Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Focus On Bullying

I'm blogging today for all of the kids who are being bullied. Not just the kids who are bullied for being gay, but those being bullied for ANY reason. The bullying crisis is finally getting attention, but the attention is specifically on the bullying of gay teens because of the publicity the recent suicides of gay teens is getting (one of them never came out as being gay, but he's still lumped in there). I'm glad there is a focus on the gay aspect, there absolutely needs to be more acceptance and tolerance. However, I feel as if the rest of the kids/teens being bullied just as badly for other reasons, are being forgotten about. They deserve people to fight for them too. The kids who are bullied because they aren't cool, because they dress funny, because they aren't as attractive as their peers feel they should be, because they are shy, because they aren't an acceptable color, etc. etc. etc. They ALL deserve to have someone fight for them too. How can a change truly be made when we're all preaching the acceptance of only one group?

Teen suicide is not new. Teen bullying is not new. Bullying to the degree that it is now, was even happening 10+ years ago. I lived it. Back then cyber-bullying wasn't even a crime, it didn't even have that name. Death threats I received via AIM were dismissed by the police without a second thought. I am so grateful that this terrible, often criminal bullying is finally getting public attention. However, it needs to have focus on all of it, not just 1 group being bullied. The straight girl who is dragged into the school bathroom by a group of girls and sexually assaulted just to humiliate her or the straight boy who is beat nearly unconscious just because he dresses different. Do they not deserve the same support and outrage for what is happening to them as the gay teens are receiving? They absolutely do.

We need to stop making them feel alone! So many of these teens already feel alone and now they are still not getting the support for their situation because they aren't gay. How is this any better than what people have done to the gay kids? It's not. The kids and teens who are suffering right now need our support. Every one of them. Not just one group of them. They ALL need to know that we will fight for them, they ALL need to know that we want to make a change and they ALL need to know that people care about them. Now is the time to give the support and fight for them all. They deserve what I did not have when I was in their place years ago.

To every one of you who feel alone right now, who feel like it's not worth going on, who feel like things will never get better... It WILL get better. I will fight for you. I love you. I was in that place as a teen. I went through it all during middle school and highschool. My schools had stuff who turned a blind eye to it and when my parents confronted the school it made everything worse. There are many things that happened to me that my parents never knew about because I knew I couldn't tell them or it'd get worse. I was dragged into bathrooms by girls and sexually assaulted to be humiliated. I was pushed down stairs. I had my hair pulled. I was spit at. I was called horrible things. I had rumors spread about me regularly that had no truth to them. I was kicked and punched. I was threatened on the internet. My highschool boyfriend and I even had a web page dedicated to us. I could go on, but I think you get the point. There were so many times I had wished I was dead. There were many times I seriously contemplated suicide because I thought it would never get better. The bullying and harassment was so bad that my parents pulled me out of school.

The day I signed out, a couple of the staff told me "Maybe if you tried to fit in a little, things wouldn't have been so bad." Thank You Mr. Brian S. Bentley and Ms. (Mrs?) Michelle Letendre, who are STILL part of the administration there at Diman Regional Vocational Technical Highschool, for making me do it on my own, because I just didn't try hard enough to fit in. You turned a blind eye because the popular students that bullied me were.. well.. popular. You let many of us be tortured. That's okay though. I went on to get my diploma, I've gone on to make the life I've always wanted for myself. I have used my experiences to make me a stronger, better and more compassionate person. I love who I am today and I'm in a much better place than a majority of the people who made my life so bad back then. Perhaps you should look back at all of the things you have let happen to students in your school and lets those things make you more compassionate people.

I am living proof that it gets better. What some of you are going through is not what your life will always be! You will go on and do great things. I found the strength somewhere and you can too. I'm so glad to be here and to watch my children grow. I'm so glad to be here to experience life. I'm so glad to be here to see it. You need to be here to see and experience all of the great things you have in store, whatever they may be. I want you to be here for it. It gets better.

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