It Gets Better!!

As I am sure many of you have heard by now, the 5th suicide in less than 3 weeks and the 4th death in just this week is being reported. They are mostly the victim of gay bullying. It’s going on every day in schools and even inside homes. School officials don’t do anything to stop or prevent it, no matter how many times students or parents complain. Some families don’t know when to stop and some are against homo-sexuality so they give them a hard time if they think or know someone in their family may/is gay.

In High School I had a longtime friend who was secretly gay. I had known him for 10 years and never once did I suspect he was so I was surprised when he opened up to me about it. He has a twin brother who was on the basketball team, masculine and a ladies man. So he tried to be more like his brother. He was confused about his sexuality and tried to fight it. He had girlfriends and pretended to be a macho man, he was running away from himself and he had so many faces to cover up who he is that he started to forget who he was.

He had confided in someone he thought was close to him to only be betrayed and rumors started to swirl that he was gay. People started to talk about him, make fun of him and his brothers teammates would laugh and make jokes about his brother. The look on his face everyday was heartbreaking, he fought hard against himself and put in his head that he isn’t gay. One time he came to school with a black eye. I thought maybe him and his brother fought about whats going on but instead I found out it was from his father.

Ever since I’ve known my friend I knew his father to be very strict. So a part of me wasn’t surprised. The first question I asked him when he told me he was gay was “how would you ever tell your father?” he told me “I will never be able to.”. So when he told me his father found him in the basement kissing a guy I cringed because I couldn’t even imagine his father’s reaction. Just imagine a father seeing his son kissing another man, when he realizes you aren’t what he believes you should be or how a man should be.

Then he started to tell me that he isn’t gay, he thought he was and that maybe he was just curious. I knew he wasn’t being true to himself. His father cut him of, refused to speak him and surprisingly his brother was supportive of him, upset but nonetheless he was there for his twin  regardless of his beliefs. A few months later we graduated HS we still kept in touch but he went away to college. I knew him going away will be the best thing for him. I hoped that this will give him a chance to find himself and meet new people and introduce them to who he really is not someone who he has to hide from. My friend still doesn’t admit he’s gay. I went shopping with him a year ago and he couldn’t hold it in when his gay radar went off and saw a cutie in Soho.I helped get him his number and we didn’t need to speak about it. I don’t need to ask him any questions, I just need to be there for him when he needs and wants to talk about it.

If you are a victim of gay bullying please speak up. Don’t repress anything, it’s only going to make it all worse. If your school isn’t doing anything than tell your parents to go to the Board of Education. If your parents ignore how you feel and tell you “just ignore the kids making fun of you and it will go away‘ then go to a guidance counselor in your school, again PLEASE SPEAK UP! Don’t be ashamed if you are gay, embrace it.  This is who you are, be proud of it. No matter what society or your peers tell you.  This should only make you stronger and realize that you are the future. You are a human being just like everyone else, what makes your relationship different from a straight couple? NOTHING! Love is love.

Sometimes people just want to know someone is there to listen. Be there for that person. If you are the bully, then you need to work on yourself before hurting someone else. I always say hurt people hurt people. Making fun of someone because of their looks, weight, race or preference is not right. You can never put yourself in their shoes unless you actually walk a mile in them. So try to understand how hard it must be, you never know what someone is going through.

I used to go to school with a smile while feeling broken inside. I was going through hell with my surgeries, nurses coming to my home every day to treat my wound, being in pain while sitting down for the duration of the class, my father not being there, my mother not being there emotionally and so much more. No one knew, sometimes I’d get mean comments and I used to go to the bathroom and cry. Other times I used to be the one making the comments to someone else, I always knew it wasn’t right but I was a follower. I wanted to fit in and I never wanted to be the victim. For instance there was a girl in my JHS her name is Dawn. She used to constantly be made fun of, I confused her because at times I would be laughing at her while she was getting bullied and other times I was comforting her. Then I got into drama with a group of mean girls that made my life hell during the 8th grade, throwing stuff at me while I would walk home, try to fight me and kick me in my back knowing that’s where I was having surgeries and getting everyone to rally against me making me feel ugly and an outcast and leaving threatening phone messages in my house. I went to a really small private school, only 300 students. I was always in between, always fighting against what is wrong and whats right. My mother would always tell me ‘just ignore‘ and I did. Eventually it all went away, I never gave them fuel for their fire. At our 8th grade graduation I received a Humanitarian Award and while walking up to the podium  to receive my ward they booed me. A few years ago I saw them and they apologized to me, I forgave them and we keep in touch to this day. So I knew how it felt to be bullied and I knew what it is like not to be bullied. It isn’t fair and the school doesn’t do anything to stop or prevent it. Parents and teachers just tell us to ignore, we can ignore their actions but we can’t ignore our feelings. Kids can be cruel and they aren’t like that by nature, they act out because of insecurities and things they may be going through at home. They attack the weak, it’s easy to attack the boy that happens to be gay, the girl who has acne, the chubby boy, the nerd or the big girl but it’s also easy to attack the predator because they are weak too but they are protecting themselves, they have walls up so they won’t continue to feel hurt. That’s why I say ‘HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE’.

Be kind to unkind people they need it the most. If you see someone that is being bullied or looks depressed all the time at school, reach out to them and talk to them.  If you are gay don’t allow them to break you or make you feel as if its wrong for you to be born this way. You are an equal just like them, you are allowed to love whomever you choose just like any one else. If you are being bullied for how you look, your weight, your race or whatever else it may be just remember where you come from and be proud of it. Keep in mind that it all fades, the comments and the bullies they all fade away and they are only going to make you stronger. But don’t allow them to get away with it, speak up! Make your voice be heard in your school not only will you help yourself you will be helping a lot others that are too scared to speak and even the kids that are being the bullies. Make a difference, don’t harm yourself or retaliate. Use this negative and turn it into positive, be a leader  and you’ll be surprised with who will march along with you. It gets better!  Sometimes the victim isn’t the one that needs to be saved, the predators are better at hiding and attacking when they sense weakness because being weak is what they are afraid of.

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