Disregard the awkwardness of this first post. Hopefully I'll grow into my blogging abilities.
Recently, a study was published out of Montreal that discovered "anti-gay bullying negatively impacts the well being of gay people"...shocker. The study asked a series of questions gauging general wellness as well as taking saliva samples from each participant. The researchers looked at a hormone called cortisone, which the body releases to relieve stress, in the average individual cortisone levels are high in the morning and early afternoon when work and school times are at their peak. As the day winds down your cortisone levels also drop, your lowest cortisone levels being in the evening when you're more than likely sitting on your couch, watching Glee. However, in this study, the participants who answered in their interview that they experienced bullying, harassment, violence, and rejection for identifying as a homosexual had high cortisone levels all through out the day...even in the evening while presumably sitting on the couch, watching Glee. Going one step further, high cortisone output leads to memory loss, cardiovascular problems, bone density depletion, as well as being correlated with suicide rates. These are some rather serious medical issues, but we kind of already knew all this. Harassment, violence, and rejection is not beneficial to an individual's health.
So why bother with this study? Well, you see, this proves to us that bullying has real biological effects. Bullying can no longer be accepted as a part of growing up, it has real physical and mental consequences. This study comes as the first scientific link between homophobia and its less than desirable consequences. Furthermore, this research can be presented in court as physical, quantifiable evidence which when it comes to the queer community seems to do better in court than sociological, qualitative evidence. So when a case comes up against homophobic bullying in schools, this study can be cited as biological proof that hateful slurs and systematic rejection are harmful to the health of the victims of these attacks. Kudos Montreal, we're one step closer.