One of my friends on Facebook posted a Youtube video that grabbed my attention immediately. By the end of it, I was in tears and moved to write about it. The creators of this powerful short film turned the tables on society "norms" by portraying a world where heterosexuality was considered taboo. Everything in day to day life revolved around this concept from school to religion. Take a look for yourself.
I'll let you take a moment or two to compose yourself. (passes tissues). Okay?
This amazing video depicts bullying from a point of view you many never have experienced. As a heterosexual myself, I've never been picked on or shunned because of my sexuality, but I have friends and family who have. I stayed quiet about it for far too long thinking it would just go away if we ignored it. Well it didn't and it won't. The time for silence is over.
Teaching our children to hate those people who are different whether it's because of their sexual preferences, weight, color or religion is wrong. By doing so, we create another generation of intolerant, narrow minded individuals. Instead of talking "smack," why not encourage you children to listen, learn and formulate their own ideas and opinions. You may not agree with everything they say or do, but that's the beauty of life. If we're all cookie cutter images, life would be boring and we miss out on so many other experiences and possibilities.
Children don't just start out being mean and nasty. It's a learned behavior. They emulate the adults and older kids in their community in order to fit in or get attention. Look at the video again. The part in church where the reverend is condemning heterosexuals from the pulpit after laws have been passed to make it legal for "breeders" to get married mirrors exactly what's happening across the country now. The teacher berating the child who was just bullied is classic. Telling the victim if they would only just try to fit in the attacks wouldn't happen is the wrong advice. That teacher should have stepped up and protected that child.
This is what the #BRAVE movement is all about. Stand up and make your voice be heard. If you see an injustice, speak up and don't let it go on. Don't sit back in silence hoping it will all pass over. It won't.
The differences between us are what make us unique and the world an exciting place to be. We can learn from each other and grow as human beings because of our differences. By cutting people out of your life who are different than you or hold different beliefs, you've not only done yourself a disservice, but also to those who could have benefited from having you in their lives.
Speak up and stand up for these children being tortured by their peers. STAND UP for marriage equality. SPEAK OUT against discrimination of any kind. You don't have to share the same religious beliefs, but support another's right to have their own or none at all. If just one of us stands strong with these innocents, another life can be saved. Just like the song says, "Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave."