Thursday, 18 December 2014
I know by posting this particular blog post, I'm just repeating what has already been said in the past, by many others. But I personally believe that it is a topic that needs to be thrown in the face of society every so often, just to reopen our eyes.
Bullying. It's all around us. Even when we think it's not.
It's a topic that I, like many others, try to shy away from but ultimately it's always brought to the light. Yes, I try to shy away from the topic of bullying, because it brings back so many horrible memories. But with these memories, and experience, I can honestly say that I lived through the worst of my life.
Before I really get into this post, I want to share my story.
My name is Christopher Thomas Chapman. I am a deli clerk at a safeway/sobeys (a grocery store), and a writer. I am a son, a brother, a friend. I'm also gay.
Being gay doesn't define me. I am all of these things, and then I am gay. I'm not a gay deli clerk, a gay writer, a gay son/brother/friend. I am all of these things, and then I'm gay.
At the age of sixteen, I finally stopped lying to myself and came out as a homosexual. Now growing up in a small town, this spread like wildfire.
"Did you hear? The Chapman boy is gay."
I couldn't walk down the halls at school, without several people yelling out 'Fag' 'Homo' 'Queer'. I walked with my head held high, not showing the hurt or pain that it caused. But really, it did hurt. People I grew up with, were now turning their backs on me because they didn't want to be taunted for hanging out with the 'Queer'.
I found myself falling into a very dark place. A place that no one should ever find themselves.
I turned to writing. Poetry. And it was very dark.
I've recently taken my experience with that darkness and I've decided to write a novel. A novel that has the characters face real problems, as well as fantasy problems.
Thankfully, even though I had dropped out of school, I had friends who were always there. Even when I didn't know that they were. They went out of their way to make sure that I had some good days.
What I guess I'm trying to say is that even when you think that you're alone, your not. You're not even close to being alone. I know people say that 'It gets better' once you make it through the teen years, but how does that help us now? The only way we're going to make sure that it does get better, and that it gets better quickly is if we all take the stand. Stand up for your fellow peers. Show them that they are not alone!
I'm thankful for the friends that I did have in school, because they stood there beside me the whole time. They never left my side. If you're not the one being bullied, don't be just a bystander. Be the friend who is there. And if you are the one being bullied, talk about it.
There's no shame in talking about it. There are plenty of people who will listen. Guidance Counselors, teachers, friends, me. If you think that you have nobody who will listen to you, I will. I may not be in your shoes now, but I have been in the shoes of the bullied.
They say change doesn't happen over night, and that's true. But change does happen with just one person.
If you've managed to sit here and read through all of this, please share it. I know that the grammar is probably really bad, but that's not the point. The point is to get the message across, that we are not alone.
Let people know that you're there for them if they need someone, or that you need someone to be there for you. We can get through this. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but some day.