H

I was bullied a lot all throughout secondary school by my peers because I was ‘weird’ (now I realise I was just being read as queer long before I ever consciously felt like I was). We had a young male teacher for Design and Technology and we had class with him once a week. One of the boys favourite ways to bully me was to pretend ‘flirt’ with me and then laugh about it, the joke being I was of course too disgusting and weird to ever be flirted with for real. My male DT teacher used to do the same thing – jokingly flirt with me, and then laugh about it with the rest of the class. This started when I was in year seven, eleven years old. He did it nearly every lesson, and it was humiliating and scary. The worst was at the end of year seven, I had won a trip to a theme park for running a stall at the school fete. The DT teacher was supervising this trip, and he came up behind me in class and leaned over me and joked that I could sit next to him on the rides if I wanted – the idea of ‘throwing a bone’ to the ‘ugly’ girl. It made my skin crawl. I only had to have lessons with him for two more years, and every wednesday (the day of our class with him) I’d pretend to be sick and go home early so I didnt have to go to his class. I dropped his class in year ten, soon as I was allowed. I used to get physically sick the days before his classes. I didnt feel like I could report his behavior because I felt like other people would laugh at me for thinking that a young ‘attractive’ teacher would even think about flirting with someone as ‘weird’ as me. I hated his guts for the rest of the time I went to that school, and had to watch all three of my younger sisters go on to have classes with him (luckily he didnt do this to any of them far as I know – I was very tomboyish and so singled out as visibly ‘weird’ where my sisters werent).