Irish YouTube star Riyadh made a video in which he calls one of the boys who harassed him at school for being gay – because of the way he talked and dressed.
He explained: “I thought I would be a guinea pig,to show that after time passes, your bullies end up being just normal people. They’re not evil, it’s not some scar that should remain there forever. I want to find out why he did what he did.
Speaking to the former bully, he recounts: “I would remember being at the locker, and you and a few of the lads would walk by together, and I would hear stuff said about me.
The usual names – faggot, queer, poof. I think I just laughed it off and walked away. I became the class clown in school… that was my defence, it was my escape.
Riyadh replied: “It was laughing about something that was so central to who I was and who I was becoming. I stayed in the closet for four years beyond when I realised – because I was afraid of reactions from you, the boys and a few others.”
The bully continued: “If someone said to me, like, ‘oh you’re gay’… it wouldn’t have been a second thought to me, whereas it was more relevant to you – that was obviously a lot harder.
“You’re going to find something about them, and you’re just going to pick up on that. We slagged you off for being gay , but there could have been someone else, where you’d go ‘he has stupid hair’.