“I've been verbally bullied since I cut my hair short. Tumblr is one of the only places where I can get away from homophobia. I'm not out, but my Tumblr blog shows the real me. I asked a girl on Tumblr if she could stop using the word 'Faggot' because it scares me. Minutes later I had an anon message repeating the word 'Faggot'. I don't really know whether I should reply to it telling them that they are gaining nothing by ask boxing me this or if I should just delete it. I really don't want anymore messages like this. can I have your advice?”
- Question submitted by Anonymous
Normally, Kristin and I will give you options and examples and tell you what you could do and then we’ll tell you that honestly you’re just going to do what you want…BUT HERE IS THE THING ABOUT THIS:
The more you respond to hate, the more you get. If you ignore it, they stop. I am not guessing on this one. I am telling you truly, from experiencing many many letters/messages/etc filled with hateful words, if you respond, so will they. People do not say hateful things on your tumblr/formspring/facebook/twitter because they want to have an intelligent conversation with you. They do not say hateful things because they want to understand your point of view. They do not say hateful things because they want you to change their minds. They say hateful things for one reason and one reason only: to hurt you.
You have to be very very careful about what you respond to because the fact of the matter is, fighting solves nothing. If someone says something bitchy and you say something bitchy back, they say something bitchier and it is an endless cycle of you getting your feelings hurt and them feeling justified. Don’t give them that. Every once in a while you will see Kristin and I respond to something hateful or ignorant. Sometimes it will take us a few days to decide whether a particular post will be worth the negativity we will receive.
Haters gonna hate. That is the truest statement of all time. I don’t know if truest is really a word, but seriously, all they want is attention and validation. If you respond, you give them that and they win. Just take the high road, you don’t need them, you don’t need their bullshit and you don’t have to put up with it. Truthfully, anonymous, you are too good for them.
I REPEAT: IF YOU RESPOND TO HATERS, YOU ARE GIVING THEM WHAT THEY WANT.
I am the kind of person, who with every fiber of my being, hopes and hopes and hopes that I will be able to speak back to senseless hate from a logical place, open up a dialogue, and, at the very least, find a mutual respect for differing opinions. The fact of the matter, though, is that finding a logical place in a land of senselessness is not possible. This person – this hater – they do not give a shit whether they are gaining something by calling you a faggot…if they care about anything it is only getting a response out of you, because then they will know they’ve affected you, and that is what it is all about in the land of hate.
I understand, more than you probably know, how hard it is to look at words that tear you down, you specifically, and how strong the desire is to clarify your position, your argument, your beliefs. The only way to do that, though, is in your own words, in your own time, and not as a response to something so blatantly stupid and negative.
Dannielle and I want you to fight for what you believe in, we want you to assert yourself as much as you feel comfortable doing, we want you to seek out people and places in your community that will strengthen you and help you bring that strength to others, but this is not the place.
Delete that message.