Thank you so much for sharing your posts
I can relate to the threat of being physically attacked. I think in every social confrontation, in the back of everyone's mind is "this could escalate to being physically attacked". Which possibly triggers a fight or flight response, leading to many not giving as good as they get in verbal exchanges etc. This in my opinion might give a green light to bullying... Then there are those who just beat up the vulnerable because they feel they can.
As a gay guy I can relate to a lot of what you have written. I was brought up in a time where being gay was the lowest of the low. My family had their views to a point, and then there was all the remarks from people in school etc. that we hear day in, day out... All of this sinks into our sub-consious, and becomes part of us, when we give ourselves labels of "gay" etc. Thing is everyone's perception and views are different. These labels don't define us, we are unique, suddenly being gay etc. doesn't change the person we are, just possibly the perception we have of ourselves. At the age of 20, the best thing I ever did was take up Sport Karate. I only trained for about 6 months, but those 6 months transformed me for life, for the better. If I had my time again, but in the present day I would take up Mixed Martial Arts. It's a much better way and more effective way to learn Self Defence. You don't have to go full contact (Sport Karate was only ever light contact), but you learn a lot from light contact sparring, and you also learn all those submission holds etc. It is a far more effective way to keep yourself safe, and free from harm, and takes the fear out of confrontations. I highly recommend it, it's literally life changing. Hope this helps, and it would be great if you could share more. Love, Peace and Respect to you