I read, today, about a 13 year old boy who committed suicide because of years and years of homophobic bullying. Most of his life he was tortured by social violence.
Bullying is social violence.
It’s an act of violence that happens, rarely, in private.
It almost always has an audience.
I read, today, about some sports hero wearing rainbow laces to show solidarity with the LGBTI community. Yep, he got press. Yep, he got praise. Yep, what he did is nearly meaningless.
Like safety pins are nearly meaningless.
Like crosses around your neck on a chain are nearly meaningless.
I’m tired of symbols.
I’m tired of easy activism that is had with the click of a mouse.
So you like a post about racism.
So you re-post a poster about sexism.
So you write a comment denouncing homophobia.
Nearly fucking meaningless.
Rainbow laces won’t save a boy from killing himself, at 13 fucking years old, because he’d been bullied because of his presumed sexuality for most of his life.
They just fucking won’t.
You know what will.
Someone stepping in and doing something.
Someone standing with him.
Someone sucking up the courage to take fucking action.
Enough with symbols, and likes, and re-posts. They are nearly meaningless. They are worse than meaningless, they make people feel like they’ve done something. They’ve taken a stand.
I said, ‘nearly’ meaningless, didn’t I. Did you notice.
Because they are meaningful if they MEAN something. If they mean that because of that symbol you won’t stand by as a group of teens surround a fat guy in a wheelchair taunting him with pig sounds. If they mean that you won’t stand by when your own kids call something ‘gay’ as a pejorative. If they mean that you won’t be silent when someone says ‘but all lives matter.’ If you won’t DO SOME FUCKING THING.
Rainbow fucking laces.
Is a PRODUCT.
Are a PRODUCT.
Crosses on chains.
Are a PRODUCT.
The word activist, when it’s spoken begins with ACTIVE!
Make those symbols mean something, make them mean action, make them mean that people who see them know you will not be silent. Make them mean that a 13 fucking year old kid will know they aren’t alone, not because you are wearing them but because you are demonstrating, through bold action, that he is loved and valued and not fucking alone.
A thirteen year old boy killed himself.
A story in a paper.
Appearing the same fucking day.
That some athlete dude ties his billion dollar shoes with rainbow laces.
And all I can do, when reading one story after the other, is fucking cry.