Im a casualty of love.
This is the last post by Jamie Hubley on his blog. Jamie was a 15 year old Canadian who committed suicide after being bullied at school about his sexuality. This is just a week after Jamey Rodemeyer also committed suicide after being bullied.
Before I start I can honestly say that this actually affected me in a very profound way. It took me nearly 2 hours to place all my thoughts down as I walked the fine line between rage and writing. Because I felt a personal sympathy as I was on the causative side of these kinds of feelings when I was in school myself. And looking back at when I was just a kid with more hair than common sense, this is the one thing about myself I am genuinely ashamed of. I would love to start up some sort of Agony Service for bullied kids. Just an IM service or a Skype line so that kids can call up volunteers across the globe and speak to someone who would just listen to them. Maybe even something as simple as an email system where we can respond to such people. Maybe give them a bit of hope to hang in there till it does get better. This was just a kid who wanted someone to talk to, someone who may have given him the hope he needed to go on.
We can talk about how “It Get’s Better” and how we ourselves rose above the bullies. How we learnt and grew from all of that. But it doesn’t help kids who are being bullied right now.
We are adults, we all are responsible for this. It won’t get better unless we make it better ourselves. We cannot simply expect the gay kid, the kid who isn’t like the others and the nerds to put up with this kind of nonsense. We cannot expect them to simply keep fighting while we cheer from the side lines. It’s time we acted like adults.
We have to stop bullying now. All of it. It’s hard, bullying is the natural state of any group of people. But at least we can try and curtail the excess of it. Kids don’t learn homophobia from other kids, they learn it from parents. Our society is filled with racism, homophobia and hate so kids learn that and take that with them to the schools where they just apply our behaviour to their peers.
Be it racism, sexism or homophobia. All bullying is wrong. We shouldn’t tolerate it, we should stop it and we should stop it now. It does get better, it really does. But it would get better a lot faster if we did something about it ourselves.
I do feel that we as adults should reach out to kids who suffer from bullying. That we ourselves can use our experience to fight bullying on all fronts, from adult life to schools.
For me school was some of the best days of my life, but I know I was responsible for some level of bullying of kids for their perceived sexual preference. For me school was some of the happiest days of my life to the point I never understood why no one would ever hate school. But for some kids it’s the worst possibl
e place on earth, and we need to start changing that. It’s not something that can happen overnight, it’s something that takes time and effort but we have to start right now.
Enough is enough, we need to take responsibility.