I’m not gay. But in high school, everyone assumed I was. And so I was bullied.
I vividly remember one cold afternoon, as I got off the bus, a boy who had been my best friend for a couple years got off with me. So did some of his new friends. He proceeded to pick a fight.
After taunting me for being gay, he punched me in the stomach. I wasn’t used to fighting, so I didn’t really fight back. I was pushed onto the ground, and he spit on me. I was mentally unprepared; we had been such good friends. I had lent him some of my favorite Beatles albums.
A few days later, he walked by my locker and handed me my Beatles tapes back. We never spoke again.
I was stunned. I had just been beaten up and spit on in my own driveway, and I felt humiliated. I remember just lying there, hoping no-one was home, that no-one else had seen what had just happened.
I’ll never forget the feeling of betrayal I experienced that morning. I wasn’t gay and I know he didn’t seriously think I was, but that didn’t make a difference. Bullying was accepted and it was his way of proving that he wasn’t gay (I assume).
Partner, Needmore Designs