Today is now called Spirit Day
It’s a day to show support for LGBT kids who are bullied and to try to call attention to the “recent rash” of suicides among young children/teens because they are being bullied for either being gay or being perceived to be gay.
I support the idea of calling attention to this. It is disgusting. It is horrible that kids are this mean to each other. I wonder where all these people who are so “concerned” now were before, because bullying isn’t new. It isn’t a fad.
As someone who was relentlessly picked on by the “popular” kids from about 5th grade until either my Senior year or graduation, I wonder where these people were when I didn’t want to go to school (and some times just didn’t) because I was sick of people picking on me. I was basically told by several people that if I would be more “normal,” the “popular” kids would accept me and life would be grand. But I didn’t want them to accept me, I thought they were total shit heads. I just wanted them to leave me the hell alone. Yeah, I was shorter than almost everyone. So I didn’t ask to be short. And yeah I didn’t have the “right” clothes because what freakin 5th grader needs designer jeans? Or 150 dollar shoes? Or why does it matter if I don’t like the same things as you? But what went on with me was “just” kids being kids.
I like to think this awareness campaign is a lot of people my age, who got sick of being told to “be normal” and “just ignore it, it will go away,” realizing that hey, we’re the grown ups now, we get to make the rules and some other child or teen will not have to go through this on our watch. I look around at the celebrities coming out against this, Lady Gaga, Eve, Adam Lambert, Sarah Silverman, Ke$ha, etc and I realize that age wise these people are my peer group. We are the grown ups now. We’re the adults. We get to “make the rules,” and set the pace and we’ve decided this is NOT OKAY.
The other reason I am so fired up about this is I hate the stigma of being a “suicide survivor.” I lost a very good friend and a huge part of my heart to suicide a couple of years ago and you know what is the worst? When people look at you like you’re a freak because of that, or when people just won’t let you talk about it, because yeah it’s uncomfortable. If it’s uncomfortable for you to hear about, how do you think someone who lost someone that way feels? How do you think it feels? I know people don’t always know the right things to say but sometimes you just have to listen. There is no shame in knowing someone who chose to take their own life. It isn’t your fault and you have every right to be angry, to be hurt, to be sad.
And I want any one to know that if they are considering something so drastic as to end their own lives, wait. Listen, I don’t even know you and I love you. I will listen to you. I will hug you and take you for coffee/ice cream/lemonade and I will listen to you. If it isn’t me, I promise you there is someone out there who will. Take a deep breath my tiny darlings and realize that the whole world is out there for you. I am living breathing proof that the bullying stops, it gets better. And the people picking on you? They may even apologize to you later in life. It’s happened to me. Stand up, stand proud and realize that you are so freakin’ amazing just the way you are, and that when you get older, people are going to fall all over themselves to know you. We “freaks” know this about each other. We stick together.
It’s hard and it sucks to be a teenager. But when it’s over and you survive it all, guess what? You get to lead your life the way you want. You get to make the rules.
Even now, YOU define who you are. Seriously mother eff any one who tells you that’s wrong. You are more than ONE thing. You are not just gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans-gendered, short, black, white, Asian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, etc. You are artists, you are scientists waiting to happen, you are musicians, you are soon to be famous actors and directors, you are writers, you are future cops, firefighters, politicians. You are what’s next. I am standing up for you now, because I need someone to run the world when I’m done. You’re what is next, just hang in there. Just make it. Just know that this world is YOURS next and we need you and we love you.