A ‘gay list’ created by three teenage boys and subsequently shared online has led to the students being suspended.
It listed the 100 ‘Biggest Fags’ at Eric Hamber Secondary School alongside their video game and social media handles with some of the names accompanied by nasty descriptions. The list was seemingly leaked online by someone who wasn’t part of the original creator group.
One of those on the list, Orion Roussopoulos, 17, told local media how he had been at home sick before being contacted by a friend who said both their names were on a document being shared online. He said: “The general student body [was] supporting everyone who is on that list, but I don’t think it’s going to have a lasting effect on anyone — although I can’t speak for them.”
The sister of one of the students who created the list confirmed its existence but said that she didn’t believe the authors had intended to “out anyone,” that the homophobic slur had been used as a general insult to both gay and straight students. She did stress that either way, the list still made her furious.
Three Grade 12 students have been suspended from Eric Hamber Secondary School after a bullying list was allegedly posted online. https://t.co/tm8t5uR7If
— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) March 8, 2019
While it could be excused as teenagers acting the fool, a local professor said the consequences of the list being leaked could have been far more serious. For those students who were gay and still not at the stage where they were out, Professor Elizabeth Saewyc said the outcome could have been bleak- “There are a number of cases that have been documented where people have been outed against their will and have died, they have taken their own lives.”
Saewyc continued: “This kind of outing is not benign. They haven’t yet disclosed their identity to others. It may be because they don’t feel safe. So having that identity disclosed publicly may put them in danger.” She called for schools to introduce better education on sexuality and to crack down on a culture where LGBT+ terms were used as a form of insult.
The school are taking the ‘gay list’ seriously, contacting all parents and warning them about its circulation. While the students are currently suspended, it seems at least one of them is genuinely remorseful for his actions. Orion Roussopoulos said one of the boys involved had contacted him privately on social media apologising for what happened.
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