I came across this video by a young boy named Theo Chen, and what he said resonated with my own childhood experiences.
It makes me sad how hurtful the words of immature children can be. No one should have to go through this. When we are at an impressionable and vulnerable stage of growth, the hurt that comes from bullying in adolescence, while possible to overcome and conquer, can never be truly erased.
Like Theo, I was repeatedly called ‘gay’ and ‘homosexual’ when I was in early secondary school. I always thought I liked girls, but the fact that people were identifying me as gay really bewildered me. And at that age, I didn’t even know what being gay actually meant. That I liked guys and had a feminine demeanour? Along with it came gender insecurities, attempts to ‘prove I was a man’. It was not a good time.
I am glad Theo is able to articulate how terrible the problem of verbal bullying can be, and I am impressed by his precocious resilience.