Bullying is an epidemic. Everyday, thousands upon thousands of people are bullied for their race, gender, creed and sexual orientation. Bullying has driven thousands upon thousands of people to self harm and suicide. What are we going to do about this epidemic?
I myself have recently been the victim of bullying. About a month ago, I came out to the world as transgender. This was not an easy step to make. I spent weeks prior agonizing on how I was going to come out to my dad, to my siblings and to my friends. Fortunately, I have the most amazing father who accepts me and my transition fully. My brother Christopher and his wife Michelle have also been very supportive. And, I can’t say enough about how my friends have rallied around me and been there as amazing supports.
However, not everything about my transition has been sunshine and rainbows. Albeit, I am very blessed to have so many people around me that care and love me, I have faced bullying and discrimination. I have been called derogatory names. I have been told that my transition is a transgression. I have been told that I am loathed. These kind of things really broke me. These sorts of statements drove me into a rut of depression, anger and suicidal contemplation. I thought that I was never going to fully be accepted for the person that I really am, and that I would be rejected for life.
I broke down in front of my dad the other day because of this bullying I was experiencing. Because of one bully, I thought that the world hated me. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I felt sick to my stomach for being transgender and finally living my life the way I believe I was meant to. I wondered if I was ever going to be fully at peace for who I am.
However, my dad made a very good point. He explained to me that by reacting to the bully’s words, I was feeding his methods, and he would just continue to say hurtful words towards me. As long as I was giving him a reaction, he would continue. My dad is a very knowledgeable man, and is seldom wrong. So, I went home that night and I took some time to really think. I realized that yes, my dad is correct. If you react with tears or anger, you are fueling the bully to continue insulting you. Those who have been bullied are hurt and don’t know where to turn. But, if WE can stand up to our bullies, not give them a reaction and just ignore what they are saying, they’ll get bored and move on.
So, I am saying right now, Don’t Let the Bullies Win! If you are reading this and you are being bullied, please know that you are a loved, important and beautiful person. The bully has no control over you unless you let them. I know it’s hard to just turn around and walk away, but you will find that it really does work.
I am making a decision here and now that I will no longer fuel my bully’s attempts to hurt me. I don’t know what is going on in his head, but I am making the choice to turn around and walk away. I will no longer react with tears and anger. I am a stronger person and I know that I am loved and accepted for who I am by the people that matter!
So, to my bully: See ya! You will no longer have any power to hurt me.