One of the most recent victims of anti-gay bullying is not only straight, but famous. Justin Bieber was playing laser tag on Friday night, when a 12-year-old boy repeatedly targeted him and harassed him using anti-gay slurs. When Bieber told him “That’s enough,” the boy replied, “What are you gonna do about it, faggot?”
Since the incident, TMZ reported that Bieber will be going public within the next week in support of the anti-bullying campaign.
This certainly isn’t the first time that Bieber has been associated with the LGBT community. A popular tumblr is devoted to sharing pictures of lesbians who look like Justin Bieber. And while Bieber is straight, he was harassed because of his perceived sexual orientation.
Recently, many LGBT youth have made the news after anti-gay bullying, harassment, and hate crimes. This incident shows that even a celebrity isn’t above this harmful behavior. He’s amassed millions of dollars, appeared in television shows, and performed for Obama — but he still is subject to the same sort of anti-gay bullying that many other youth face.
Bieber will be joining many other celebrities taking a stand against anti-gay bullying, including Lance Bass, Tim Gunn, and Wanda Sykes. But his situation has a unique spin. First, he’s a heterosexual who has been impacted by anti-gay bullying. Second, he’s a teenager himself, so he has something in common with other teenagers who have experienced bullying and harassment.
Bieber can show that bullying can happen to anyone — even the most famous and popular teenagers. While it’s disappointing to see another anti-gay incident, Bieber’s story may help teenagers who have been bullied feel like they aren’t alone.
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