By Donny Winter
© 2012 Diversity Rules Magazine and Donny Winter. All Rights Reserved.
Donny Winter is a gay rights activist on YouTube and recently graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in English and Anthropology. He’s aiming to publish a manuscript of LGBTQ-themed poetry and write a memoir of his high school days where he was a victim of frequent bullying.
If you’ve been bullied, I’m sure you’ve had people say: “Just ignore them, they’ll get bored and stop,” or, “Don’t be so sensitive,” or, “Boys/girls will be boys/girls.” Such subtle comments that simply dismiss the act of bullying as something that’s commonplace. And then we have the individuals (like myself) who’ve fought back against bullies either by proving them wrong through verbal altercation or by returning their fowl words. After experiences surrounding the suicide of Amanda Todd and the project my friend Cyndi and I have embarked on titled, Affirmations of Bullying Victims, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to handle bullying is through focusing on the victims.
The whole purpose of Affirmations of Bullying Victims is providing a positive foundation for people to build from when starting their day or going about their normal lives. Sometimes we take for granted what a few kind words can do. I know I’ve told people that they’re beautiful, or made a positive comment about their appearance that completely changed their demeanor. Building off from what I’ve said before in previous articles, I think that if bullies can use words to irreparably damage people then we can use them heal individuals who may be scarred.
I realize that bullying may not be stopped entirely, but instead of trying to pander to schools in hopes of action (which in many cases there’s none) or to parents to teach their children respect, those of us who have experienced this degree of bullying should pitch in. Many people like myself have recovered from bullying by realizing that we can take all of that negativity we experienced and turn it into something positive to share with everyone else. A lot of the time, these bully victims just need to be reminded that they do have support; a lot of the time these bully victims need to hear that they are worthwhile and relevant in society.
I wake up every day with a smile knowing that that smile may break someone else’s frown. It’s so easy to do and sometimes merely a gesture or kind phrase can change a person’s life — or divert a potential bullycide.
Editor’s Note: Donny has requested that the following link be provided at the end of his article. It’s a page that provides affirming words for bullying victims. Please spread its message everywhere you can. I am sure you will find it very useful!