“You don’t get involved in family business,” explains one woman as to why she refused to intervene in a father berating his son after revealing he’s gay. “I feel for him, but it’s his father.” And thus the simplified sociological explanation for why we have bullies: because we tolerate them. Tolerate them!
The same thing so many queer people ask for. And by tolerating them, we accept them. We say the behavior of these people — these parents — is reasonable. In public and private. If you are given a reasonable chance to say something to intervene, and you choose not to, you are complicit. So kudos to the individuals who did stand up while ABC’s What Would You Do?‘s cameras rolled. Like the mother of a 19-year-old Rutgers University student who’s all too aware of what this intolerance breeds.