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By Laurel Singer
You’re 13, almost 14. You’re not really popular, but you’ve always had friends to help you with your math homework and hang out. You have a steady relationship and you’re pretty happy. You and your friends hang in the halls and say rude things to people that walk by that aren’t straight, things like “fruit,” “fag,” “gay freak” or sometimes even ruder things.
Suddenly, this changes. You begin to feel something you’ve never felt before. You’re scared to tell anyone. Finally, your friends find out. They leave you, along with your partner. Now you’re alone and don’t have any friends because those people you made fun of think you’re rude. Your parents are disgusted by what they think you’ve become.
Now look at what’s happened. This could be you. Maybe it was. When you were in that position, did you feel happy to have no friends? The point is differences don’t matter. Whether you’re black or white, Jewish or Christian, it doesn’t matter. Without differences, our world would be nothing.
One of the biggest problems in the world is discrimination against gays. Imagine you abandoned your best friend because they were gay and then, because they were made fun of and discriminated against, they committed suicide. How would you feel? I would hate myself for a VERY long time if that was me.
Many students find their teachers making remarks that are homophobic. If you hear that, don’t put up with it.
You may not think it, but every remark you make that discriminates against a person won’t be forgotten. It will hurt the person, it will hurt their friends and most of all, it will come back and hurt you at some point in your life. I’m not saying you have to be perfect, but make an effort to save the people that might kill themselves over your remark. Try to do your best to save those who feel hated because of things others say.