown out and I have no desire to return. I will encourage fair minded to leave it as well. Occupy churches that are welcoming and let the rest die off, empty and fundless.

  • 15. Bay Area John  |  December 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I wonder where else this got posted recently. It went up on YOUTUBE 3 months ago, but got 3/4 of its nearly a million hits all today. Where ever it is, it's got a lot of comments from Sweden. And a lot of idiot haters mixed in.

  • 16. renecito1  |  December 4, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Jonah Mowry posted another video [youtube 9Ss-kotxdSk youtube]

  • 17. renecito1  |  December 4, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    (Off topic) But wanted to Share photos of Ohio Street Protest For Gay Marriage/ Full Equality. Took place Dec 3rd. With guest speaker U.S. Representative Mary Jo Kilroy. The Rally was put together by Adam Hoover (17yo) in Cincinnati and then this second one in Columbus now he is planning the third in Cleveland. His mom sisters and boyfriend are awesome.

  • 18. Tig  |  December 5, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Just uttering the phrase "I was thrown out" is so telling. WWJD?

  • 19. Sagesse  |  December 5, 2011 at 4:50 am

    RSS button. Not working. Back to subscribing the old fashioned way.

  • 20. Jprice  |  December 5, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Yes, people are using this video to say that he lied. He never says he lied. He still shows his cuts. The first video was one month before school began again, and this one is 4 months from that one. Sounds like he made lemonade out of lemons to me, so to speak. BUT, if I am wrong, does it matter? Does it really have so much less impact now?

  • 21. Stevie  |  December 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Maine got the signatures for the next election!
    I still dont like the idea of voting on civil rights, but in Maine's case because of the constitutional amendment this is the quickest option (llok how long prop 8 is taking)

  • 22. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I look at this video and I wonder whether someone could have made this kid's life easier by helping him avoid assuming a homosexual identity. Something unusual was going on in his life when he was in the 2nd grade, and it is possible that whatever that was had a causative effect on his sexual attraction and how he handled that attraction.

    My kids' schools spend a lot of time on anti-bullying from K-5th grade and yet there continues to be bullying, including the bullying of one of my kids, because kids are mean. I suppose there is an evolutionary reason for that, but what seems clear is that anybody who is different is a potential victim, not just homosexuals. You can't legislate away bullying; can't force people to look differently at people who are look or act differently from everybody else.

    While I'm not suggesting that anti-bullying campaigns be ended, I think we should also be looking into the victim side of the formula: how we can help kids avoid sticking out, e.g., don't flaunt how smart you are in class; parents should help kids avoid being overweight. There's nothing wrong with behavior modification as a means to avoid becoming a victim. And if we can prevent kids from adopting a homosexual identity all together, we can potentially avoid a lifetime of difficulty from being different.

    I know that the people here are not likely to shed their homosexual identities, but I think kids should be given every chance to avoid the heartache that many here have likely experienced, and part of that chance should include avoiding adopting a homosexual identity altogether.

  • 23. Steve  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Even welcoming churches often only enable the crazy ones. Fundamentalist Christianity couldn't exist without the legitimacy and foundation mainstream religions give it

  • 24. Steve  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Shut up

  • 25. DonG90806  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:41 am

    You've got to be kidding!!! Such rampant homophobia on a gay site yet!!

  • 26. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Hi BAJohn –

    Don't you think that the fact that this kid was cutting himself in 2nd grade suggests there is much more to this kid's suicidal issues beyond his being bullied?

  • 27. johnfromco  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Wow. Ignoring the obvious homophobia here.

    I've heard this a lot. It's basically the "Quit acting like a sissy" theory to end bullying.

    Let me tell you about my story a bit, by telling you of just one of my experiences. In 8th grade, a mob of other boys after school was chasing after me. To this day, I believe if they caught me, they would have killed me. Yes, kill me. I did what you're supposed to do when you're around your school and people are trying to kill you – I ran to a teacher. Obviously, I made a bad choice, as I ran to a gym teacher, who proceeded to berate me for – essentially – not wanting to die. I needed to "man up" in his eyes, and he told me so. He's why we need law. Fortunately, the kids backed off when I ran into the school. So I was just left with the abuse from the "safe" adult. That response, frankly, is no different than what allows abusers at any institution to continue.

    I can talk about times where I came home with second degree burns or when I was urinated upon. I could talk about the mental scars which are even worse. I can talk about rape. I spent most of my childhood trying to not stick out. Unfortunately, I had two things going against me – a disability and my size. (FWIW, I have always had heterosexual attractions) I was less than 40 lbs in 8th grade. And teaching me wasn't going to make me able to hide my disability and not stick out, nor would it make me grow a foot or two. And I worked hard to hide it – which is probably why I, when I had some support, actually competed in a few long distance competitive runs – when I was told that I would never run years earlier. And eventually my size came and I'm now average size – but it was about 4 years slower than the rest of my peers.

    Should teachers have helped me more come up with strategies? Sure. But I wasn't the problem.

    When teachers/administrators are aware of abuse, assault, and battery, when there is a culture that allows a gang of girls and boys to rape a disabled, tiny child, when there is a culture that laughs when a mob of kids tries to kill another.

    So, yes, I take this a bit personally. I'm tremendously strong and God wanted me around for a reason. I wouldn't be here otherwise, I'd be dead. Lots of better people than me are dead.

    (And, yes, I know this troll shouldn't get me worked up or get a response. But I also know that I'd much rather it be me worked up right now than someone who doesn't know if they should wake up tomorrow)

    To the kid who doesn't want to wake up tomorrow: I am astonished by your strength and courage to have seen every day thus far. Please keep giving the future a chance.

  • 28. Cat  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:17 am

    "avoiding adopting a homosexual identity" is not possible. You are, or you are not. It's not a pet you can bring back to the shelter. You can somewhat choose how much of your identity you hide from the rest of the world, but hiding it can be, in the long run, just as miserable as being bullied.

    Perhaps you should look into the widely accepted research on this topic (not the fringe stuff).

  • 29. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Hi John –

    I'm not saying that the onus should be on potential victims to protect themselves. I'm saying that if we can work both sides, then we should.

    With respect to homosexuality, working both sides encompass everything from modification of outward behavior to avoidance of establishing a homosexual identity completely. But there is no talk of this, except in very small venues which are discounted as misguided, homophobic, religious whackos.

    If there was some way you could have avoided your disability and your weight issues, wouldn't you have taken advantage of it? Would you not hope that researchers would be looking into preventing what you went through?

  • 30. Sagesse  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:22 am

    You are blaming the victim, pure and simple.

  • 31. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Cat –

    Unfortunately, most of the research out there on the subject is politically motivated, on both sides, btw. If people really cared about the kids, there would billions of dollars invested in research looking into how we can help kids avoid the characteristics and behaviors that make them vulnerable.

  • 32. johnfromco  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I would rather change what is able to be changed than focus on what is not – whether the thing that is not is disability, sexual orientation, race, gender, etc.

    Kids should not need to fear for their lives, should not be destroyed emotionally, and should not be raped in school. No matter how strange they are.

  • 33. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Exactly Pat well said!

  • 34. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Welcoming and supportive churches go a long way towards healing the damage done by the crazy ones. People who seek the comfort and support of a religious community can find churches like the Unitarians, as an example, or others who are waiting with open arms.

    No, it is not necessary for everyone, but for some it is, and thank goodness those churches do exist for those people. to counteract the bile and hatefulness of those others.

  • 35. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:36 am

    No, I'm saying we should help kids avoid becoming victims in the first place. Those who are already victims need to be helped and protected, but they should also be encouraged to participate in helping and protecting themselves.

  • 36. Marta  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:39 am

    John did a good job of responding to your jaw-dropping victim-blaming… (Really! It's the kids' fault for being weirdos? That's the exact same logic that blames women for their own rapes – they were dressed too slutty, or walking along at night, or talking to a man in a bar, etc.)

    … so I'm mostly going to address your assertion that "there is an evolutionary reason" for kids being mean. As an evolutionary biologist, I can tell you that evolutionary psychology is mostly a bull-shit field where people make up stories to justify what they already believe. It has no relation to science, and no relation to how we construct our social-moral systems. Additionally, you can use it to do just about whatever you want. For example…

    – Kids are mean because mean kids grow up to be strong and aggressive. As adults they have more resources and attract more women and have more kids. Therefore, mean kids are selected for by evolution and we should just let them be mean kids and blame their bullying victims instead.

    – Men cheat on their wives and/or rape women because they can increase the number of offspring they produce that way. Therefore, cheaters and/or rapists are selected for by evolution and we should just let them be cheaters/rapists and blame their wives/rape victims instead.

    – Murderers murder people because it decreases the nearby competition for resources and makes other people afraid to steal resources from them. Extremely fierce murderers can acquire harems of women that give them many offspring and networks of workers that acquire vast resources for them. Therefore, murderers are selected for by evolution, and we should just let them be murderers and blame their murder victims instead.

  • 37. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:39 am

    With the little info we have, that would be an impossible diagnosis to even GUESS at. The factors involved could, of course, be myriad.

    But remember the case of the man who beat an INFANT to death because he thought the boy was behaving in a feminine fashion and MIGHT be gay. So it is certainly conceivable that this boy might have been the recipient of homophobic bullying, even at home, from a very young age.

  • 38. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:40 am

    He posted a follow up vid, which he took back down again shortly after I saw it last night, where he acknowledged that the responses did encourage him. I don't know if he has put it back or not.

  • 39. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:41 am

    It hit fb, and I think went viral from there.

  • 40. Marta  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:44 am

    You have no understanding of psychology if you think you can fix the problem by that telling kids that 1) they are wrong they way they naturally are and 2) if they could only change themselves and be different then their life would be okay.

    These messages are damaging. Period. Fact.

    If you think the research that you are suggesting is advocating anything differently, then you are wrong. Period. Fact.

    "how we can help kids avoid the characteristics and behaviors that make them vulnerable." == telling kids that _they_ are the problem and that they need to change themselves to arbitrarily fit other people's notions of how they should be, not how they naturally are

  • 41. Steve  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Cutting in of itself isn't a sign of being truly suicidal. It's a way of coping with pain and depression and/or a cry for attention

  • 42. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Agree that it's impossible to diagnose from a video.

    I think there's a difference between mistreatment for being homosexual and mistreatment for acting effeminately. But in any case, this kid might have had a chance to avoid being mistreated through behavioral modification of some sort. That might include education of the parents/family to help or seek help instead of mistreat. But it doesn't have to mean that the parents/family celebrate and encourage whatever behavior the child exhibits.

  • 43. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Part 1

    There is so much wrong in your post, Pat, it is hard to address.

    1) No one should EVER be told that the answer to not being abused is to hide what you are. The answer to not being abused is for the abusers to stop. Period. If Jonah is gay, straight, bisexual or whatever, if he acts straight and is gay, or acts gay and is straight, that is simply WHO HE IS. No one has the right to bully him, PERIOD. If he chooses to dye his hair pink and wear nailpolish, or wear a business suit and tie, or wear a letterman's jacket, NO ONE HAS THE RIGHT TO BULLY HIM.

  • 44. Steve  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Stop it. You're at most bisexual. Period. Stop projecting your messed up, self-hating life on others.

    There are many kids who couldn't act straight if they wanted to. Who are recognized as gay and bullied for it by others before they even realize it themselves. Or before they are really out. It has little to do with self-identification. It has been going on long before being out in school was even an option

    You have no idea about the harm you're doing to people when you tell them that how they act is wrong and they should just stop doing so. That sends the wrong signals to them and it's an invitation for bullies as it tells THEM that there is something wrong going on that they can pick on. That goes for a lot of things, not just being gay.

  • 45. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I'm not advocating telling kids they are wrong and that if they could only change that everything would be fine. As I'm not a psychologist, I'm not sure what the appropriate technique(s) would be; but I know enough people who have modified their orientation (ostensibly, at least) and behavior that I know that throwing one's hands up in acceptance does not seem to be the only option available.

  • 46. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Part 2
    2) The way to make this kid's life easier is to encourage him to be who he really is, and let him figure out what that is, and let him know that whatever he is, that is a good thing. If he is gay, fine. There is not one thing wrong with that. The way to make his life easier is to teach all of our children that. If kids learn that there is nothing wrong with differences, they won't become bullies. If they are told, either explicitly or implicitly, that different is wrong, then they learn to be hateful of others, they learn to be bigots, they learn to be bullies.

    3) There is EVERYTHING wrong with behavior modification as a means to avoid becoming a victim. The modifications you are suggesting tell a child "THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH YOU!" and THAT is what makes 2nd graders cut themselves.

  • 47. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Part 3
    4) You should not ever try to "prevent kids from adopting a homosexual identity". People either ARE homosexual, or they are not. Their identities are who they are. You can push a kid so far back in the closet that they feel the only thing to do is repress themselves, force themselves into relationships that don't work, avoid their true feelings, but this is SO destructive that you might just as well let the bullies HAVE them at that point, it would be kinder.

    Pat, we know that you are, at minimum, bisexual, as you have told us so. PLEASE understand that the answer, going forward, is to teach tolerance, is to encourage everyone to be who they really are. It makes me want to cry that you, yourself, have crawled back into your closet and are denying that part of you. Everything you say screams out that you are not truly happy with who you are… PLEASE understand that it is ok for you to be bisexual. There is no shame in that. There is no shame in being homosexual, if that is what you are. You will not convince anyone here that going back into the closet is a good idea, nor that encouraging others to do so is.

  • 48. ben  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:05 am

    The thing that I find so surprising about that other video is how people just assuming that he's lying. I'm sure that with a friend present he was trying to put on a good face. How do we know he wasn't lying in the video where he said people at school like him? How do we know that in the meantime things got better for him?

  • 49. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Unfortunately, kids get bullied if they are a racial minority. Should we, perhaps be spending lots of money researching ways to make them all white? Some kids get bullied because they are girls. Should we find ways to make sure all kids are boys?

    No. We should encourage all children to be who they are. There is nothing wrong with being black, female or homosexual. There IS something wrong with bullying other people. What we should be doing is teaching kids and adults that.

  • 50. Steve  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Yes, that's exactly what you're advocating. Maybe it's not your main goal, but it's certainly the result

  • 51. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I'm not an evolutionary biologist, I'm just someone who grew up alongside mean kids, sees mean kids, witnesses aggressive behaviors of children at the tenderest of ages, and so to a layman like me, evolution is a potential factor for that. And frankly, whether it serves some evolutionary purpose or not is irrelevant; what's relevant is that people treat people who are different differently, whether that difference is behavioral or otherwise. And if we can help people, especially children, avoid becoming victims (like, e.g., I don't allow my daughter to dress like a slut), then why not?

  • 52. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I agree with you that a vote on civil rights is not a good idea, no matter which way it goes… but am glad that the support is on the side of right here.

  • 53. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Do you not allow your daughter to dress like a slut because it will prevent people from raping her, or do you do it because she is not, in fact, a slut, and it will better HER self esteem to not behave like one?

    Frankly, I do hope it is the latter.

    However, in the case of Jonah, and others, if he IS homosexual, preventing him from expressing that would be the damage to his self esteem.

    Over and over you want to blame the victim. Please stop it. It is not the fault of a woman who wears a short skirt that she gets raped. It is the fault of the rapist. A NAKED woman walking down the street is not to blame if she is raped. There is NO justification for rape, or for bullying. Stop trying to lay it off on the victim. By doing so, by suggesting that there is something wrong with the victim, you only compound the damage, you only become a bully yourself.

    You are the abuser here, Pat, when you suggest that Jonah needs to change to satisfy your perceptions. You may not think so, you may not feel it, but you are.

  • 54. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:27 am

    How does anyone know anything? We have to take him at his word, don't you think?

  • 55. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Like AnonyGrl, I agree civil rights should never be voted on, but it's not a perfect world & Maine citizens are doing what they think is best. I was born & grew up in the Lewiston-Auburn area of Maine. I left in large part because of the attitude of "it's always been this way so why change." In general, that attitude applied to every topic/issue. Not surprised that the Lewiston-Auburn area was one that voted to rescind marriage rights. Hope equality wins this time, in that area AND especially the entire state!

  • 56. Joe  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:40 am

    4 months is a lifetime at that age. The first video could have been me, except if I had said ANYTHING 40 years ago, it would have gotten me killed. by. everyone. there was no such thing as a trusted adult in small town kansas 40 years ago. Considering their current govenor, there probably still isn't.

  • 57. Gregory in SLC  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I'm glad Jonah's fears of high school haven't materialized. Glad he's feeling accepted, at least in this newer video. Curious how so many "assumed" he lied —-4 months is like an eternity @ his age!

    My dear daughter was feeling very bad @ age 13 in jr. high 8th grade and was wearing long sleeves in hot spring/summer to hide cuts on her arms. She thankfully shared her pain with her parents so we could help her. Now 14, new school year 9th grade she seems centered, popular, and loving life. She's an inspiration and blessing in my life (and many others) and I let her know how much I love and appreciate her every chance I get!

  • 58. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Wow, anonygirl, I need to spend some time reading your replies. I'll give you my knee-jerk reply, though: Your perspective is wonderfully idealistic, but fails to account for some grim realities. We don't live in a vacuum and there are deep-seated beliefs and cultures that aren't going to change no matter how good it would be that they would. We have to learn to live in the world as it is, and conforming to that world can result in a lot of happiness that clinging to one's perceived immutable identity would not and which could be downright dangerous. Kids are malleable; we can help them adjust to the world instead of convincing them of the pipe dream that the world should and will adjust to them.

  • 59. Steve  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:58 am

    It's probably no coincidence that orthodoxy, conformity, uniformity and obedience is exactly what most religious organizations preach

  • 60. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 5, 2011 at 9:59 am


    There's a big difference between helping children learn social skills (say "please & thank you," share your toys, apologize when appropriate, etc), teaching them to avoid dangerous situations (stay out of dark alleys, don't flash a lot of money around, don't get drunk, etc), and trying to make them change who they are (be/act straight, pretend to agree with the current group's opinions, don't let anyone know you're "mixed race" if you can pass).

    Hopefully, MOST schools don't tolerate the bullying of other minorities. If your children were in a school where they were the only Catholics, would you tell them not to ever mention going to Mass, or having their First Communion, etc? If they stuttered, would you tell them never to speak in front of others? My parents were not perfect, none are, but I always knew they "had my back." If any of your children are other than 100% heterosexual, it will be bad enough that they'll have to deal with outside bigotry, but truly awful that they'll have to deal with bigotry & homophobia from their own parent.

  • 61. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Anonygirl – I'm not bisexual; I might once have been but am no longer. It would be ok for me to still be so, but the fact is I'm not. I have an amazing life, and a big reason for that is because I have embraced a conventional life of marrying and having and raising kids with my spouse. Don't cry for me; cry for those who find themselves chained to an identity that makes life difficult for them and never realized that there are alternatives, that happiness does not always flow from accepting everything about yourself as being good and worthy of embracing.

  • 62. Stevie  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Yes kids are malleable, and they should be molded into people that embrase difference, tolerance, and acceptance. The problem is not children noticing differences it is their parents putting racist, sexist, homophobic ideas in their heads.
    If you look at somewhere like Canada where people have been not been seperated by race for generations, did not have laws aganist interracial marriage bullying based on race and racism in general is lower. Look at southern states and well… its obvious.
    Same with homophobia, you cannot blame the victim for cruel acts of others. Regardless if a girl dresses like a complete slut or like a nun, if she is raped she is raped and that individual is a criminal. If a child that is gay acts manly or feminine, is closeted (like you) or open and they are bullied the person that did it is a bully pure and simple.

  • 63. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Sorry, Pat. Based on what you have written here, the old saying, "denial isn't only a river in Egypt," fits you to a T.

  • 64. Adam Bink  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:10 am

    This kind of rhetoric promotes blaming the victim and is unacceptable, particularly when it comes to an issue of potential teen suicide. The difference between reasonable dialogue about the nature of sexual orientation, in which you have engaged in this past, and this is that this issue involves kids who may read this. Disengage. This is your first warning. The next will begin comment moderation.

  • 65. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:11 am

    No, Pat. There is NO difference between being mistreated and being mistreated. If someone is homosexual, then they are. If they are effeminate, then they are. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH EITHER. What is wrong is bullying, for whatever reason.

    And what is wrong is telling a kid that HE is wrong for being who he is, gay or straight, effeminate or masculine. LEAVE HIM THE HELL ALONE. How difficult is that to understand? If he is effeminate, that is perfectly OK. If he is good at sports or a clutz, THAT IS PERFECTLY OK. Whoever he is, he has the right to be that, and not to be bullied for it!

    It is not a complicated problem. Being yourself, good. Bullying, bad. No justifications, no hiding, no "seeking help". Yes, a child's family SHOULD celebrate who the child is, not try to mold him into something he is not.

  • 66. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Acceptance IS the only option that should be considered, Pat. Accept kids for who they are. Stop telling them, and others, that they are wrong, they should change.

    And please stop telling yourself that you need to keep denying who you are. Because the way it looks is that you are desperately trying to convince US that your way is the right way in some misguided attempt to convince YOURSELF of it. If it actually works for you, or if you can make yourself believe it does, that is fine for you. It is so absolutely NOT right for most of the rest of humanity, but we won't deny you the right to hide if you want. What we will do is insist that you not project your choices on to others, to their harm.

  • 67. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:17 am

    This. All of it. I am so sick and goddamned tired of the victim-blaming where bullying is concerned. It is not up to that little boy to change who he is — it's up to the frigging bullies to change who THEY are. There is NO EXCUSE. It is so wildly inappropriate to *suggest* that the child should have behavioral modification therapy that I can't even describe it.

  • 68. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:18 am

    They should. They should be encouraged to help protect themselves by standing up and saying out loud "this is who I am, and I refuse to be bullied for it". And we, as adults, need to support and protect them in that.

    Telling a kid to hide himself, to be other than who he is does not, in ANY way help.

  • 69. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

    This is such crap, Pat, that I don't even know where to start. I have seldom seen so many lies in one space. And then victiim-blaming?

    Screw you.

    I'm straight, and so are a great many people on this site. Kids don't choose to be gay any more than I chose to be left-handed.

    Go to hell, troll.

  • 70. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Oh, and this: don't flaunt how smart you are in class; parents should help kids avoid being overweight.

    Screw you to infinity. "Play dumb so no one will pick on you" is a sure way to damage someone's self-esteem (source on this: primary). No kid should have to pretend to be stupid because other kids feel threatened by their own stupidity.

    I almost opted not to address your comments on how parents should keep their kids from being overweight, but it gives me an opportunity to discuss food insecurity — which is at its highest since the great depression. The foods that one can easily buy in bulk without spending an arm and a leg are carbs: rice, pasta, etc. Most underprivileged kids eat far more of these things than is perhaps healthy — because that's what their parents can AFFORD.

    The amount of heterocentric and wealth privilege you demonstrate in your posts makes me sick. I'll bet you describe yourself as a "good Christian," too. Feh.

    Ordinarily, I do my best to be calm and polite. My patience with you, Pat, is completely exhausted. Your hate speech and victim-blaming make me sick to my stomach. I pity your children.

  • 71. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Or, Pat, we can do our best to teach them to BE the change in the world, instead of telling them that "Oh well, things are bad. You had better just suck it up kid".

    Change happens. It is happening all around us. Marriage equality is moving across this country and this world. Imagine that! How did it happen? Someone taught someone else to stand up and demand equal rights. Someone else stood with him. Before too long, a lot of people were standing up for what is right.

    Kids are malleable. You can certainly force them to conform to the mess that exists. Or, you can teach them to be better than that. My grandfather was a racist. I am not. Why? Because my mother taught me not to be. And MY world is better for it.

  • 72. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

    [youtube nHKzn8aHyXg youtube]

    Pat, you remind me of this song. Just sayin' …

  • 73. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Right, Pat. And I'm an astronaut, the Queen of Sheba, and a diva at the Met.

    I'm straight, and I feel sorry for you. I can't imagine how my non-self-loathing g/l/b/t friends feel about you … but I'm guessing it's similar. No one should be living lies. Maybe you think there's something wrong with being a married bi-sexual person with kids … but you're wrong. I number several such people among my friends and not one of them feels compelled to scream that they are "no longer bisexual" because they've opted to marry and procreate. Just whom are you trying to convince?

  • 74. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Except for the part where I'm right-handed. Argh. I didn't choose that either. Or my blue eyes.

    (I should not let these jerkwads get to me, but I have just about had it with the self-righteous, heterocentric *crap* that people spew when they come trolling here. It makes me embarrassed to be straight sometimes, because of the bullshit that homophobes spew.)

  • 75. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Part 1
    Pat, I am bisexual. It is not a chain, or a burden, it is who I am. I am happy to be able to say that I enjoy finding people attractive based on many things, but not based on what gender they are. I have had partners who are male, and partners who are female, and that is just who I am. And I like me.

    Occasionally, someone gives me grief over this. And sometimes it hurts. But I know that this is not something to which there IS an alternative. I am who I am, and who I am is a terrific human being, flawed as we all are, lovable, goofy, intelligent, entertaining, occasionally crabby, protective of those who need it, loving, and RIGHT just the way I am. So I learned from those who protected ME that there is no need for me to change. I learned how to stand up to bullies, and I had some, believe me. And I learned as an adult to teach children that bullying is wrong.

  • 76. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Part 2
    You keep saying that homosexuality is wrong. That embracing who you are is wrong. That you have repressed that part of yourself. How can I not cry? I am glad your life is good, really I am. If it works for you, that is great. If what I say sounds insincere, I apologize, because I do want you, and everyone else, to be happy. I simply know, from experience, that hiding is not going to make most people happy. I hope you understand how harmful that can be, to others, if not to you.

  • 77. Paul  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I liked the people in Maine who turned their backs to the priests when they started spewing their garbage. It shows that you disagree and don't want to accept the homophobia. It also makes the people who chose to listen look you in the eye. Wear a NoH8 shirt and I don't think there could be anything better.

  • 78. paul  |  December 5, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I think of Pat's comment as the "It's the Vicitm's Fault They Are Being Bullied" excuse. It follows closely on the "Her Dress Said YES" excuse that rapists usually use. I wouldn't dignify this with a response.

  • 79. Cat  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Answers like that make any discussion impossible. If you dismiss all research it's your opinion against mine, and from what you have written so far it sounds like you will not be swayed by any response. You might say I'm doing the same thing, but i AM gay, so I know a thing or more about it than you. I can tell you I'm perfectly happy being gay, and my only unhappiness in that regard comes from people who are afraid of being gay. The problem with homosexuality only exists because some people choose to make a problem out of it. If 10% of the population is gay and is free to show it, the world will not end. Nor will any straight kids suddenly become gay.

    If you want to mold children to minimize being vulnerable you are destroying a large part that makes people unique and precious, and you are feeding the fear that creates bullies in the first place.

  • 80. paul  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Every single person at my High School Reunion was floored when I came with another guy. In fact, one person told me that they didn't believe I was gay and that it was a prank. I'm not claiming to be the most masculine guy, but everyone said that they never suspected that I was gay.

    It didn't matter that everyone thought I was straight during high school. I still got bullied for being gay because that's what kids that don't know any better do. Most people don't care, or don't remember being called "gay" because they have always known they aren't. For gay people, they remember, because they know that they are gay. So those words hurt.

    So trying to "hide" your homosexual identity doesn't actually work, because you haven't addressed the true problem – the prejudice and animosity against gays and lesbians that causes it to be such an effective way for bullies to intimidate.

  • 81. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:17 am

    wow wow wow,,, thank you Jason,,,,, the timing is perfect for you to share your story,,,, and I'm so glad Pat chimed in,,,,,, there is a convergence here,,,,, this is a real situation,,,,,,

    sending LOVE to Jason,,,, first and foremost,,,

    Pat I'm calling you out know right here right now,,,,, before you do any further damage,, if you are so fortright in your suggestions,, first and foremost you must come publice,,, you must have the same courage as Jason,,, you need to post a video, of you and your loving family,,, the parents who you say (have your back),,,, and also your other family memers who are LGBT,, and the friends you mention,,

  • 82. Rob in CA  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Part 1
    I think one of the better arguments against sexual orientation being a choice is that if it was, more people would be choosing it! I dated a number of very nice women in college, was married to one for several years after I was out of school but it never fit. The confusion, anger, dissapointment, resignation, dispair etc. that existed to some degree in these relationships, especially the marriage, evaporated when I accepted myself for who I was. When I found the right guy the self-deception of my previous life was blinding. As I see my straight friends struggling in their relationships I just think, you know, guys are just easer to understand and get along with :-)

  • 83. Rob in CA  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Part 2
    The truth is each of us, gay or straight, was given the sexual orientation we have as a gift from our creator and our responsibility is to use it, well, responsibly. Has anyone of the millions intent on outlawing our existence ever stopped to consider that possibly one of the reasons we, (Of the LGBT camp), were created as we are is as a test for those who are trying to get rid of us?

    Pat, just because your gift is that you were once gay but now are straight does not mean that that is the gift all the rest of us were given. Gifts are not something that we get for ourselves, they're freely given to us by those who love us.

  • 84. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    The point of Jason's video, is that he is no longer anonymous,, and that changes the facts,,, and requires response from you to be real as well,,,,

    The first step in presenting another option is to be that option yourself,,, show us your family,, your friends, and your church congregation,,, get real,,, stop being the expert, and let those around you, share with us, how accomplished your life is PAT!!!!!!!

  • 85. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

    This is a very crucial part of living with EQUALITY,,, we need to reveal the core of our beings, you need to ramp it up Pat,, show us who you personally are,, and let us see how many of your family and friends support you….. Maggie Gallagher or Brian Brown,, would love you as a spokes person and could put your life to use… but anonymously spouting off here does no good……

  • 86. Str8Grandmother  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

    johnfromco- I am glad you survived John. Very glad. When you described your size as a child it made me think of Celiac disease. Maybe you want to take a look. In children there is delayed growth, delayed puberty and on another website I found another childhood symptom is nosebleeds.

  • 87. Leo  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:25 am

    More generally, promoting conformity as the default solution to bullying is simply wrong-headed. Yes, being different has its challenges. But not everyone even WANTS to be like others.

    Makes me wonder whether Pat, if their son decided to become a vegetarian, would discourage him from doing so because others might call him a sissy. Whether, if he was teased by his peers because he was still a virgin at 18, Pat would encourage him to lose his virginity sooner. Whether, if they lived in a Muslim country, they would raise their kids Muslim to fit in better. Whether Pat thinks we should also invest in research of more effective religious conversion methods, so that everyone can be converted to the religion of the majority.

    Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if the answer to some of these is yes. But Pat is not a yardstick by which to measure others.

  • 88. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Lastly I go back to my point about OCCUPY CHURCHES,,,,, the only enemy here is misguided religiion,, we have to acknowledge that,,,,, these realities need to be brought back to the place that created them,,,, society needs to confront religion,,, individually, perssonally,, I know some of us were kicked out or didn't belong and left,,, but that is what they want,,, we have to go back,,, if we can't personallly,,, perhaps en-masse,,, it would make a statement,,,, RELIGION needs to be held accountable,,, (especially for Pat's ideas)

  • 89. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:36 am

    [youtube Nl4SRVXgGiI youtube]

  • 90. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Str8Grandmother,,, I would be very interested in that website about the childhood symptom of nosebleeds,,,,, that sill is a very confusing part of my childhood memory,,, unstoppable nosebleeds, wonder if it was from being hit in the head repeatedly,,, or what else,,,,,, would like info,,,, thanks

  • 91. Str8Grandmother  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I only have one question for Pat. Which ex-gay organization are you a member of? Exodus, Love In Action, Living Hope Ministries, Courage, Evergreen? Which one is it Pat.

  • 92. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Adam –

    I'm arguing primarily in defense of children who have not yet adopted homosexuality as an identity. Many kids have the potential to avoid same-sex attraction and homosexual behavior but if no one tells them that, they have no choice but to believe that they are what they are and nothing can prevent that. That's bullshit. What results is more kids confused about their sexuality, more kids feeling helplessly a member of a class that, for right or wrong, is shunned by society.

    Good, let the confused kids hear that they have a choice. That just because they have same-sex attraction doesn't mean that they have to embrace it. That even if they have sexual attraction toward people of the same sex that they can live a heterosexual life, get married, have kids. That sex can be a very minor part of one's life, even nonexistent, and people can live happy, fulfilling lives with those to whom they do not have sexual attraction. That many people have decided to take control of who they are and not succumb to an unproven theory of immutability.

    Many here have accepted homosexuality as foregone conclusion, and immutable trait. Good for them, but don't hide the fact that there are potentially other options for kids, where happiness does not require giving in to one's sexual desires. How many kids have committed suicide over being homosexual who, but for all of the publicity about homosexuality and its immutability, might never have adopted a homosexual identity? We'll never know.

    So, go on, Adam, flag me for proposing that people have the power to control their destiny in a shitty world and don't have to jump on the bandwagon with those who think they can change the world. Shut down the hopefulness that comes from presenting kids with the choice and the power to control their destiny. Shame on you.

  • 93. Lesbians Love Boies  |  December 5, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I'm sorry Pat – but there is no choice in being straight, bi or homosexual. You either are or you are not. Your way of thinking would just make a miserable child an even more miserable adult.

    I was born gay and I am not ashamed of it — nor will I cower in a corner and let people like you tell me there is some magical place I can go that can change who I am. That's a cowards way to live your way just because you don't like the 'gay.'

  • 94. Bob  |  December 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Pat needs to be returned to the church that spawned her,,,,, labelel defective, please fix,,,,,,

  • 95. Adam Bink  |  December 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    This is unacceptable. Your comments will be held in moderation for the foreseeable future.

  • 96. Adam Bink  |  December 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    This is unacceptable. Your comments are held for moderation for the foreseeable future.

  • 97. Pat  |  December 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    I'm not a member of any of those.

  • 98. Joe  |  December 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you Adam. Thank you very very much. BIG HUGS.

  • 99. fiona64  |  December 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I'm straight, as I've mentioned. I experienced no choice in the matter. Neither did my gay friends. Shame on YOU for even remotely suggesting that a child should be told that there is something wrong with who he or she might love. What you present as "hopefulness," in the form of ex-gay therapy, is the exact opposite. It teaches a young person that what they are is so vile, nasty and disgusting that they have to "fix it." You need therapy — and I don't mean from Exodus, Evergreen or any of the other harmful, discredited organizations that you tout.

  • 100. AnonyGrl  |  December 5, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I agree. Normally I am not in favor of much by way of moderation, but these comments do have the potential to be extremely harmful, even though phrased politely. Thank you.

  • 101. Walter  |  December 5, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Actually, Pat needs to educate herself. She calls for scientists to study the issue of how we choose to be gay so we may end the vile practice. The medical-mental health community have studied the issue for the over the past 50 years and have concluded people do not choose to be gay. Here is a link to their summary of the science.

    This is a legal brief submitted 11/3/2011 to the US First Circuit Court of Appeals in the Gill and Massachusetts cases by the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers and various other affiliated groups. I would let people like Pat make their comments here. Hopefully, we can help them educate themselves.

  • 102. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Adding my thanks, Adam. & I'm one of the folks who "lobbied" for Pat to be reinstated last time. Permanent moderation seems like a good choice, although more work for you & other moderators. The adults on this site are more than capable of dealing with or ignoring Pat, but the garbage he or she is spouting as "facts" can be very harmful to vulnerable children and teens.

    I also feel very sorry for anyone like Pat who is so ashamed of who they are that they must convince others that they should be ashamed of who they are, too. Many people choose not to act on each & every attraction – people in monogamous relationships do that all the time, since "committed" doesn't mean "neutered." That's different than trying to convince oneself that the attraction doesn't exist. Folks who do that are lying to themselves (much more harmful than lying to others) & probably setting themselves up for some future problems.

    I hope Pat can someday become whole again.

  • 103. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Pat appears to have no interest in facts. Any & all research that conflicts with her/his beliefs must be "wrong" & based only on "liberal political correctness." Pat appears to be in complete denial on this whole issue, AND a prime example of willful ignorance.

  • 104. Marta  |  December 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Great. I agree that evolution is irrelevant to this argument.

  • 105. Martin Pal  |  December 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Pat’s ideas are why anti-gay people keep using “the children” as a meme in their tv ads against anything to do with gay issues. Because people like Pat really believe they are “saving the children.” I was watching Ken Burns’ Prohibition series last night and the people who wanted prohibition were using “the children” as a reason for it. I guess it’s just an instinctive thing that humans want to “protect the children.” The video at the heart of this article is why I think we should also start using protect the children as a campaign tool. It works. And in this case it would be true.

  • 106. Aaron  |  December 5, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I'm sorry but that is just utter stupidity.

  • 107. RWG  |  December 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    They should be encouraged to help protect themselves by standing up and saying out loud "this is who I am, and I refuse to be bullied for it".

    That's what Lawrence King did…and he go two bullets in the back of the head for it. It's the HATERS who need to be stopped. One instance of bullying should result in a severe reprimand; a second incident of bullying should result in expulsion from the school. Let the bully's parents pay to send them to private school. Our tax dollars shouldn't be wasted on kids who use valuable school time to torture their classmates.

  • 108. Joe  |  December 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Pat, we're basing this on OUR experiences. I'm gay. I was born gay. It had nothing to do with my identity. It had to do with -acknowledging- my identity. Who I was was not going to change. Granted, I could possible not acknowledge that, but the fate is just as bad if not worse. The closet is a horrid, horrid place to live, and instead of being bullied, then you're suicidal. So which exactly should one choose?

  • 109. Joe  |  December 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    A lot of kids have committed suicide who NEVER publicly admitted it. I know. I was almost one of them, Pat. I never admitted I was gay until after high school. It nearly drove me to suicide.

    The closet is just as horribly destructive if not more than the bullies, Pat.

  • 110. DaveP  |  December 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    AAAAaaaand here's another smoking Gun from the depths of Pat's warped mind: "even if they have sexual attraction toward people of the same sex that they can live a heterosexual life, get married, have kids. That sex can be a very minor part of one's life, even nonexistent"…

    In other words – If you do as I did and hide from your true self, despise yourself because of your sexuality, and discard all dreams of the kind of love and intimate fulfillment that you know you really desire and instead enter a relationship with someone to whom you cannot feel sexual attraction just because you want kids and you're too ashamed of being bi or gay to build a family without being in the closet ….well, hey, at least you don't really HAVE to have sex in your marriage. You can just deny yourself that, too.

    This is tragic on many levels.

  • 111. johnfromco  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Pat: As far as rights are concerned, it doesn't matter if it's a choice or not. Pat, you made a choice – good for you, I'm glad you're happy. Too bad you can't let others be.

    Personally, I didn't make a choice, certainly not about who I loved. My now-wife showed up in my life and just simply was the person I wanted to give my life to. I didn't choose that, it just is. Love is like that. I was physically attracted to her as well. Once again, I didn't choose that, I just recognized that! I imagine it's no different with LGB people than us straight people.

    I will tell you what I did choose however. I chose my religion. Yet, rightfully, the schools, government, and employers don't have a right to "educate me" about how much easier life would be if I wasn't a Christian and make me give up my Christian faith and live like a "normal" person. LGBT people deserve the same rights when it comes to their orientation.

    That said, Pat, most LGBT people I know didn't choose their sexual orientation or gender, at least according to their own words. But of course you, Pat, think you know better and can call them a liar. That's pretty ugly.

  • 112. johnfromco  |  December 5, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Thank you. We all know where to go to find homophobic garbage if we want it, we don't need it here.

  • 113. Sheryl_Carver  |  December 6, 2011 at 6:49 am

    Excellent point, DaveP. I missed that little gem. It seems quite likely Pat is more on the homosexual end of the spectrum, not the bisexual middle as I & others were assuming. Makes living the "heterosexual life" even sadder for Pat, & perhaps has contributed to Pat's warped views.

  • 114. Steve  |  December 6, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Possible yes, but bisexual people do have the option of having a fulfilling love life with someone of the opposite sex. Yes, they repress one side of themselves, but they don't have to pretend about the other one. So I can easily see how one can view that suppression as change while still being genuinely happy.

  • 115. DaveP  |  December 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Absolutely. But that part about touting a 'nonexistant sex life' as if it is a selling point gives it away. Bisexual people would not feel that life without sex would be a good thing just because they married someone of the opposite sex.

  • 116. dsc77  |  December 8, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I can understand this to a point. I know that some kids feel the need to "act" gay because they are gay, or they feel that they CAN'T be gay because then they'd have to act like Liberace. When I was younger I felt like I had to act a certain part because I am gay. My boyfriend, when he was young in the 1970s, was terrified to be gay because then he'd have to act like the stereotypes everyone sees.

    We're told that we should be ourselves but sometimes who we REALLY are gets lost in the confusion. Sometimes our peers force us to be a certain way by making disparaging remarks about "straight-acting" gays. And this is why we need ALL gay people to come out, whether they're hockey players, dancers, construction players, or figure skaters. Anyone who's gay can be anyone they want to be-no pigeonholing of ANY kind.

    That being said, Pat seems to be advocating that no one should be any sort of homosexual and that I don't agree with.

    Free to be you and me, baby!!!

    Dave in Maine

  • 117. Joe  |  December 8, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Good point. Without any role models, I know I would act very different than I do. My nature was very different from the "john wayne" I tried (very unsuccessfully) to be. I wonder what I would be like if I had been accepted and allowed to mature naturally, instead of being shaped by well meaning but very negative forces.

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