Cliques and Bullies
A wonderful , but sadly missed friend of mine used to run quizzes many years back , usually based on film, and thanks to him I met a lot of people by joining quiz teams on the fly. It was a great way to meet new people and have a great fun night.
One night the quiz was in aid of an LGBT charity, and as I am very supportive of LGBT I came along to join in and give my support. I expected it to be inclusive and to be able to join a team. I was chatting with a group of lesbians and was getting on well with them. Then another came in and abusively told me to get out of her seat. Immediately all the other girls stopped talking and acknowledging me.
In fact all the quiz competitors then refused to speak to me or allow me to join their team. The organiser had his assistant who were extremely sympathetic and said they wanted me to stay, but I thought it best to withdraw, but I left feeling incredibly pushed out. I had been to many quizzes before and then many after and always joined teams and met new people, I have also been to many events with a large LGBT contingent and always been welcomed and included despite being white, old and straight. So this did come as a major shock.
I did try to speak to the person but she was verbally aggressive and abusive, so it was easier to just walk away, I also didn't want to spoil the event for everyone else.
In the Bob Dylan song "Joey" there is a couplet:
"Always on the outside
of whatever side there was"
That is how I have seen myself my whole life. That is not necessarily a bad thing as it allows me do things in my own way and outside of the norm and bring benefits to others that they are unaware of.
That means that maybe I feel being shut out more intensely, because I know that I am not a member of any clique, but. I feel this gives me strength to express myself.
Also on a daily basis I am part of the human race and I do interact with people , and the quiz event was a major one off. A group who are normally inclusive and welcoming , being exclusive and unwelcoming is disconcerting when you are the one being excluded. I have seen others being excluded for no reason apart from bullying, and though that is horrible to observe if you can't do anything about it, and if you can you should do something about it.
So back to the original incident, this can always happen where cliques form and someone who sees themselves as an “alpha” can make things difficult for anyone they take a dislike to. They say evil succeeds when the good do nothing, and it is easy to stay quiet, especially if you believe speaking up will put you in the crosshairs as the next target of the bull or “alpha” or whatever they call themselves.
It is hard to stand up, but often once one person stands up then others will join that person, and really I could have done with someone to stand up for me in that situation, but no one knew me and it was easier to stay quiet and maintain the status quo. I have been subject to bullying in other situations and had support from peers that got the situation resolved.
I am an individual on the outside of many things , but I know I command respect for my differences as they help a lot of people in a lot of situations. "The Weight" by The Band just seems right for this.