Every once in a while, someone asks me why I paint about gay bullying. This kind of conversation usually goes like this: “Why do you paint about gay bullying? I mean, aren’t there plenty of other kids getting bullied? Aren’t you giving special treatment to the gay ones?”
This always reminds me of the first few pages of Tina Fey’s Bossypants, where she comments on people who give away more about themselves than they realize, by the questions they ask, and the way they ask them.
But anyway. As we start the new school year, let’s remember:
- 18 million kids will be bullied in the US this year. (Source: http://www.abqsafeschools.org/families/bullying-prevention)
- 3 million students are going to be absent this month because they feel unsafe at school. (Source: http://www.abqsafeschools.org/families/bullying-prevention)
- Studies find that one third of all students (straight and gay) are bullied. (Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Education/2011/0310/Obama-takes-on-bullies-at-White-House-anti-bullying-summit)
- Studies find that between 78 and 90% of LGBT teens are bullied. (Sources: http://www.olweus.org/public/bullying_sexual_orientation.page and http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/news/record/2624.html).
That’s about twice as many gay kids being bullied, and that’s way too many.