The other day I stumbled across this at work:
This was in response to a comment that said, "This is not at all funny. Bullying is not something to joke about." "This" was a post on iwastesomuchtime.com that said, "It's ironic that Glee is doing an episode on teen bullying since the reason I bully you is because you watch Glee."
Last year, America was rocked by LGBT suicides at the beginning of the year- Tyler Clementi, Justin Aaberg, Billy Lucas, Asher Brown. As someone who was just beginning to come to terms with my sexuality, these suicides hit me hard. This past September, 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer committed suicide because he was being bullied at school for his sexual orientation. My world was shattered. So many people had done so much to try to prevent suicides throughout the past year, I thought- why won't it stop? Why can't we give our children enough hope?
When I saw the above response about bullying, I was stunned. Of course I knew that there are people out there who don't care about the problem of bullying. But was I consciously aware of people who promote bullying and think it's a positive experience in life? Did I know there are people out there who think and publicly (if anonymously) say, that if someone commits suicide, it's a good thing? No, I was not aware. No, I did not know.
I don't know who this commenter is. I don't know where they grew up, who their parents are, what their life is like. But after the shock that came with seeing what they wrote , after the anger that emerged when I realized how unfeeling this person must be, after the sadness that I felt at knowing that there are many others like this in the world- after all that, came pity. For various reasons- because this person was bullied throughout their life, because this person thinks that bullying is the only way to raise a child to live in this world, because this person thinks that being strong is only a result of being bullied.
Bullying is not the answer- not for parents, not for peers, not for teachers. Not for anyone. Especially not for its victims. Bullying leads to depression and suicide- not just for LGBT youth, but for any human being. So be careful the next time you open your mouth to say a disparaging remark to someone- from “Four-eyes” or “Fag,” to “Dork” or “Dyke."
National Suicide Prevention Hotline- 1-800-273-TALK
The Trevor Project- 866-4-U-TREVOR
Depression Hotline- 1-630-482-9696