Bruno Tonioli
Bullying Survivor
Male | Los Angeles, CA   United States
Bullied for his sexuality
Bullying Type: Physical / Emotional
Posted By: program
1/14/13 10:10 AM
4.0 star rating
652,271 votes
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As a youngster, growing up in Ferrara, a small Catholic town in north eastern Italy, he was taunted, bullied and even attacked because of his homosexuality. He soon learned to use his quick wit to stave off his persecutors.

"When I was 10, I knew there was something different about me," says Bruno. "Everyone was football-mad but I just wanted to watch musicals and see art.

"It was frightening. I really WAS the only gay in the village. I was labelled 'the queenie guy' and 'the queer', which was the worst thing you could be told in Italy in those days.

"I always danced very well, so the great-looking girls would dance around me. One night a bunch of lads got jealous about this. They shouted, 'You poofter!' and chased me from the club with a broken bottle, then pinned me up against a wall. I eventually chatted myself out of it with wit and imagination - but I was very lucky.

"When people feel threatened by you, they find something that is belittling. I was a pretty boy - maybe they fancied me and were afraid of their own feelings.

"I realised I had to reinvent myself. So I grew my hair, started smoking, always wore the latest gear and had the best-looking girls as my friends. I turned it to my advantage and became very popular, just by doing an act. So bullies no longer had any reason to attack me.

"Instead of being an object of derision, I was able to become an object of admiration."

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Posted By: LAwerk | 1/14/13 3:11 PM
Im a huge DWTS fan and he is so funny I love him!
Posted By: Egon3 | 1/15/13 2:59 PM
I wish the world would wake up already and realize that gays have been around since the beginning of time so get over it and stop acting like they are evil people that wish you harm. Bruno is a delightful man and its such a shame to hear about how he was treated growing up.
Story Details

Name: Bruno Tonioli
Age: 66
Country: United States
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Gender: Male
Zodiac Sign: N/A
Maiden Name: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Profession: Other
Education level: N/A
University: N/A
Ethnicity: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Tattoos: No

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