Normally I like to write about funny and humourous stuff on this blog - mainly because my life is a series of funny moments that NEED to be shared. However, I think that now more than ever it's important to shed light on a sensitive issue that myself and many others had to grow up with over the formative years. BULLYING.
Now I know that we've all been saturated lately with suicides and celebrity anti-bullying endorsements. I've heard more than one person reveal that their highschool experience was horrible and they don't feel sympathy for those who couldn't 'deal with it' and move on. The fact is: that segment of life isn't easy for anyone - we all are trying to figure out where our place in life is, while dealing with the constant social pressures to fit in. It hurts to feel like you DON'T fit in and the pain never really subsides. Let me tell you, my young life in Woodstock was no walk in the park. I went through the name calling, walking down the streets of Woodstock and being yelled at from the protection of car windows, being chased home from school, and even been a recipient of many a lit cigarette on my way out of highschool. None of this was a piece of cake, but I certainly dealt with it and fought on.
Today, I woke up and resumed my normal morning routine of checking my emails and making morning coffee. To my shock, this had landed in my Facebook inbox at some point throughout the night:
It took me a moment to register just exactly who this was, and why they would be sending me mail like this. Then I remembered, this was one of the fine specimens that used to harrass me on a daily basis at Huron Park Secondary School so many years ago. It brought back so many memories of the gym teachers who would tolerate this behaviour, and even laugh should they overhear the bullying towards a person's sexual orientation. I immediately got angry. Then after much reasoning, I had to step back and think to myself - can I allow this idiot to have control over my emotions? That was a definite NO. Even though we're both adults now, he still lives in a life of ignorance and hate. I can only pity his sheltered and hateful existance, and hope that sometime (preferably before 30) - he can realize this is not how society operates. I understand people have their religion, backgrounds and even beliefs imposed on them by intolerant and uneducated parents or generations before: but I am a HUMAN BEING. I will not stand for this kind of behaviour to continue throughout the generations regardless of the size of a city, or the lack of exposure to a minority, race or otherwise.
I'm submitting this blog to the Woodstock Sentinel Review, in hopes that they can shed further light on this subject. The only way we're going to change anything is by talking about it, and exposing people to the unfamiliar. There will be a day where kids can feel safe walking home from school, and I hope I'm here to see it.