Transgender people are simply that: people. They are the same as me and you, just with unique circumstances. Don’t you think that all people should be treated equally? That all people deserve the same rights and privileges as others? Isn’t America the land of the free and the home of the brave? What kind of world do we live in where people are being murdered every other day for being different, for being transgender?
That is not a world I want to live in, and not a country I want to be associated with the way things are right now. I never understood the importance of transgender issues and transgender abuse until recently, when these issues began to impact me personally.
You can never really understand what it’s like to be affected by transgender issues until it relates to you personally. You could go on all day about how you’d vote over and over again for equal rights for all, but you never understand the true impact and importance of it all unless you are affected directly.
On Friday, October 30th, my little brother came out to me as transgender. I was shocked, to say the least; however, I had some idea that something was bothering him for sometime and somehow, I just knew. From my dance costumes he loved to wear when we was three to him growing out his hair since last
year, there have been subtle signs for as long as I can remember.
My first thought when he told me was “What if he gets murdered for being his true self?” “What if he gets hurt or bullied or something awful because he can’t hide his true self anymore?”
I was scared for him. He’s my baby brother and I need to protect him, but in this situation, I can’t control the actions of the world around me and it’s one of the most frustrating and scary feelings I have ever experienced.
I shouldn’t have to have these thoughts. I shouldn’t have to be scared for my brother’s life because of what the world and society has done to transgender people. He needs to become the person he is meant to be and I nor my family are going to let the world stop him from being happy.
Being transgender in America is dangerous, but it shouldn’t be. We, as the people of the United States, should stand up against the crimes being committed against transgender people and bring the country together as one.
We should all be equal under the constitution and no person should walk the streets of America afraid for being who they are.
Bullycide is the phenomenon that states that the bullying is a cause of suicide. Let’s try to clear up the myth and discuss why correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. Continue reading Is bullycide real?→
We’ve all heard the call to “Speak up and Speak out” against bullying. Everyone has experienced bullying in one form or another, in his or her life. Whether it was as a middle schooler, in college or even at the office, bullying is nearly unavoidable. Although the anti-bullying campaigns in recent years have been very successful, bullying-related incidents are still occurring daily. Where is it taught that bullying is a normal part of growing up? Continue reading Bullying never ends: Stand up for yourself→
Starting college, adjusting to a new living situation, peer group and advanced classes can be a stressful time. With a strong desire to “fit in,” students may opt to join Greek Life , an athletic team or a club at their school. However, the initiation process for many of these groups often only adds to the stress of navigating college. In recent years, disturbing news stories have highlighted the increasingly violent, aggressive, and even deadly hazing tactics some groups use. Continue reading The dangers of hazing→
A series of suicides have rocked the United States in the past year. Teens like Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, and most recently, Jamey Rodemeyer have all committed suicide for one reason: they’re all gay or bi. Media has shed light on the grim reality of LGBT students being bullied so badly they are choosing death. Now, it’s the politicians’ turn to try to make a difference.
Rodemeyer’s suicide a few weeks ago caused reactions from family, friends and Lady Gaga. She has spoken out against suicide, especially that of gay teens, and reportedly spoke to President Barack Obama about our nation’s bullying problem.
New Jersey recently passed the nation’s harshest anti-bullying legislation, dubbed the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.” This mandates additional anti-bullying education and an anti-bullying specialist.
However, I think these rules and regulations forget the pressures of being in middle school and high school. I’m not advocating bullying or having an apathetic stance toward bullying–I truly believe it’s cruel and out of control. But I don’t see these rules working.
Take D.A.R.E for example. That stands for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education we all receive in elementary school. It taught us the dangers of marijuana, alcohol and hard drugs like cocaine and meth. It taught us how to deal with peer pressure. It taught us how to say “no.” Many schools even had a D.A.R.E. officer; I know mine did.
But how many people followed their advice thoroughly? I’m going to take a wild guess and say not many of us. We drank and smoked in high school because we thought it made us cool, and the people who disapproved definitely didn’t go to the teachers about it.
I know these are different problems, and bullying has been thrust into the forefront of our educational woes, but I don’t think legislation is going to help. Forcing these schools to have counselors and extra class periods for “Bullying 101″ isn’t going to change the culture the way legislators think it is.
When I was in second grade, I had a bully. She made my life a living hell to the point that I hated going to school and tried to get switched out of my class. My mom scheduled multiple conferences with my teacher to resolve the problem, but nothing worked. There’s only so much a school can do (even though I’m still a little bitter about the fact they didn’t let me switch classes).
When they tried to separate us by moving me to a different table, she would just tease me in the lunch line or at recess. If I had the resources of a hotline or an anti-bullying specialist, which the law requires, I’m not sure if I would have used it. There’s a certain sense of shame to being bullied. Even though it might be extremely obvious, it’s very hard for middle or high school students to admit.
The Internet was also something that hadn’t come into factor. Cyberbullying is probably one of the most degrading and horrible things I have ever heard of. Humiliating someone in such a public forum must be stopped. I’m just not sure legislation is the answer.
I’ll admit I got lucky. We eventually moved (for an unrelated reason) and I went to a different school, leaving my bully behind. But those memories are still quite vivid.
The entire culture of young people needs to be adjusted. That’s why I love the “It Gets Better” project by Dan Savage. The project encourages the young LGBT community to push through.