Monday, October 24, 2011

Open Letter: It Gets Better

Dear Person;

Because that’s what you are. A person. You’re not a “faggot” or a “dyke” or a loser. A faggot is traditional food served in the UK. It is also a word used to describe a bundle of sticks and twigs. A dyke (or dike) is the same as a structure used for avoiding flooding. And as far as being a loser, that adjective is only applicable really when you’re playing a game, and I assure you, life isn’t a game.

Right now, things are tough. Times are tough. It seems like there isn’t really a place for you to fit in and call home. You feel like you’re the only one out there, going through what you’re going through, and that no-one can possibly understand how hard it is.

It isn’t easy, growing up in this culture of manicured perfection, and ‘reality’ television pandering a certain image. Stereotypes are all around us, and the pressure to conform to them or break the mold can be overwhelming. Everyone around you seems like they have their stuff together, and yet, you feel like an awkward mess, wondering why you can’t look like them. But the truth is, they walk around like they’re on eggshells, hoping you don’t notice their shortcomings. They laugh and point at you to deflect from their own awkwardness. But to laugh at them is to become them. And while that may seem appealing, it will leave you empty. You have to do that hardest thing in your life to this point, and take the high ground. It isn’t easy, and it will take a strength you didn’t know you had. Giving up is easy. Giving in is easy.

So forge your own trail! Do the possible and prove them wrong. And talk about it. You aren’t as alone as you may think. Those crazy old people that you know? The ones you call “Mom and Dad” or the ones at the school? They aren’t as disconnected as you may think. Times have changed, but over the years, bullies haven’t. Same old story, just told in a different generation. The hot button topics are a bit different, but those Old People CAN help.

It does get better! Find someone you trust and tell them who and what is bothering you. Give yourself permission to be angry about it. Give yourself permission to cry about it. You CAN scream that it isn’t fair. Because it isn’t fair. You never asked to be tall/short/thin/fat/gay/lesbian/minority and for someone to single you out because of it? That is SERIOUSLY unfair that someone should use what makes you UNIQUE and twist it to make it seem ugly.

Hang in there. You can do it. You’ve made it this far. Just take your next step. Take your next breath. And just keep doing it.

All my love and support to you.

Rob.

1 comment:

  1. Erika (Fagerdahl) LawtonDecember 12, 2014 at 10:44 PM

    Hi Rob,
    I have been thinking about you lately, and wondering how you were doing. After unsuccessfully trying to track down an email address for you, I found your blog. Although you haven't posted here for awhile, I hope you will still get this. I hope you are doing well! I heard that you are living somewhere in Southern Ontario now - so are we! Anyway, I wish you all the best, and perhaps someday we will connect with one another. I don't have Facebook, but if you Facebook message my mom, she could pass on my contact info to you :)

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