Monday, October 11

Beyound the Bullies

There has been a lot of talk on a national scale the last few weeks about bulling. With the advent of the Internet bulling has become this thing that doesn't just exist in school or on the walk home, thanks to twitter, Facebook and other social media, its something that can be now be shared with a world wide audience. When a kid, any kid, that is struggling to find out who they are suddenly finds themselves the butt of an international joke, I can see how they would feel desperate.

I was taunted while I was in school. I wouldn't really go so far as to say that I was bullied, because I never really felt physically threatened. I was an outsider because I always identified more with adults than I did with kids my own age. I liked watching the news and reading about politics. I knew all the answers in history class, could read a novel in one day and I spent a lot of my free time playing with orchestras. All of that is stuff that doesn't earn you a lot of friends in the school yard, but I was never completely alone. I had friends who were just as freakish in one way or another as I was. We were all picked on in equal measure for various reasons so I never felt like I was being especially singled out, but I had friends who did take it personally and still hold a lot of the emotional scares from it.

Any time a person is bullied its wrong and horrible. When it comes to gay youth, however, our society has so many institutionalized anti-gay policies that reinforces the idea in bullies' heads that it's okay to treat gay people as if they are worth less than straight people and their mistreatment is somehow justified. It's everything from gay men not being allowed to donate blood, to gay men and women not being allowed to serve openly in the military, to gay marriage not being recognized nationwide to gay adults not being able to adopt nationwide. Congress has even battled for years to exclude attacks against gay people as hate crimes. Main stream religions all voice an anti-gay worldview. Institutional Christianity requires that LGBT people loathe themselves and their sexuality as the minimum price for admission to the Feast. Most LGBTs shook the dust of the Church off their feet a long time ago. That there are still any openly gay Christians at all is testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit.

With the recent up swing in LGBT kids being bullied to death, Dan Savage has launched the It Gets Better Project on Youtube to let LGBT kids know that there is life for them once they leave high school. So many of the videos are really inspiring. It's important that anyone who is a victim of bullying for any reason realize that ending one's life is not the answer. There is so much to live for and to experience and to give up before you ever really get started is a horrible waste. Discovering who you are is a beautiful thing and you can find a community and a family that is going to love you for you and you will be able to thrive. It's worth going through the hard times and the truly bad moments to experience that.


The Bug said...

LOVE love love this! My facebook status today was that I was coming out for my gay friends... Might have to post this video too.

Katy said...

Now I wish I had a facebook status! I really hope I live to see the day when we don't need a National Coming Out day.

Robin said...

Wow, incrediblely good. Wish this could run as a trailer at movies or on MTV or whatever kids are watching or commercials or at churches.

Land of shimp said...

This was a lovely post, Katy. I'm aware of the campaign, and think it is a wonderful thing. I hope it helps many GLBT people.

Thanks for putting it out there :-) Acceptance and love is actually what I remember from the teachings of Christ. It's been a while, of course, but I do remember that being pretty much the defining aspect of a man often referred to as the Prince of Peace.