During one of the rallies at the Minnesota capitol in May 2011, I made a sign that said
I was bullied by my classmates and now I’m being bullied by my legislators!”
What does bullying look and sound like?
It’s repetitive and relentless. It’s unkind.
It’s based on intentionally intruding on the personal space and private life of someone else who was minding her or his own business, just because the bully wasn’t feeling good about himself or herself.
It’s based on not wanting to be seen as vulnerable and wanting to hold onto some perceived or distorted sense of entitlement or privilege, magically bestowed upon them “just because it’s always been that way”–whether privilege is based on skin color (White privilege), gender (male privilege), sexual orientation (heterosexual privilege), etc.
The closer to the truth that less-privileged people get, and the more visible the truth becomes, the harder the bully fights, makes up stories, and resorts to greater harm, either verbally or with action.
But when the power structures turn their gaze toward the bully, and when the power structures start to introduce new policy and laws that move the less-privileged group toward integration in a more just society, the bully may start to act all sweet and innocent, sometimes even blaming the initial less-privileged group for having started it.
Or the bully can get fiercely more vitriolic and violent, in word and deed.
On the threshold of marriage equality in the U.S., gays, lesbians, and our allies are standing up to the bully that has been dominating the discourse.
We are saying No more.
We see who the real bullies are, and we are calling you all out.
Equality is coming. And love will prevail.