Jordan Steffy decided to stand up for himself after a guy from his class uploaded a picture of him with a very homophobic caption.
Content warning: Homophobia, bullying
Standing up to bullies is easier said than done. Especially as a kid in high school when your peers can be particularly mean. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to a bully and Jordan Steffy demonstrated just that. When he found that a classmate of his had shared a picture of him on Snapchat with homophobic slurs, he decided to confront him about it. But this was not the first time Steffy had to deal with homophobic bullying and he had had enough. The extent of his pent-up frustration, however, ended up teaching the bully a lesson he won't forget.
"Don't call me a fucking faggot." Young Jordan Steffy swinging the fist that every bullied gay boy aged 11 to 111 dreamt of throwing themselves. I'm gonna quote the youth of today - We stan a King! pic.twitter.com/5qDrPqUmpW— alan h (@buzzalan65) November 9, 2019
Speaking to Insider, he explained that his classmate had made an anti-gay post with a picture of him saying how he hated gays and added a bunch of throwing up emojis all over it. "I walked up to him and said 'Why did you post this?' He said 'It was just a post.' And I said 'Well, it's not just a post. It's a post about me, saying how you dislike who I am, and I don't appreciate that.' He went on to say 'Okay, but what are you going to do about it?' I said 'I'm not going to deal with this, this is the last time I'm called anything.' And then he said 'What are you going to do about it, faggot?' And that's when I was like 'No, I'm not doing this,'" Steffy said.
Y’all ever wonder what’s going on at your old high school too? pic.twitter.com/FiCZw8y6ir— Tyler Konopacki (@Konopaco) November 7, 2019
A video that went viral was shot by a classmate of the two boys fighting it out in a classroom. Steffy can be heard repeatedly telling the other student to stop calling him a “f*ggot” and in response, the classmate continued using the slur. Having had enough, Steffy lands a punch on the other guy's face that sent him staggering. He could be seen punching and shoving his classmate. In a video that has since been deleted, the fight was brought to an end when a voice off-camera, probably of a teacher, asks Steffy to stop hitting the other student. The two boys were suspended, according to HuffPost. Steffy's mom even decided to homeschool him.
Jordan steffy fight video lphs pic.twitter.com/ixRTfeUOvR— Demarco (@Demarco45099342) November 12, 2019
"I was tired of him being bullied, and he was tired of being bullied," mom Angelina Fillmore told NBC News. She even admitted that she does not condone violence but was happy that her son "stuck up for himself." While some people may state that he should have informed his teachers about the bullying and that he should not have waited this long, he had in fact been reporting cases of taunting to his school authorities. But instead of helping him, they would punish Steffy more severely for even speaking out. "It seemed like I was getting in more trouble for reporting it than I was if I didn't say anything at all," he said. "It was doing me more harm than it was good."
While Jordan Steffy was able to defend himself against a bully in the viral clip, he deserved better and shouldn't have been in that position to begin with. https://t.co/4ZN3grx1lM— Out Magazine (@outmagazine) November 13, 2019
Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, deputy executive director of GLSEN, an LGBTQ education advocacy organization, stated that the circumstances of the video were heartbreaking. “While we don’t condone violence, it reflects the trauma that LGBTQ youth have endured and the fact that they feel they need to fend for themselves in school. Jordan deserves better. All students deserve better,” she told NBC News. LGBTQ youth who die by suicide are five times more likely to have been bullied than their straight counterparts, a report by US News stated. Bullying is likely the cause for suicidal thoughts among the youth and it also contributes to many other mental health issues.
Theodore Caputi, a research consultant at the Harvard Medical School's Health Equity Research Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts called the report a wake-up call. "LGBT individuals report stigma, isolation, discrimination, and internalized prejudice," he noted. "All of which contribute to substantial health disparities between LGBT youths and their heterosexual peers." He added, "While the climate surrounding LGBT people has changed dramatically in many parts of the country in just the past decade, we cannot become complacent. Many LGBT people in the U.S.—and particularly LGBT youths—are still consistently subjected to physical and emotional abuse in their daily lives. This study confirms that this mistreatment can, in fact, be deadly."
Steffy was invited to speak on The Tamron Hall Show, where, with a lot of maturity, he said, “I have no idea what’s going on in his life, as he has no idea what’s going on in mine. I can’t hold what he said accountable against him, because I don’t know how he was raised. ... I don’t know if it was a heat-of-the-moment thing. I don’t know if it was what he truly believes in.”
Cover Image Source: Twitter/Konopaco