Monday, October 24, 2011

Spirit Day

A few days ago I participated in Spirit Day. It's a day set aside to encourage people to prevent bullying, particularly of GLBT youth. That's Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Trans-gendered, in case you're not familiar with the terminology.

I know from my days working in the mental health field that GLBT youth have a suicide rate six times that of other kids their age.That's something it seems we should take note of.

Having been the victim of unkind words and deeds in school - what we now call "bullying" - I know the pain of it. And yet, although I'm not proud of it, I have inflicted pain on others at times. It seems we are driven to find a pecking order. Those who are often at the bottom of it grasp at any opportunity to be just one rung up the ladder. I'm sorry to say I've been that person. Pitiful, really, but true.

I never witnessed - or participated - in this particular brand of harassment. However, everyone I know who's gay has felt it at one time or another. I will defer to their experience. I can certainly tell you fat people are scorned - even as adults, much less as kids.

Why anyone would care who someone else is having sex with is beyond me. Unless I'm having sex with you, as long as you're engaged in consensual acts between adults, it isn't any of my business. People seem threatened by these things, which is difficult for me to wrap my mind around. Just because that girl likes other girls, I can still like boys. No one is going to force me to like girls instead of boys. There is no threat.

Spirit Day is one opportunity to be visible in the community - to be a voice - to be a person - saying, "Hey, do better than I did. Please. Please, do better." Lets make a world where no one has to be on the bottom rung of the ladder.

One version of utopia.

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Anonymous said...

So true about being bullied. I guess we just called it being teased back in the 1940's. I was
"teased" about being skinny, having bird legs, probably no red blood etc. etc. all through school. Had a wonderful mother who told me, "Just laugh and they'll quit." Very hard to do but it worked. Bullies get tired when there is no response. Not everyone can do that and I realize today's bullying is much more severe.

Patsy Terrell said...

Things seem intense today, for sure. The tools I love and use every day - like Facebook - can be weapons in bullying, too.