Gosh with nieces--one just eighteen and another fast on the way to that age--my thought process changed over the years, still protective to 'bout kill anyone that hurts them but still knowing cannot protect them from future broken hearts because those become basis of over coming.
Lord only knows what bullying from others they've endured or how they internalizd views of dominant A-Merry-Can culture to form their own self image and how human damage ensues.
As a Boy Scout in Indian Harbour By God White Bread Beach, I joined in mocking a perfectly nice young man, entirely unremarkable in my memory, certainly not offensive in the least, possibly with surname "Roy," son of a local dentist, calling him "Elephant Boy Roy," and this happened before the movie because somehow rhymes in teasing give us more cruel pleasures.
To go along with the pack, glad for once not to suffer as persecuted but to persecute someone else instead?
Why do I, have I, will I ever do anything besides take the path of least resistance?
Don't ask me. Ask my family instead.
Nevertheless, this all comes to a head with hearing of suicides of youngsters unmercifully teased.
Had I known of the slur "gay," in the 60's and early 70's, would have hurled it with glee.
Honestly, perhaps my Lutheran Church Missourri Synod never gots 'round to thems anti-homosexual Old Testament passages, but did not learn that hate 'til later but had it latent within me.
So although 1 nephew hates me and 1 only speaks to me out of earshot of his mother--both spent a few weekends with me in Orlando as youths and those cute memories contain and sustain me--my Lord knows I love them still as they survived into their 20's and will prayerfully spawn progeny that will also probably not speak to me as I have through the vagaries of chance survived long enough to become the drunken and satirical uncle.
Nevertheless, the idea that getting teased can cause kids can to kill themselves leaves me aghast, terrified for the future of my human race and especially my nieces and nephews and the generation after them.
Dammit, chilluns, life gets better if you try to live it well.
Day after soul killing day in the life we all live.
If you wake up, pray thanks to Whomever, or whatever, or even nothing as all goodly atheists do, for having another day.
Then pray on the best way you can make YOUR own corner of the world better.
Inasmuch as you have done to My human family, you have done it to me.
More embedded links to follow but gotta post this before fear rules.