Monday, October 17, 2011

When kids can’t be kids...

It absolutely breaks my heart to hear about each new teenager to take his life after being incessantly bullied by his classmates... and for what... just being gay. While it’s reassuring to see that a few states are taking a stand against bullying by enacting laws such as New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act and California’s Seth’s Law, but I think we also need to stop putting so much media attention on these suicides. I worry that all of this constant coverage is giving other teens who suffer from bullying the idea that taking their own lives is a way out. These kids need to understand that killing yourself is NOT an option. Bullying needs to stop, but suicides need to stop more.

I know how hard it can be for these kids because I was also bullied in school... but I was strong enough to get through it and I trusted it would get better. I can’t stress enough that having an outlet and someone you can share your struggles with is one of the most important things you can do to overcome something like this.

Several years ago, I was asked to return to my high school and give a commencement speech. I admitted to the students that I had dealt with difficulties in school—I didn’t say “bullying,” but in hindsight, I wish I did... I explained that ultimately whether you end up first in your class or 300th, graduating from high school wipes the slate clean. From then on, you can make your own decisions and choose to live however you’d like. It’s a fresh start.

For help with bullying, go to pacer.org. LGBT teens (or those questioning their sexuality) can visit thetrevorproject.org or call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).

xoxo,
David

40 comments:

  1. I've often wondered if the media coverage doesn't just put into the heads of kids things they might not have even considered it before. So very sad.

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  2. Hi David,
    My name is Tiffany Jones and I will be seeing you tomorrow at your premier party. In the last week I have been dealing a kid bullying my son. He is 11 and this other kid is telling everyone that he had sex with a boy and is gay. May he be or not in the future does not matter but it is breaking his heart that everyone is calling him gay-bee. I started him in counseling and he is starting jujitsu to build his confidence. Any further advice to help him get through? He is the kindest kid with the largest heart I have ever seen. I asked him what he did when he started the rumor, and he said nothing mom, I do not want him to feel the pain he is causing me. Breaks my heart and I know he will be strong but the first thing that came into my head was dear god please do not kill yourself because so many kids picked on you for being gay. I am not sure if he is or not but it does not matter to me either way I love him and I am proud of the man he is.

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  3. David,
    My name is Hannah and I'm 19 years old. I am one of those girls who has dreamed about my wedding my whole life so needless to say I've been a huge fan of your show from the beginning. Against all odds though, you've just made me an even bigger fan of yours! When I was 13 my best friend Daniel took his own life. He was only 15. It is a tragedy when someone so young stops believing in life, love, and all of the crazy wonderful things in between. It is an even bigger tragedy that young people can take that belief away from someone. I miss Daniel every day. High school sucks, for pretty much everyone but it is always worth it. I just graduated in June and I'm learning that this world is a beautiful mess, I just wish Daniel were here to share it. It is a huge credit to your character that despite your success and celebrity you take the time to speak out. I appreciate everything you do.

    With Love,
    Hannah (& Daniel)

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  4. Kids dont have people ...family to talk to anymore there all to busy to care it sucks. I hope my son can talk to me. i'v got a friend who thinks its his fault his sister killed herself. she did say he was part of the reason in her letter but how can anyone let him think that. whatever made her mad wasnt his fault he was born that way. i didnt talk to my parents much had good friends tho. it was nice. i still consider bullying as part of life. it suck but no one cares as much if u get bullied at a job as an adult. so its eaiser to learn to live with it all. congrats to those who get away from all the meanies.

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