I’d imagine it must be painful for a parent to have to impart to their children those familiar words, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”
I was certainly skeptical.
Long before summoning the courage to come out to my parents at age 21, I had known that I was different from other kids in elementary school. I instinctively knew that I shouldn’t express my admiration for the exemplary physiques of Batman or Tarzan. So it was for many years – all the way through high school – that, while feeling no sticks and stones of any consequence, plenty of names hurt me and none moreso than those flung at me by my elementary school head teacher/principal. I attribute his monstrous bullying and physical abuse with setting the stage for all kinds of acting out behaviour detailed in other parts of this blog.
It is difficult to imagine that a man with such responsibility would have a place in today’s schools. To that extent, IT GETS BETTER.
Perhaps because we’ve applied ourselves to studying more diligently, or are just naturally gifted, it has been my observation that lgbt kids are smarter than average. There’s something to be said for being a nerd! I know, because I remember, that as a teen it seems like the freedom of adulthood will never arrive. It will, and IT GETS BETTER.
Almost without exception nowadays, schools have a zero tolerance policy for bullying. Use that for all it’s worth. You have a right to being safe in school. The same goes for the internet.
I won’t lie to you. What your parents have probably called “the best years of your life” (I know mine did) will seem unbearable at times. Just remember that things have come a long way in terms of lgbt rights and acceptance since I, or your parents, were in school. Hang in there, IT GETS BETTER.
I’m going to close with three of my favourite messages from the YouTube “It Gets Better” campaign.
Episcopal Bishop Eugene Robinsom
Fort Worth, Texas Councilman Joel Burns
New York City Gay Men’s Chorus