Friday, October 1, 2010

One More, in the Name of Love

"Lilytopia" display at Longwood Gardens, taken by me in May 2010
This flower is called Tiny Hope.

It occured to me, last week or so, that I've been remiss in updating y'all on Joey.  Regular readers of this blog might remember my post about our 16 year old cousin Joey who is gay and who planned to hang himself in his school's staircase in January of this year as a way to escape the constant bullying and abuse he had been enduring from classmates. 

Instead of a statistic, Joey became an activist. He founded a Facebook group - The Equality Project - to give other teens (and adults, but especially teens) a voice, a place to be heard and accepted.  His Facebook group grew and grew and grew, is now approaching 6,000 members strong, and has achieved nonprofit status. Joey's caught the attention of local and national media (and also more than a few hateful people).  In recent weeks, he's sat down with Senator Robert Casey from Pennsylvania,  Anderson Cooper from CNN, a reporter from People Magazine, and probably dozens more that I am either forgetting or unaware of. 

For the past 8.5 months, Joey's work has taken him places that I'm sure he never thought he would go. Before this week, I think there was certainly a sense that school bullying was indeed an issue.

This week it changed into a crisis. 

It changed into a crisis for several families living the nightmare of so many other families and kids already in the throes of this crisis. 

I don't have anything different or more inspirational to add to the dialogue than what has already been said by Ellen DeGeneres, by Dan Savage, by my friend Emily in her blog post, by so many others who like me are saddened, horrified, scared, and who just want to do something because we have to and because we can't stay silent even when we don't know what the hell to say.

I'll admit it, there is a part of me that feels like this is - all this - is all too big. That as much as I want to (and need to) believe that things will change and will get better, sometimes it seems like too, too much.  I know my own issues, the things we're dealing with in our house, the crappy dreary weather on the East Coast, are all playing into this moreso than usual.

But in the end, what choice do we really have?  We owe it to these kids and our kids and to ourselves - even if it is hard to wrap our minds around how exactly this will happen - to allow ourselves to believe that it is going to be OK.  That sometimes we need to have faith and hope and trust that things will someday get better.

It will get better.

It will get better.

It will get better.

I don't know how it will. I just know that it has to.

copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


the weirdgirl said...

The way bullying has changed (or maybe just gotten worse) scares me. Flat out. It is overwhelming and I know I would be one of those parents yelling at the other parents and kids and that doesn't help anything either. My son just started kindergarten and you can already see kids picking on each other. Our local school has this whole anti-bullying program in place and I can only hope and pray that it's effective.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting about this. It is so sad, and scary, what is happening. I really hope that we can change things.

Becca said...

I'm so happy to hear about your nephew, and I hope he continues to grow stronger and be successful in his fight to bring attention to this awful problem.

I've been hearing a lot about this on all the social networking sites lately. I'm glad people are being vocal about the horrible problem of bullying. It needs to be stopped.