Friday, October 8, 2010

Jamie Joyner- Blogging Bullying

Well here’s to my very first blog post! Although, I have way too many things that I could talk about today I feel it is important to address a very serious issue facing our society. In the month of September we lost at least 6 beautiful, vibrant, and talented young lives. These young men were all bullied at school, in social circles, and in their communities because of their sexual orientation or their “perceived” sexual orientation.

Have we as a society become so bigoted and hateful that we forget the fact that these young men were human beings? They had feelings, emotions, hopes, and dreams! Now we are a darker place, filled with less light because of the hope that we have lost.

As I sit here and attempt to type, I can’t. I’m lost in grief for people that I have never met nor will I ever have the pleasure or opportunity to meet. I grieve for the parents and families who have lost a child. I could not imagine losing my son to something so hateful. Last week I discovered that I am not the only one who is saddened by the state of our society. We have had multiple celebrities come forward and pledge to campaign to stop bullying in schools. We have students and teachers across the country standing up and giving positive messages. We have bloggers and writers posting “There is hope” videos on You-Tube.

I recently met with Amy Schlag, director of UNCW’s LGBTQIA office, and we spoke about launching an Anti-bullying campaign not only on UNCW’s campus but in our community high schools as well. This type of out-reach can help our fellow students and the youth in the community know that they have support and love. They do not have to be bullied; they have resources and support ready and waiting for them. We want the teenagers in our communities to feel safe when they go to school every day. We want them to want to go to class and to do well. We want them to achieve their goals. Nothing should hinder them from reaching their full potential especially someone as meaningless as a bully.

There will be a vigil/rally held on Thursday October 14 at 5pm in the UNCW Amphitheater to honor those lives that we have lost and to show our community that we are here with open arms full of acceptance and hope. UNCW’s LGBTQIA office has partnered with multiple student organizations including the SGA to host this rally and show our community that we will not tolerate bullying or someone not feeling safe in our school.

I hope that everyone will be willing to attend to show support for our fellow students. Our community needs to see that we as a whole are committed to supporting our fellow students, professors, and neighbors. No one has the right to tell another human being how they should feel or who they have to love!
This is me, proudly standing up and shouting to the world that I am a proud member of the allied community. I lift my voice into the silence of society’s oppression and I dare you to shout back. We can beat the silence if we have the courage to make a stand and be heard.