Archive for October, 2010

In Support of the Prevention of Teen Bullying

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2010 by stevelifecoach

I had nothing purple to wear.

I’d checked my whole wardrobe and even the accessories, but I had nothing. Perhaps it was for the best, because, let’s face it, I am not one to do what everyone else is doing, so why start now? But also I have never believed in empty symbolic gestures. A gesture is fine if it is also backed up by action, but how many of us will now take an active part in preventing bullying of gay teenagers and how many really care? How many can recognize it when they see it? How many know how to react or what steps to take if they do witness it?

I grew up gay, but this is not what I was harassed or bullied for. I was just weird, silent, with odd habits and obsessions. I did not know how to make conversation or how to make friends. Most of the time, I didn’t bother, which then made it all my own fault, because I was obviously just unfriendly. I knew other kids my age who were probably gay and they had a circle of friends. They may have been harassed and bullied, but they had one or two good friends to turn to for support. I had no one, except maybe my sister who had enough problems of her own to deal with.

I was extremely lonely by high school. I wanted to die every day for most of my teen years. My teachers thought I was very bright, just lazy. As long as I was smart there was nothing wrong with me. I blamed myself for my isolation; there certainly must have been something wrong with me, but I didn’t know what it was and whatever it was, it was my fault for not being able to deal with it. When I became an adult and after I came out as gay, I thought it was supposed to “get better,” but it didn’t. I was happily out and gay, but I was still lonely, I could not develop friendships, and I was still bullied and easily intimidated, but now by coworkers instead of other students. I did not find out until many years later that I had an undiagnosed form of autism.

What we need to remember is that no one should be bullied harassed, exploited, or beaten due to being different in any way. All of us are different and if not, we should strive to be something apart, to be proud of our individuality. We should be proud of the unique qualities that make each one of us who we are and we should be proud to know others who are of an age, or race, or religion, or sexual orientation, etc. that is different from our own, because that is one way we learn and grow. We learn by experiencing the differences in other people. It does get better. Life gets better, if we want it to, but only if we are true to ourselves and only if we can proudly tell others just who we are.