20 October 2011

It gets better...

This week, another teenager, Jamie Hubley, committed suicide because he was bullied for being openly gay. In his suicide letter, he said he couldn't wait another three years. I assume he's referring to the time he had left in high school. The time until "it gets better".

I flippin' despise the It Gets Better campaign. I understand the point of it. I really do. But it doesn't address the problems kids are facing now. 3 years seems like forfuckingever when you're 15 and your life is being made nightmarish by a bunch of festering, seething, fetid dungheaps. 3 years is 1/5 of your life at that point. Remember Grade 9? Remember how graduation seemed like an eternity away?

Even the CPC is on the bandwagon. This of course, would be a lot more appropriate if they weren't all a bunch of homophobic bastards who voted against equal marriage rights, or alternatively, gay but too afraid to be open about it. It's an "open secret". *snort* But kids are supposed to believe It Gets Better? Gay cabinet minister that everyone knows is gay, but no one talks about it because why? Because he'd be bullied? Smeared by his base? Come on.

It Gets Better seems pretty much like suck it up, princess. It's not okay, and it's not enough. It's not enough to know that someday it will be better. It's not enough to tell kids that. We need to start actually doing something to stop this bullshit now. GSAs are good, but they aren't enough. We need to teach kids to stand up to bullies when they're young. No tolerance from other kids will be a great deterrent. When one kid out of 40 in a class is being a shithead to another kid, he'd stop damned quick if 38 other kids said, "NO! This is not okay!"

And dammit, bullies need counselling. WTF is going on in their lives that they feel the need to emotionally torture other kids?

I was bullied a lot until about Grade 9. It was hell. I was different. I was weird. And I was a target. They called me fat, mostly. I wasn't, but I didn't believe that for a second, especially not after some stupid doctor told me I was a "chunky little lassie". One particularly mean little weasel would get me against a school wall and play "Dodgeball" with me. That is, he and his friends would hurl balls at my head, as close as they could without hitting me, and the first one to miss (i.e. hit me in the face) lost the game. If I tried to leave, they'd all pelt me with the balls. It was awful. My Mom would go talk to the school and they'd either tell her I was exaggerating, or that they couldn't do anything to stop it. If they talked to him, it was MUCH worse for days.

I did know that I'd escape him the next year, but I tell ya, I dreamed up every excuse I could to avoid school, avoid recess, and avoid the bus. I'd walk to school when it was -30, or make sure I sat with the bus driver. I tried to befriend teachers at recess. I made a point of coming with a new knock-knock joke every day to tell one of them. If I thought I had to put up with that shit for 3 more years?! I don't think I'd have made it either.

That same asshole was last seen at a McDonalds where he threatened to beat up my boyfriend (now my husband). All those years later, and he still saw me as a target. MrFCS got us out of there, and the little prick's friend held him back. Said friend was a co-conspirator when we were younger, but by then, I suspect he knew that his buddy was a sociopathic little shit and that the situation could escalate badly.

That kid needed some serious help when he was 12. And frankly, so did I. Leaving me to fend for myself on the promise that I wouldn't have to deal with him next year wasn't enough. And It Gets Better isn't enough for gay kids. So stop patting yourselves on the back for being so wonderful to the victims of harassment and actually fucking do something.