I see stuff like this and I ache to be a buffer for these kids (well bullied people no matter what age). I know what it’s like to be bullied for being queer, for being fat, etc. And I know what it’s like to finally end up on the other side of the bullying—sure I still get bullied but I don’t internalize it as much as I did. The ability to do that took decades and I had an AMAZING support system. I’m lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to be on this side of the pain of bullying.
That’s why I physically ACHE to be a buffer for these kids, to stand between them and the abuse. I know I can. I’ve had every hateful thing you can imagine thrown at me and I can take it but these young people are just struggling to find out who they are and all the bullying hate messages make that a terrible bloody struggle. I want to stop it. It’s a physical need.
My mom asked me, after I had her watch this video, how we can help these youths and I said, we have to be a buffer. When we hear hate speech, we have to speak out against it—and be willing to take the repercussions, the fall-out. Not because we should, but because we can. I’ll speak up and take whatever abuse comes from it because I can take it and, maybe, every time I do, some kid just struggling to find themselves won’t have to take it. And maybe when asshole bullies see that their idiocy and hatred won’t knock me (or anyone standing up to them) down, attitudes will start to change.
I want to be a buffer. I am not a movement. I am just one person willing to open my mouth and take the risk that the abuse will be leveled at me instead of some kid. I want to be the front lines for these youths, because I have been these youths and I am only here now because someone else was my first line of defense. This is how we protect them.
Every time hate speech is used, stand up to it. Remind them that it’s hate speech and every human being has the right to live free of that abuse. Every time someone tells you God hates anyone, stand up to it. Remind them that God is love. Remind them that never once did Jesus mention homosexuality or ask someone what their sexual orientation was before he helped them or talked to them or served them. This is how change is won—it’s hard and it’s slow and it’s unfair, but it is so damned worth it.