Tuesday, January 04, 2011

suicide: bullies score again 

My sister called me on the morning of New Years Day to wish me happy birthday. That was nice. She said she was happy I was alive, even nicer. I found out WHAT she meant by that when she followed up with telling me that a teenage boy killed himself back home in rural Pennsylvania. He was in the same high school we had attended. And he had endured severe bullying.

She told me that the school was covering up the REASON for the bullying. The boy had Asperger's Syndrome, and the papers, and the faculty claim that THAT is the root of the bullying. But my sister says it's because he was gay. There are other teenagers with handicaps in the school who no one bothers. My father who is a janitor at the school agrees with my sister.

In the end it doesn't matter whether he was viciously tormented for being gay, or not, he had come to that wall so many people come to where it SEEMS better to die. And then they do.

In a way I guess IT IS IMPORTANT we find out whether he was tormented for being gay or not because the gay community if they found out would be more proactive at that school, in that town. I left completely scarred, but stronger than ever, having survived the daily taunts, jabs, the jocks screaming at me EVERY SINGLE DAY "IT'S AN EXIT NOT AN ENTRANCE!" It. It's. It's not. Everyone JUST KNEW that IT was an asshole. And they made me realize I could survive ANYTHING.

HOW DO WE REACH these young people? How do we tell them it's going to be okay in a year, JUST HANG IN THERE. You can move somewhere else. Somewhere where people LOVE YOU. You can do that. It seems impossible, I guess. What's reason enough to live?

He was in the 11th grade, SO CLOSE TO GETTING OUT OF THERE!

This has made me very sad. Thinking about those hallways, and rooms, in that town that I know so well. Knowing that someone else was going through EXACTLY what I went through by the library, in the bathroom, in the locker room. I'm so sorry that he didn't have some THING, even just ONE THING beautiful enough that was worth living for. How awful. It really is that hard to hang on when all you want is to be left alone.

Merciless is a word I have thought of often. I hate the word mostly because it never takes into account that maybe the victim didn't want MERCY, maybe they just wanted to be ignored. Ignoring someone could be merciful. But showing mercy, it's an act, and maybe JUST MAYBE what was wanted was invisibility.

Showing someone mercy can also be patronizing. But of course it can also be kind, and marvelous.

Some days it's impossible to know what to do with all the anger. Maybe that too is the problem for the bullies? What is driving that must be answered to. I think about the boys who spent SO MUCH TIME finding new ways to send me and my boyfriend out of our skins. I mean DO THEY EVER FEEL BAD about it now? Will the boys who caused this LATEST suicide feel it for years to come, FEEL the death they caused? I guess it is important to find out if the boy was harassed for being gay like my family says. My father has grown a lot from having a faggot son. It was nice to hear his outrage. I wish I had had his outrage when I was in high school, but never mind.

I'm sad that the sharp taste of blood is still on the tongues out there in rural Pennsylvania. Taste for destroying the different. It's easy to be transgressive in such a repressive environment.

It's easy to die transgressing out there. What to do?


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