Saturday, February 2, 2013

Oil City, Bruce Springsteen, & A Single Shot To The Head

Comment on the Out In The Silence film web site from John Doe, formerly of Oil City, Pa. --

I grew up in Oil City, graduating in the early 1980s and had a bad high school experience.

I am straight, however, since I was small and awkward and did not fit the prevailing view of how masculine a boy should be, I was called gay, fag, wimp, you name it.

You could say that I was a straight boy who experienced anti-gay bullying.

Starting in 7th grade, I was spat upon, pushed into lockers, had my hair pulled and pretty much treated like scum. The trauma was severe for me.

As a 12 year-old, I constantly wondered how I would deal with this and my only comfort was knowing that there was a way out, that a single shot to my head would end this -- a path that I am glad that I did not take.

It got much better once I got to the upper grades of 10 to 12, but the damage had been done.

Like that Bruce Springsteen song I felt that I was like a dog that had been beat too much and had spent half my life just covering up.

I wish anti-bullying efforts had been around when I was a kid.

I would not say that I have a positive view of Oil City. The overall climate was very narrow minded and nasty, however, at the same time I would ask not to paint all residents there with the same brush.  I am not living there anymore, but know that there are some very decent and open-minded people there.

I am sorry to hear that others experience this.

One of the biggest problems that I have seen in society is that we are not civil to each other and accepting of others' differences.

I am very sorry if any of you out there are treated like this, and I hope that anyone who is treated like this gets the help that they need to improve the situation.

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