Nobody wants to be gay. Nobody wants to be fat. Nobody wants to be too skinny, too short, too tall, too dark-skinned, too light-skinned, too covered in freckles,… too well, ANYTHING. Especially not children.
Unless you are my mom or a few of my close friends, most of you do not know I had an extremely rough Middle School experience. Not with parents and not with dating people. But with the children I attended school with. I was not overly fat, short(at the time), or gay. I had a pretty cool hair cut, had the semi-cool clothes. In fact, I had quite a few friends. However, all it took was for one girl to decide that they didn’t like me and the rest followed.
Now, in middle school, you take every single thing you hear as truth. You don’t know that the girl next to you is making up lies. You have no idea that this person has a personal agenda. You’re not taught that people are going to manipulate you at that young of an age. All you know is “stranger danger” and that you shouldn’t walk places alone, people who try to get you in your car are bad, pick up your dog’s poop, don’t kiss boys. Your thought process for breaking down situations outside of simple things, just simply aren’t there yet. Why would you questions? Why would she tell you if it wasn’t true?
So when little Sara M****** in the sixth grade decided to tell everyone I was sleeping with boys. That I had sex on a bathroom floor. That the only reason guys liked me was because I was one of the only girls who had boobs. Why would anyone disagree? At that age, you’re still listening to your parent’s. You KNOW you don’t know everything. So every single word she said, was gobbled up. Including, two of my very best friends who I had known since before kindergarten. Every single person, turned their back on me. They followed me around school yelling mean things at me, laughing at me, pointing at me. I was actually cornered and threatened to be beat up. Two of my best friends followed me home telling me that I should “just go kill myself, cause I’d be better off”. At one point it got so bad, that this “Sara” who had started the rumor, even refused to sit by me in the middle of class, in front of everyone. Thank God for the AMAZING teacher I had Mrs. Jarboe who attacked it and made her sit by me anyway.
Unfortunately, after a year of rumors they had spun off and went in every direction. I became dirty and people said I didn’t shower. I was poor and shopped at “Good Will” which was looked at as bad. Most girls hated me. I couldn’t understand where the rumors had come from and why everyone believed them. I couldn’t figure out why I was being picked on. I came home almost everyday and locked myself in my closet, or almost immediately went to bed. Ask my mom, I cried everyday.
At the young age of 13, I contemplated suicide for the first time.
I used to imagine jumping out the school bus window. I used to fantasize about hanging myself from rope lights, drowning myself in a bathtub, ect… until a little boy named Andrew came up and asked me about it. He said he was going to tell the counselor because I had mentioned something to him on the bus once. He was worried for me. He didn’t want me to die. In that moment… he was the first person to probably “save my life”.
Of course, as I grew up and realized you shouldn’t listen to everything that everyone says. Eventually High School hit and the rumors didn’t entirely transfer over. I was however, still teased and judged for how I looked and dressed. No matter how normal I was. I was still made fun of and definitely still ignored by a handful of girls. I learned at a pretty young age not to judge anyone and that “everyone has a story”. Cause I most certainly had mine and it was not what others thought it was!
That’s my small story. I wasn’t overly fat where I had a hard time walking. I wasn’t drooling out the side of my mouth. I hadn’t ACTUALLY had sex. I didn’t have a crazy hair cut, or bat crazy parent’s. I was actually a normal child. Could you imagine what I would have gone through if I had been all those others things that children will “deem” as horrible? What if I would have been gay? Would the relentless teasing have EVER stopped?
Unfortunately for most gay kids these days, the teasing does NOT stop. For the record, people do not CHOSE to be gay. Who would ever WANT to be gay? Why in this world, in this life time, in American especially would you want to be gay? And this is where people say, “that’s your private life, don’t share it”. But when it’s a part of who you are there’s no hiding it, unless we go back to the closet.
I know that the gay kids in my school, did not have it easy. Luckily for them, with 3000 other students, it’s much easier to meet friends. We also had a SLGB(Straight, Lesbian Gay, Bi Alliance) club. Where people who were gay, thought they were gay, had family members or friends who were gay, or people who just supported them, could meet up and hang out. They could support one another. However, the prom king, Andrew… yes the little boy who helped to save my life, was boo’d while on stage for being gay.
Worse thing is, the teasing doesn’t stop in High School. My current place of employment rumors fly around worse there than anywhere I’ve ever been and any school I’ve ever attended! I still get made fun of for the way I look and what I say. It’s because people don’t take action. Teachers turn their backs because of their own personal belief. Parent’s say it’ll pass and we as a whole, turn our backs once again. We chose to not take action for one reason or another,.. until death is knocking on our door step, normally of someone we might actually know.
PLEASE WATCH THIS, AND I HOPE THAT YOU REACT THE SAME WAY THAT I DID.
I can not believe the amount of people who let kids get away with this kind of teasing. It has never been okay and will never be okay to ridicule someone for their personal beliefs, the way they look or dress, ect. It will never be okay and it SHOULD never be okay. But if we has a generation/humans don’t take a stand, it will get worse. Myspace and facebook have already proved, time and time again that this IS getting worse and has no sign of stopping. The internet is now a main focus for kids where they can personally attack one another. Hate/negatively is exposed so young to kids that they just throw it right back out there. As my mother said, “good in, good out. bad in, bad out”.
All I am asking is for you to talk… talk to your family. Talk to your kids, your brother and your sisters, talk to your friends, talk to children, talk to their teachers and make it known that teasing of that nature is unacceptable for any reason. Take an active interest in your community and if anything, if/when you have kids, or if you already do, take the time to listen. Take the time to read what’s on their MySpace or Facebook. Take the time to realize the signs, before it is too late. All suicides have signs. Every single one of them. Especially at that young of an age.
Remember, teasing of that nature will scar and change someone for the rest of their life.