Never be bullied into silence

Standard

never be bullied into silence

Well I said that I was going to make this, and I finally finished. I really wish I could give the person who created the pattern some credit because they deserve it for the work. I honestly wasn’t even sure if I would have the patience for this, but I did and it was actually fun. Some parts on the top are stretched in certain spots, but that’s fine, I’ll stretch the rest out to even it out, or maybe it will even out on its own.

It took me a couple weeks to make this because I was sick when I started this project. It took me a couple days to make the red, then another couple days to make the orange and so on. The green, blue and purple one day each. Actually I did the purple and the words on the same day. The reason I say it took 2 days for the first few colors is because I could only work on it for so long before the pain in my back came to stop me. This pattern is so detailed and the thing that took the most time was every time the embroidery floss knotted up as I was pulling it, and it was always in the back, but I always managed to remove them so I could continue. I didn’t have to use more than 1 skein of each color. In fact, I used less than a full skein for each color.

So some people may wonder why I would want to create something with the words “Never be bullied into silence.” Well, you see it’s personal to me. When I was a child, my mother knew I was being abused by my step father, she just didn’t want to admit it to herself. My little sister had bruises that the pre-school teacher saw. She was taken to the hospital and my mother was accused of abusing her, which in all honesty was false accusations. My little sister was so hyper that one day when I was sitting with her while she was playing on the stairs, cement stairs mind you, I was literally watching the bruises form. My parent’s were never abusive to her, but they were to me. When the guy from child protective services came to the house, my mother took me aside and threatened me. She told me so help me god if you say one word to these people, you will have the beating of a lifetime you will never forget. She knew I wasn’t going to accuse them of abusing my sister, she knew I would accuse them of beating me. So I was bullied into silence by my mother.

Another reason I would want to create this is because my sister does not like that I wrote my book. Her “friend” wrote a horrible review of “my book” (but it wasn’t a review of my book, it was an attack on me as a person by someone I’ve never even met). He said in his “review” that I am fooling my readers into thinking my lies are true when they are in fact lies and that I need to change the genre of my book from autobiography to fiction because it is full of lies. My response is it is not full of lies. This is my truth based on my memories of what happened in my life. I am allowed to tell me life stories, and if someone doesn’t like that, they can… and this is the part where I have to edit myself lol.

I wrote my book Diary of a Gay Nerd based on my memories of what happened to me during my childhood, when I was homeless at 15 and 17, and then homeless/sleeping on couches and living in motels until I was 23. And then of course my 3 bad relationships and my final relationship with the person I have spent the last 22 years with. These are my truthful life stories that I wanted to tell.

So I will never be bullied into silence, and that’s why I made this.

I said in my previous post that I was going to make this into a pillow, but my partner has convinced me to frame it instead. Since he wants me to frame it, and I still want it as a pillow, I’ve decided to compromise with him by making a second one lol. It was kind of fun to make and I want to make another one.

Advertisements

Never be bullied into silence

Standard

Never be bullied into silence pillow

I saw this image on Facebook yesterday, and it was a powerful message for me, not just as a gay man who has been told many times by people to just stay in the closet because people like to keep thinking we don’t exist, but also as a child abuse survivor who was basically told I’m not allowed to tell my story.

My sister had some guy write a review of my book on Amazon, but it wasn’t just a review, it was an attack on me personally. He said that I am lying to my readers about an abuse that never occurred. How does he know? He wasn’t even there. But he told me in his review to change the genre of my book from autobiography to fiction because it’s all lies.

I will never be bullied into silence. I’m not going to remove my book from Amazon, which by the way you can read for free with Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. I’m not going to change the genre of my book to fiction because it’s not fiction. Every story in my book is true, and I honestly don’t care if anyone doesn’t believe me because I know it’s true.

When I saw this image, I knew I wanted to make it into a pillow. Sure, I could put it in a frame and hang it somewhere, but I’d rather make it into a pillow so it has some function other than just something to look at. It’s not going to be a square pillow, it’s going to be the shape you see in the picture.

I asked the person who shared it if there was a pattern, but they shared it from another source, and honestly, how many sources has this been shared from? So I decided I’m not even going to bother finding the original source, I’m just going to copy it into my program Plastic Canvas Design Studio. It does stitches like / but it also does \ so I just used both stitches so I could get an X. And here it is. You may take the image and turn it into your own pillow, or if you would rather just make it and frame it, it’s your choice. But please don’t sell the image for profit.

never be bullied into silence cross stitch

Be Kind To One Another

Standard

Ellen DeGeneres says “Be kind to one another” at the end of her show every day. I’m not sure if people are actually listening to her, because I see people being mean every damn day.

What irritates me the most is when I see adults being mean to children, and they are perfect strangers. I have seen adults who have bully children, and instead of teaching their child to not be a bully, they are encouraging it and are also bullying the children their children are bullying. How would they feel if they were on the other end of that? I’m sure they wouldn’t like it, but I have a feeling that they are like that because they were also bullied, and they probably think that they will get bullied more if they show weakness by being nice.

Don’t take being nice for weakness. I make it a point to smile at every person I pass no matter where I am. I could be in the gym walking on the treadmill and someone walks by and makes eye contact with me, I’ll smile and they usually smile back. Or I might be riding my bicycle on the way to the store and someone is walking on the sidewalk and I smile at them. A smile doesn’t cost anything, well, maybe a few more wrinkles. I’d gladly have more wrinkles if it means I made someone else smile.

Being nice to other people doesn’t just make me feel good, it makes them feel good that someone was nice to them. I mean think about it. There might be someone who has just had the day from hell, and what if they were about to go home and just swallow a bottle full of pills because everyone is mean to them and they just can’t catch a break. What if your smile is that one thing that made them feel good about themselves and made them stop and think that this world does have good people? Not only have you made someone smile, but you saved someone’s life. Maybe, who knows, but that’s the thing, you never know.

If you are constantly yelling at people for something stupid, something that they had no control over in the first place, what does that say about you? What are those sayings? “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” I’ve literally seen people yell and scream after spilling their drink. It’s a drink, clean it up and pour another one.

Have you ever rubbed your dogs nose in their own pee? Let me ask this, is your dog potty trained and yet they peed in the house? If the dog knows that they have to go outside, and yet they peed in the house anyway, is it really their fault? Did they tell you they had to go outside and you ignored them because you were watching your favorite show and didn’t want to miss anything? Just imagine that you are the dog. They don’t know what a show is, and they really don’t care because they are dogs. Dogs don’t have shows. If the dog says hey man, take me outside, and you tell them to wait, but they’ve already been holding it for a long time, is it really their fault? No, it’s your fault. So you can’t blame the dog, you only have yourself to blame.

All I’m saying is be nice to people and your pets. And being nice isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you are a nice person.

Gay Teen Suicide

Standard

Jordan Montgomery from Families are ForeverEvery minute of every day there are teenagers who sit in their rooms wondering if today is the day they are going to commit suicide. They are afraid of their parents, friends and family finding out that they are gay, and would rather commit suicide before knowing if they will be accepted or rejected. Most are rejected, which is why they are struggling.

I myself struggled with that for most of my childhood. I was confronted at age 13 with the fact that my step father hated gay people, and if he hated gay people, then he hated me. He said “I wish they would put all of those faggots on and island and shoot them.” Imagine being me at that very moment. Here I was afraid for my life every morning when I woke up until I went to bed at night because I wasn’t sure if I was going to get yelled at or beaten for blinking wrong, and now he has confirmed my worst fears with just one sentence.

Age 13 was when I first tried to commit suicide, and believe me, that was not the last time. The last time I tried to kill myself was when I was 23, less than a year after my mother had passed away. I had just met my partner, the same person I have loved for the last 21 years, but I wasn’t sure where my life was headed, and I was still very suicidal. Imagine his horror and disappointment when he found me lying in bed next to him unresponsive because I took an entire bottle of sleeping pills.

I was looking for statistics to add to this post about teen suicide, and I found this. It’s from 2006, but I’m pretty sure it still applies 9 years later.

“According to the Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. In addition, the San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute has found that LGBTQ youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.”

We recently attended a monthly PFLAG meeting to say goodbye to a family who were moving to Arizona. They are the Montgomery Family who were in a documentary called Families Are Forever. Their son Jordan (image above) spoke about suicide in the documentary and it broke my heart when he mentioned taking a bottle of pills to end his life. He was afraid of what might happen to him if his family ever found out that he was gay. He wasn’t sure how his family would react, and that seems to be how it is every time a child comes out of the closet to their parents.

Every child has a 50/50 chance when coming out of the closet. They have a 50% chance of their family hugging them and saying “It doesn’t matter because you are our son and we love you no matter what.” They have a 50% chance of their family reacting negatively and yelling obscenities and telling them that they are going to hell and then either right away, or eventually kicking them out of the house.

Mongtomery Family PFLAG BakersfieldJordan’s family accepted him right away. His mother, who by the way is the mother you want to have if you are gay, hugged him and told him that she loves him no matter what. I mean, it’s her kid. And look at that adorable face! How could you say no to that adorable face. I just want to pinch his cheeks. Heck, I want to pinch her cheeks! Their entire family’s cheeks are pinchable!

My own mother screamed at the top of her lungs that it’s “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, as well as “you are going to hell” and blah blah blah. This is a woman who couldn’t be bothered to go to church and never really considered herself to be religious, then all of a sudden she starts spewing scriptures. She even told me to never adopt children because she would hate to know that my adopted children were being bullied in school for having a faggot for a father. Gee, thanks! So what am I, chopped liver? I was bullied in school for being gay. I was beat up almost daily. I literally ran home from school every day in Junior High because I was threatened that I would get beat up after school. Every. Day.

Just 2 weeks after I came out of the closet, I was given an ultimatum, it’s either my boyfriend or my mother. I was told that if I walked out that door that I could never come back. He was stranded with no way of getting home, and I couldn’t just leave him out there in L.A. (we lived in L.A. county) where he could get mugged or murdered, so I walked out the door. Ultimatums are unfair, and I’m the type of person that if you give me an ultimatum, I will never choose you, every time.

I don’t know if you would consider that running away from home or getting kicked out. I myself don’t consider that I ran away from home because I didn’t want to run away, I wanted to live at home and finish high school. My mother not allowing me to come home is what makes me feel like I was kicked out of the house. If I ran away from home, of course my mother would tell me she wanted me to come back, but even a few months later she still wouldn’t let me come home.

Why do parents do that to their own children? I don’t understand. This is why gay kids kill themselves, before and/or after they come out. They are afraid of this rejection, and wouldn’t you? This is why I attempted suicide dozens of times since I was 13, because I feared the rejection that I ended up facing. Why would you put your kids through so much needless torture?

A lot of times a parent will ask where they failed. My mother asked where she went wrong in raising me. Look, you didn’t fail as a parent because I was gay, I didn’t choose it, in fact she told me she knew that I was gay when I started walking. So why put that guilt on me about where she failed when she knew that I was gay from the get go. You didn’t fail as a parent because your child is gay, you failed as a parent because you kicked your child out of the house when you found out they were gay. Your child isn’t an object to be tossed aside when it no longer serves you, they are your flesh and blood and they have feelings, so don’t make them feel guilty for being different. Guilt trips are why children are killing themselves.

I recently watched the first episode of “I Am Cait” on the E! channel, and Caitlyn Jenner visited a mother who lost her transgender child to suicide. She told Caitlyn that it wasn’t the other kids who drove him to suicide, it was the adults. So think about that. The children don’t give a crap if you are gay or straight or if you are transgender, it’s their parents who are driving children to suicide. Do you want to be the reason someone killed themselves because of what you said that may have hurt their feelings? Just remember that words kill.

I don’t mean to be on my soapbox for this long, I just wanted to voice my opinion about something other than marriage equality and politics. I think that every person needs to think about how they speak to other people, because your words just might make a difference in a positive or negative way. Can you sleep at night knowing your words are the reason little 10 year old Johnny hung himself in his bedroom? We as adults need to hold ourselves accountable for every word that is spoken to a child. Empower children, don’t kill them with your venom.

Never be bullied into silence

Standard

I’ve shared many images similar to this on my Facebook page and Twitter along with a 1 liner about how true the image is, but I’ve never written a blog post because I’ve never actually had something that hit as close to home as this particular image does.

When I began writing my book when I was 19 years old on my old Apple //e computer that my ex brother-in-law sold to me (for $750 that I made payments to every week until it was paid off), I wasn’t sure if 1 I could write it or 2 if I should write it. I lost the disk when I had to sell the computer to live. I could only get $75 for it after only a few short years of owning it.

I spent my entire adulthood wanting to write it, but afraid to because if I ever spoke my mind, my family would throw something back in my face, something that is not really that damning to me really. If I said that someone did or said something to me, they would always say that I ran away from home when I was 13 years old and went to studio city. Who cares! They never bring up the reason I decided to run away, that I was following in my own sister’s footsteps. She was gone for 3 days with her boyfriend. I was gone for maybe 2 hours at the most. Who cares about that, but apparently they seem to think that it is such a horrible thing, like they are comparing it to murder.

In 2010 my HIV doctor told me that I probably only had 10 more years to live, I decided that I really wanted to write it and who cares what anyone thinks. I finally published it in February 2012 knowing that if my family ever found out, they would bring up this horrible running away story as if I were this horrible person. My sister had her friend call me names like a drama queen in his “review” of my book. It wasn’t so much a review as much as it was an attack on my character. This coming from a man who has pictures of swastikas in his Facebook photo albums and calls himself a Anti-Zionist. Someone who doesn’t know me, has never met me, has only ever heard stories about me seems to think he knows everything there is to know about me. I’m an onion Baby Jane Hudson. I have so many layers that you don’t even know about. Don’t presume to think you know me.

Anyway, this guy says in his review that I should stop lying to people and change my book from memoir to fiction. You can bully me into silence all you want, but it’s not going to work because my book is my truth. It is how I saw life through my memories and no one can change that. He threatened that I could be sued for slander, which by the way you cannot sue me because you don’t know me and because I changed all the names for “their” protection. It was more for my protection.

I will never be bullied into silence. This is my life and I will speak my truth and there is nothing anyone can do to change that. I don’t care if it means never speaking with my sisters who don’t really speak with me anyway. And frankly, I could give a rats patooty if I never speak with my step father again for the rest of my life. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have a need to write a book.

Oh, he mentions in his “review” that I used Writing Fiction for Dummies to write my book. Well, no I didn’t, but I did buy that book for another purpose. It was always my dream since I was a child to write a book, it just turns out that the book I chose to write about was my life story. I didn’t read that book to help me write my book. I wrote my book without any help, I did that on my own. I wrote it the same way I would tell someone in person. 4 years after I wrote my memoir, I am finally starting to read that book, but I found another series more helpful and I am reading those now. If I still have 6 years to go, I want to write this fiction that I have wanted to write since I was a child and I don’t care what anyone says about it. It’s my dream and I will make that dream come true, just you watch.

R.I.P. Trolls and Cyberbullying on Facebook

Standard

I know you have heard of cyberbullying, but have you ever heard of R.I.P. Trolls?  I have never even heard of that until today.  Apparently there are people out there with hearts as cold as ice and as small as a grain of sand, no, even smaller than that, so they troll R.I.P. memorial pages and say something nasty to the deceased person.  As if things weren’t bad enough for them while they were alive, they are still being bullied after death.

I have three examples.  Naturally I had to pixelize all of the names and their images, not just to protect the innocent victims, but also to protect the bully.  Yes you heard me right, I wouldn’t want the bully to come after me for posting their name and then turn around and call me the bully for showing their name despite the fact that they are the bullies.

This “Stay at home dad” decided it would be funny to share a page called Zombie… (the person’s name has been in the news and her mother was not convicted of murder, you know who I mean) with an abortion survivor’s timeline.  Who would create a page calling someone a zombie after they were allegedly murdered by their mother who got acquitted?  What kind of person does such a thing?  Well, I went to click on that page to report it and it was already gone, so one down…

This was posted on a justice page for a child who was recently murdered while wearing a hoodie in Florida.  The message is “Taste the rainbow, (name omitted) I wonder what flavor of hollowpoints got dug out of his chest!”  What sick bastard would post this?  I reported that person for posting that image on that R.I.P. memorial page.  Take a look at some of the comments.  The first one says “that’s not funny bitch” and she replied, but the comment is gone now so apparently she thought twice about what she was saying and removed it, who knows.  The second person asked if this was supposed to be funny and the third person laughed.  What is this world coming to when people laugh at a picture like this?

This person was just downright disrespectful to many R.I.P. pages.  What kind of person does this?

I love computers and I love the internet, but when people sit in their house with total anonymity and post hateful things like this, there has to be some recourse.  You can’t just think that it’s OK to be an asshole and nothing will happen.  You can’t go up to a person and start calling them names without being slapped or punched in the face, so why would you go on the internet and type hurtful comments on their Facebook wall, especially after they died?  You wouldn’t like it if you died and someone typed “LOL u died” on your memorial page would you?  Think about other people’s feelings, put yourself in their shoes before you post negative comments like that, because someday that might be your R.I.P. page.

If you want to see who is posting these hateful things, join the Facebook page “United Against RIP Trolls and Cyberbullies.”  Click LIKE and scroll through their page and start reporting the bullies because that is the only way we are going to rid Facebook of all the hate.  When Facebook see’s that people are reporting them, their accounts will suddenly disappear.  Perhaps one day cyber bullies will be held accountable for their actions.

Check this article out.  It was written/posted on April 3rd 2012.  Anti-bully law could turn trolls into criminals.  I don’t believe in censorship because we all have a first amendment right to free speech, even if it’s hate speech, but where do we put our foot down and say that there is a huge difference between the two?  There needs to be a discussion about where we draw the line with hate speech because I just can’t see why the law would protect people who want to insult other people for shits and giggles.

Bully and the National Day of Silence

Standard

I have been invited by two groups here in Bakersfield to see the movie Bully at the Maya Cinemas theater.  I think Bully is an important movie that everyone needs to see because it shows the reality for the victims of bullying.

I myself was bullied in junior high school.  They called me a faggot and a queer and many other horrible names.  Being a bully does not show me how cool you are, it only shows me what an animal you are.  It wasn’t just the kids in school who bullied me, no it was my step-father who began the bullying when I was less than two-years-old.  I suffered at the hands of an abuser throughout my entire childhood so I know all about being bullied.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8kNYV5EAVw

April 20th isn’t just a day to go see Bully, it is also the National Day of Silence.  You don’t have to be silent the whole day, just remember those who were kept silent when they were killed for being gay.  You can celebrate any way you want to, just as long as you remember the innocent victims of bullying.