I just watched this inspiring video on Youtube via Homorazzi that talks about a group of gay teens in US high schools. They decided to come up with a video entitled “Dear 40 Year Old Me” in which teens talk to their future selves about what they went through.
Bullying of teens in the US really has gotten to a head and it seems schools really hadn’t been taking it seriously at all until lately. Even more worrisome is suicide in teens, the waste of a life that has barely lived. I can’t imagine how the parents must feel – especially when they had no idea the strain their child was under. Where I’m from it’s considered a taboo for a parent to have to bury their own child, especially if it’s an only child. There is no grief experienced from the death of a loved one that is greater than this. I also realised that all the teens in the video are out to their families – I can’t imagine the courage it would have taken for them to do this.
Watching the video, I was taken back to my own experiences. I was bullied many times through out for being “weird”, “quiet”, “skinny” and aversion to sports but I never reported to my parents or teachers once. Besides school troubles, sometimes I got into trouble with neighbourhood kids and extended family but I never said a word. Thankfully finals came and it was all over, I moved away quickly. At that time it really did seem that school was my entire world and the stress I was going through was the worst thing ever. Looking back and really seeing it for what it was, I realised that there were so many things I took too seriously and made bigger priorities than they had a right to be. Sometimes I daydream about jumping back in time to have a chat with 15 year-old me and tell him these things but then I get side-tracked by the possibility of warping my timeline and parallel universes…
Thankfully teenage suicide hasn’t been an issue in my area even though the bullying is still ever-present. I really hope a lot of teenagers get to watch this. It’s hard enough to tell anyone about being bullied. It’s even harder to talk about same-sex attraction especially living where it is considered evil and what-not and the feeling of isolation it brings about can be crippling. I just hope a lot of teens watch this and realise that even if they are alone and isolated for now, it’s not the end of the world. There are others who are going through the same crap and surviving.
Things really will get easier and better.