LGBTQ youth face an alarming amount of bullying in schools today. In fact 9 out of 10 LGBTQ students reported being harassed and bullied last year.
In the new short film, BULLIED, famed NYC journalist Michael Musto introduces Frankie Cappello and tells his story of being a young boy in Little Italy, an Italian neighborhood in New York City, in the late 70s’ and early 80s’; a time when being different was even less accepted than it is today.
The film depicts a young victim of verbal and physical cruelty at the hands of his peers. Written and produced by Cappello and directed by Kathrine Narducci, audiences witness the horrifying kid-on-kid abuse that many school-aged children are forced to endure when their parents aren’t around the see.
“I was bullied as a kid and writing this short film forced me to relive one of the many traumatizing moments of my life,” Cappello explains. Today, he is a New York-based actor, writer, producer and director. “Fortunately, I survived the years of torment because I was somehow able to find strength from within. Not all kids are so strong, and they need to know there are people out there who can help.”
The current data is harrowing:
- Over one-third of LGBTQ students are physically assaulted at school.
- Approximately two-thirds of LGBTQ students reported being sexually harassed
- More than 30% reported missing at least a day of school in the past month out of fear for their personal safety.
- Gay teens are 8 times more likely to report having attempted suicide
The promising news is that LGBTQ students at schools with comprehensive policies on bullying are more likely to report harassment to school authorities who, in turn, are more likely to respond effectively. But not all schools have comprehensive policies on bullying and harassment. It falls on parents to safeguard their children.
“Parents must remain vigilant and ensure that their kids are not silent victims,” Cappello says. “They also need to see to it that their children are not the one’s terrorizing others.”
BULLIED: A True Story based on the Life of Frankie Cappello is currently touring film festivals across the USA. For more information, visit https://www.bulliedatruelifestory.com.