Writing the post yesterday about my son’s bullying was uncomfortable for me. The “gay bullying” was a topic, that until yesterday, I kept very close and quiet. I’d share those details with only my closest family and friends. I feared that if I spoke openly about it, there could be backlash to my son. I didn’t want to breath life into such “rubbish.”
As we tucked him in last night, he was in a pain-filled craze of fury. I held him tight and said, “What’s up, Bud.” My husband squeezed his hand and said, “Whatever it is, we’ve got your back, Son.” My son looked up at us, and between bitter sobs articulated “I’m just sooo tired of the bullying. I’m tired of being called gay. Mom, it’s been going on for 3 years. I’m so tired of it.” Feeling helpless, we wiped his tears, and reassured him that he has a purpose in this life. We held our son tightly. Eventually the pain was at bay.
He soon found the inner strength to smile. He asked if he could use my computer to make a sign for the morning. His resilience has always amazed us. Here’s the sign that now hangs in his bedroom by his light switch.
I realized today that while it’s painful for gays to come out of the closet, it is also hard for their families to publicly “come out” too. I googled “gay bullying” and found some pretty scary statistics. One story, in particular, discussed two 11 year old boys from different states who were bullied to the point that they came home and wrapped fabric around their neck and hung themselves. Suicide. 11 years old. Can you imagine being that parent who finds your child lifeless? Can you imagine the level of pain those boys felt? The desperation is incomprehensible.
With all that I am, I will do everything in my power to ensure that my son does not become a statistic. Those children did not die in vain. I have a voice and I am going to use it. No matter what my son’s preference ends up being, it is obvious that this will be a theme in his life. He’s creative, artistic, flamboyant, energetic, and he dances to the beat of his own drum. He’s a good target for mean-spirited, narrow-minded, and hate-filled people, who want to stand tall by pushing others down. At 5’8”, I will stand taller. I will raise him up, and help him take flight over whatever obstacles will stand in his way.
As I ponder how this hatred is impacting my son, I can’t help but feel for other families who are dealing with this issue on a daily basis. Just as it’s scary for the child, it is scary for the family too. In past posts, I’ve mentioned that change is just one baby-step at a time. Today, my small step is finding the courage to speak openly about this topic. If it helps one other parent or child realize that they aren’t alone – it has been worth it.
I’ve got a voice, and I’m no longer afraid to use it.
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