When I was younger, I was bullied by the kids in school. I was called names because I was a fat kid. In junior high and high school, for the same. But I was tormented mentally by those who called themselves “friend.” I was a doormat. I let it happen. I didn’t have any place where I could fit in, so I joined up to a certain set of girls, who were the bane of my existence, from eighth grade until the end of my first semester as a freshman in college. Only one girl I met in high school was cool.
In college, I was trying to figure out who I was, and where I needed to be. I found a home in the theatre department at my college. I jumped in with both feet. I went to class, I worked my tail off for shows, and I played. I had roommates and had TONS of friends.
But I was still lonely and depressed. I still hadn’t shaken off the previous 18 years of crap that I’d gotten. All the fun that I was having was great, but I still didn’t fit. But it didn’t matter at that point. I had enough people around me who made me feel good about myself to help me out.
I got through all that mess. I survived it. I learned from it. I figured out that I have to get rid of the “doormat” label, and stand up for myself, and let people know how they need to treat me.
But not everyone gets the chance to survive.
Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14 year old boy from Buffalo, NY, couldn’t take the homophobic, anti-gay bullying he had been experiencing anymore. He took his own life to escape his pain.
(read the story here) http://www.buffalonews.com/city/schools/article563538.ece
Jamey was one of Lady Gaga’s nearly 14 million “Little Monsters” on Twitter. In fact, his last tweet was dedicated to her.
He had also made a “It Gets Better” video for the Trevor Project. (watch video here) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/jamey-rodemeyer-bullied-teen-who-made-it-gets-better-video-commits-suicide/2011/09/21/gIQAVVzxkK_blog.html
Over the next 24 hours, the Monsters shut down their usual shenanigans and banded together to mourn for a member of the online family. Monsters took pledges to no longer take part in any bullying activities, some decided to stand up for themselves. Millions of these fans helped to make #MakeALawForJamey a top 10 Trending Topic on Twitter. Many of these fans are under the age of 18, not legal to vote. But they were expressing their need to be heard by those in charge.
Lady Gaga tweeted about her anger and sadness about the situation, and had promised to get some sort of change made that will protect our kids.
In the meantime, Little Monster Twitter drama is starting to resume, but with a bit less hostility. It may not last long, but we’ll all have Jamey in the back of our minds, reminding us to be gentler with each other.
It’s so very sad that it took such a tragic event to get the Monsters to band together the way they did, and to focus attention on a young boy who was crying out for help. I pray that Jamey’s death won’t have been in vain.
I want anyone who reads this, any one of any age to know, that while there ARE ups and downs that may show up when you least expect them, but it DOES get better.
(“”)(“”) Paws Up Forever, Jamey.
We’re on the edge with you.