Today was National Coming Out Day, which got me thinking about all the people who struggle with this on a daily basis. Some choose to keep their truth from everyone because they fear not being accepted, being disowned by their families, and worse. In some cases, the fear of what could happen is much worse than what actually does happen but in other cases the uneasiness is warranted. I have always felt that every person has to be able to tell their story in their own time. We cannot choose when, where, or why they should no matter how much we care about them.
I have also been reading and watching a lot about Amanda Todd, a young woman who committed suicide because she was being bullied online. Bullying happens for many reasons, none of which are valid in my opinion. We will be participating in Spirit Day on October 19th, which is a day we stand up against bullying and stand beside LGBT youth. In my opinion, we should do this everyday so that tragedies like Amanda Todd’s suicide could be prevented. Amanda was not gay but she was a victim of relentless torture because of something she did that people felt was wrong and would not let her forget.
Since when did we become such a heartless, unforgiving society? Why is it that in this day and age of easy access to information and enlightenment, we cannot see the hurt and damage we cause by what we say and do to and about others? The Internet is such an awesome tool but it can also be a horrific weapon.
I would love to get a discussion going on this post in the comments section where people could offer help to those in need so we may prevent some of the pain and stop people from feeling so alone in this. Maybe we could create a place where people would actually feel comfortable to come and share their stories? Perhaps others who can offer help might read their words and a connection could be made? Is this too lofty of an idea? I am not an expert but I am someone who has endured my share of bullying and I know that being heard and not feeling completely alone will help some who are going through these things in silence. Whether you are struggling with coming out, bullying, or any other situation that has you feeling like an outsider, it can help to put your feelings into words.
I would like you to watch the video of Amanda Todd, and just imagine how alone she felt. Had someone, anyone, reached out to her, perhaps she may have felt she could overcome her issues instead of feeling so alone, so isolated, and so humiliated that she decided ending her life was the only answer. Even after this young woman took her last breath, the cruel individual continued to post online about her. Is this what we have come to?
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