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Canada: Man waits 42 years to get apology over anti-gay yearbook photo

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  1. “Mr Tomlin’s former class mates will also throw him a special graduation party, as he never managed to attend his original one.”

    If that were me, I really don’t think I’d want to attend. I wouldn’t want to attend any party with a bunch of people that bullied me in the past.

    1. people change with age, they mature, i’m sure many feel horrid about it now. I was also bullied throughout my time in comp but now the people that bullied me either can’t look me in the eye or act decently towards me. A lot of young bullies do so out of immaturity.
      of course some people never change but they can wallow in their own bitterness and hatred. I can be safe in the knowledge that I won’t consumed by the same bitterness and hatred they made me feel at one time. I’m beyond that now, its their problem, not mine.

      1. That There Other David 22 Oct 2012, 11:42pm

        But even if what you say is true about people changing, who is this party really being thrown for? Consciences having to be eased?

    2. I can understand why you would feel like that but, on the other hand, perhaps you could see the effort being put into the belated party as some attempt at atonement for the bullying of the past?

    3. GingerlyColors 23 Oct 2012, 5:16am

      People who slag you off whether it is at school or at work expect you to socialise with them because they have no mates of their own.

      1. I can relate to this story. I experienced bullying at school; I don’t think anyone ever got through their schooling without any bullying taking place. Mainly my experience was because I actually knuckled down and got on with the work. My shy timid nature didn’t help much either. But, it amazed me, of the response I got when I shunned the bullies after they asked me to help them with some possible answers for exam coursework. Oh how they took umbrage then. Its been 18 years since I left school, and I have NO intention of ever going back to ‘update’ with former pupils. I refuse to call them classmates, because they weren’t.

      2. That’s not always true, you can be excluded from the ‘in’ crowd (whether male or female), rejected because you don’t fit into their cosy, self-satisfied clique. It’s often those who are rejected or excluded who are left without friends, in schools anyway.

  2. It is good to see people who were too young to really know what they were doing now see the error of their ways and make a change. I’m sure the education system of the time didn’t help stop this problem and certainly not homophobia. I used homophobic insults when I was teenager because I had no idea it was wrong. I picked up all these terms from my environment because from what I now see, nobody said it was wrong. Teachers didnt challenge homophobia, my Catholic schooling actually encouraged homophobia and Hollywood movies projected it everywhere. While I knew in myself never to hurt anybody I directly knew might be gay, words like “fag” and “queer” were thrown around left, right and centre. I am now openly gay, in a long term loving relationship and campaign when I can for gay rights and against bullying. If I knew of anybody I ever hurt with my words as a misinformed teenager I would love to express my sorrow and show my respect as a mature adult to that person.

    1. Spot on jj.

  3. What a fabulous ending to a horrible chapter in his life. How wonderful for his old classmates to rally to his side.

    1. PantoHorse 23 Oct 2012, 9:03am

      Yeah, wonderful. Just 42 years late.

      This kind of ‘you know what? We’ve decided you’re OK’ thing is completely arse about face. It should be ‘you know what? We’ve realised what complete and utter pricks we were.’

      1. Just a shame it took 42 years to think about offering an apology… if it can be considered as such!

  4. GingerlyColors 23 Oct 2012, 5:14am

    Sometimes we do find it difficult to let a matter drop, even after 42 years. Even though attitudes towards homosexuality were far more hostile in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s there was still no excuse for that kind of behaviour.

  5. It is appropriate that Mr. Tomlin received an apology for being identified so cruelly by such a pejorative in his year book.

    Apology aside, and a reprinted copy with the pejorative removed… it should never have happened! People do change, but where were the people who could have voiced their disapproval at the time? who were the printers or the type setter who must have seen or proof read and then without conscience put into print?

    Even with his revised copy in hand can it erase the memories of the abuse he suffered or the knowledge that original copies exist and will be passed to future generations to view!

    Yes I would accept the long overdue apology and my revised year book… beyond that I would not associate myself with involving people from a hurtful past into the present, no matter how well meaning their intentions.

    Further his daughter encouraged him! Straight or gay it’s a huge injustice to have experienced such public abuse and humiliation!

    1. It was a very different world back then, jj describes it perfectly. Change in attitude is a great thing, lets not reject the olive branch otherwise why should they change?

  6. Those responsable should be named and shamed.

    1. I don’t think that would solve anything. Much as I don’t like the pupils I went to school with, its been some 18 years since I finished school. I feel no malice, or hate towards them. I have moved on. I’m not interested in a school reunion either. Since, I just think it will lead to some snide comments from those that attend.

  7. Dangermouse 23 Oct 2012, 10:47am

    For F…ks sake some of you seem to forget this was the 1960s when you could go to prison for being gay and this sort of thing was the norm. No one was going to speak up for this kid, teachers or class mates. He was one of those horrible queers. What matters is now, like 99% of society, his ex class mates have evolved in their thinking and are sorry about what happened and want to make amends. You cant remain bitter about what all of society thought about and did to us, decades ago. I was bullied relentlessly in school, physically as well as mentally. The main bully turned out to be gay, ( what a surprise ) and I met him again years after leaving school. He was appalled about what he had done to keep his secret from everyone and now we are friends. So give people a chance to change, that’s how things get better.

    1. Paul from Brighton 23 Oct 2012, 4:10pm

      What a shame you couldn’t be sent to prison for being a bully.

      1. Paul from Brighton 23 Oct 2012, 4:18pm

        Gosh that sounds wrong!

        What I meant to say was – what a shame the bullies weren’t sent to prison as opposed to gay men…..

    2. So he bullied you to cover up his own secret? I would’ve hated him even more. Nothing worse than a self-hating gay.

  8. I read this story on Towleroad.com about a month ago.

    If Pink News is going to plagiarise stories then at least is should make an effort to keep them current.

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