Gay teen goes viral for defending himself against homophobic bully
An Indiana teenager has gone viral for defending himself against another teenager who had allegedly bullied him for his homosexuality, Insider reports.
Last Friday, Jordan Steffy, a junior at LaPorte High School, tweeted a video of himself confronting a classmate who had purportedly posted a homophobic message about him on Snapchat.
"He made an anti-gay post with a picture of me on it saying how he hated gays and a bunch of throwing up emojis all over it," he told Insider. "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.'"
Steffy, who added that he's been dealing with bullying since he came out in the seventh grade, said the classmate then tried to provoke him.
"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,'" Steffy recalled. "And then he said 'What are you going to do about it, f*ggot?' And that's when I was like 'No, I'm not doing this.'"
In the now viral video, Steffy tells the unidentified student to back up before the student calls him a homophobic slur. Steffy then shoves the purported bully before telling him to "not f*** with" him.
"I just got sick of it," he told Insider. "It's crazy the amount of hatred I received just for liking who I like and being me."
Unfazed, the student repeats the slur before a fight ensues seconds later.
As of Monday afternoon, Steffy's video has received more than 2.4 million views and close to 24,000 retweets. Many on Twitter praised him for sticking up for himself.
"Jordan I'm a retired teacher and judge of the juvenile court," one person wrote. "I don't hold with violence but I do hold with self-defense and I think you did a very very good thing. Maybe this youngster will think twice before trying to build himself up by being an idiot. Good for you!"
"Jordan, I am so proud of you," another person tweeted back. "I wish I had your courage when I was in school. You probably don’t even realize that you just spoke for so many kids that get bullied. You will see how many other kids you inspire to be themselves and stand up for themselves."
Steffy told Insider that he was sent to the principal's office and subsequently suspended. Though he admitted he regrets getting into a confrontation, he said he does not feel sorry for standing his ground.
"If I could take it back, personally, I would," he said. "But I'm glad I stood up for myself. If you were in my shoes, you'd probably get sick of it and you'd want to stand up for yourself."
In several follow-up tweets on Monday, the teenager thanked his followers for their support while encouraging others to use his incident as a lesson to be more tolerant and inclusive.
"I just want to say that people out there that are bullying the kid who call me the slur, it needs to stop all bullying needs to stop regardless people calling him things is no better than what he said to me I want all the hatred and negative comments to stop," Steffy tweeted. "Please love All!!"