Saturday, October 16, 2010

It Gets Better

Reacting to a rash of suicides committed by gay teenagers in America who were bullied, a Fort Worth, Texas, city councilman Joel Burns delivered an emotional address.

It is NEVER right to bully. I was on the receiving end of bullying for years because I grew up in a poor family. I was called ugly, they laughed at my clothes, they laughed at my hair, and I would sometimes be chased home from school by girls who would beat me up when they caught me. One time I was sitting in music class and a girl sitting behind me put gum in my hair. Another time I was walking home from school and someone hit me in the face with a snow ball that contained a big rock. The person who threw it called me a pig. The taunts were ever present.

Eventually I grew up and my life changed. It does get better but it can be difficult to imagine that your life won't always be a living nightmare when you are going through it.

To be honest, I never really thought much about homosexuality for years. It just never seemed a pressing issue to me. Then a few years back I began hearing young people say "That's so gay." or "You're acting gay."

What does that mean exactly? I was told that was like saying "You're lame" or "That's retarded" None of these phrases should ever be used, not gay, not lame, not retarded. I've got an idea. If someone does something stupid say, "That was so stupid" or "You're acting dumb".

While I never allowed kids to say the whole, "You're so gay" comment in my classroom, it never really touched me until my nephew came out to us. Then I put a real face to what this really meant. It was not just the wrong thing to say I really began to say to myself, I'd hate for someone to say this about my nephew.

Please, if you use anti-gay terms STOP! Be the example for your kids. Let it begin with you. Let change begin with you.

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