Yesterday I made an “It Gets Better Video” for the large company at which I work. Another friend and I got the project going several months ago, which culminated in our video shoot yesterday. We looked for others in our company who had stories to tell, and I recruited my employees for a video producer, assistant director and crew.
Lights were set up, cameras and microphones were put in place and several of us sat in front of the camera and told you how we have been in similar places to where you are today. We know the pain, and we know the anguish. We shared with you about our stories of survival. We shared about fulfilling lives that we each are grateful to be living today. Lives on the other side of the bullying experience. We want you to hear the message that it does and will get better.
My own story was about being a geeky over weight kid in junior high school who wore flamboyant 60 style clothing in a rural jeans and t shirt town. A kid whose sexual orientation was called out when the word “faggot” was etched into his locker for all the other, already hostile, kids to see. That word kept me silent for the next two years.
Not a single one of us left being in front of the camera with dry eyes. The pain was that fresh, and the feeling of wanting better for you was that intense.
In some ways, the times that we went through our bullying experiences were worse than now. No one was calling out bullying as an issue. For those of us who are LGBT, there were virtually no allies. Those things have gotten better. There are things that you have to endure that we did not, however. We were not in an environment of twitter, FaceBook and cyber bullying… and those things can make what you have to deal with so much harsher and constant. We are working to stop those things from getting to you, and you have to help us stop them from having an effect too.
There is a common denominator for all who are and have been bullied. Acceptance. In our stories yesterday most of us shared about the creation within ourselves of our own receptive self-bully. That bully is the most dangerous. He or she is the one that says that all the other bullies are right about us. Our self bully says that we actually deserve the abuse they are doling out. Yesterday, grown professional men shed tears of mourning over the still fresh wounds from those feelings that we had held at one point in our lives that we were not worthy to be here.
The bullies are wrong. All of them. The bully within is the most wrong and deluded of them all.
You are unique and beautiful and have a profound purpose here. I know that to be true. The men yesterday know that to be true. We need you to know it too. There is a quote from the Desiderata, “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” That quote is not just a nice saying for a greeting card. It is the Truth… and it is the truth about YOU.
There are many more stars than human beings. There are many more magnificent trees. They are each created uniquely, gloriously and magnificently. You were created with the same principles as they were. You have as much right to your place in this universe as our Sun, as the Earth, as the grandest redwood. Own that fact for yourself, today, now.
The only difference is…. When a star, or a redwood or another miracle of the universe is bullied, it doesn’t listen.
Neither should you.
It helps when you can surround yourself with others who believe in you. Instead of listening to those who don’t, find the ones who do. We are out here and as much as you are looking for us…we are looking for you.
Desiderata concludes with these words: “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy”
Please like our Facebook page here.
Pingback: Are You Feeling Some Homophobia-inspired PTSD After the Supreme Court Ruling? | evoL =
Rob, you did it again! Desiderata is one of the FINEST pieces of poetry ever (IMHO) and that passage is especially poinent for the use applied.
posting an audio presentation of this tonight on LEAP AUDIO.
[audio src="http://leapaudio.org/DesideratafortheBullied.mp3" /]
Wow… just wow. Thank you Mark!
Glad you approve.
to those who are just coming out or thinking of coming out or too scared to come outL
Yes, You have a right to be here. just like everyone else. though right now it sucks and hurts more than you can even say, I know because I’ve hurt that way too, but know..You will find your way.when you think all the doors are closed, they will open. We are here..searching for you. You are not alone though it feels like it and you feel desperate.
I am writing this to you and to myself at the same time. Rejection hurts, being ignored hurts. But there are people who care and who will not ignore you.
Big, big hug Tina. Well said
This is really beautifully written and unfortunately, for a very dear friend of a friend, all too timely. He took his own life, after deep depression that was precipitated by bullying. The man was an artist, musician and music producer. It didn’t happen here in the US, it happened in, what up until now, I would always have considered a more “civilized” country. The horrendous toll such wanton and casual cruelties inflict is staggering. I thought we’d be in a brave, new world. but I was wrong. I never experienced bullying, even though I had red hair, glasses and a violin case because I slugged back, and hard; then I made the bully pay. But that’s me. And that was then. Now, we’re not even supposed to be doing this. We’re supposed to be getting along and being enlightened, no? So, why are we still so damned hateful and ignorant? I found out about my friend’s friend the day after I saw the video that was made by the Democratic Party for the Same Sex Marriage Initiative (sorry, if I’m not quite accurate on the name.) I had already voted by Absentee Ballot, but I watched the video, then I hear from my friend in Europe the next day. I just can’t understand why people are so bothered by LGBT folks. I just don’t get it. Never have, never will. Anyway, this was a wonderfully written post; beautiful and poignant. Thank you.
Thank you for the kind words, and I have such sadness that we could not reach your friend. Bullying past and present has created a deep dark chasm, and it is going to take a lot of light from those who care to bring healing. I am willing to step up.
I feel the great loss over your friend, so sorry…
Let me clarify, Rob. My friend is alive; it is his friend that died. His friend that was bullied. I understand what you’re saying though. I try to keep an eye on all of my friends; I am bipolar and I tell everyone. I am straight up about that. I let people know, so if someone ever needs a hand, they can talk to me. My friend came to me and told me about his friend. It’s just so crushingly sad.
I’m am not gay, my sister is. We were both bullied for entirely different reasons. So were my children. It’s painful for any reason. My children never bullied. My sister became a bit of a bully but is finally, finally letting go of the pain enough to bring it to a halt. Life is hard almost everywhere we look. Slowly, ever too slowly, people are waking up. At least those that read. The rest, well, I wish them well. They will have to deal with the karma of ignorance. I will continue to read your posts and wish you every happiness.
Thank you. I’m looking forward to seeing the video. I made one just over two years ago. I used to get bullied terribly when I was at school, so I know what it’s all about.