Welcome - willkommen!

Blogging in English und auf Deutsch.
English: A key topic of this blog certainly is Bullying, and what can be done against it.
Deutsch: Ein Kernthema dieses Blogs is ganz sicherlich Mobbing, und was dagegen getan werden kann.
E: There are still lots of other topics here, too - feel free to cruise around and take a look :-)!
D: Es gibt aber auch noch viele andere Themen - schaut Euch einfach um :-)!
E: I look forward to comments on my blog entries!
D: Ich freue mich über Kommentare zu meinen Blog-Einträgen!

In the banner picture: Libera.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spirit Day 2011

Deutsche Version dieses Blogs hier.

This is a blog in support of Spirit Day 2011.

Please find out more about this campaign by clicking the link in the word - you can do so now, and then come back (hopefully, haha!) to read my blog, or you can first read my entry here and then decide what you want to do afterwards. Both is okay.

I thank you for the time you take out of your day for reading, anyways, and for considering of what you will do then, hopefully, to show your support ... as this matter is important.

Because I say so? No. Because it is.


When, in the end of September 2010, I heard of the series of (back then) four American gay kids who had taken their life within just a few weeks, for being anti-gay bullied, I was stunned and devastated.

After I then had watched a first few video submissions for the "It gets better" campaign that had been launched just a few days before, I immediately sat down and made a first video submission myself:

"It will get better ... if we do something!"

It's a vlog where I try to explain what needs to be done to bring change to this situation which we cannot accept. What I say there are just a few very basic things that everyone can do - and the more help together, the easier it will get. It takes a bit of courage, and a leap of faith, maybe, but everyone who looks into their heart will see that I am right, and that they can do it! And things need to be done, now, and every day, to show active help and support in the very moment when bullying happens - people standing up for victims, and not looking the other way.

A day later after I had posted the above video, I sat down and made a second one, that contained my message in a slightly different way:

"It is okay if you are gay ... Stop Bullying Now!"

This video got over 26,000 views up to now (and counting) and more than 440 comments - people wrote intense and emotional statements there, and I actually reply to every single one of them. There have also been a few kinda harsh (but read-worthy) discussions I had in the comments section, with anti-gay commentators, and also with some who were just plain haters. But those guys are the overwhelming minority.

Hold that thought, by the way – I will come back to "numbers" and what power they hold at the end of my blog!


So, my "Spirit Day 2011 Story", that glaad had asked anyone out there to submit, is basically one that spans over a whole year already, and longer even, as I made my first anti-bullying video in March 2009 already:

"For Us"

And I have actually received a big load of feedback on YouTube, in the form of video comments as well as in messages, from people who suffered from being bullied (online as well as offline).

I also wrote blogs on the subject, among them "When the Chain of Bullying continues" and also "When being bullied gets to much: 'And then, I actually snapped!'" - the second one on the case of the Australian boy Casey who fought back to a bully, which got him massively celebrated worldwide as a "hero", and cumulated a vicious and contemptuous Internet mob against his bully - which I, bluntly speaking, find an alarming sign of ignorance, and also dangerous for victims as well as for bullies - feel free to read the blog to know why, and let me know in a comment what you think!

I made my avatar on Twitter and Facebook purple when this option first came up in autumn 2010, and I never changed it back any more since then - because to me, it is an every day matter: Showing compassion for those who we lost due to bullying and for their loved ones who miss them, and also showing that my support will not end after one day, but that I am there for everyone who needs me 24/7, and I will do whatever I can, with words and with actions.

We all need to do this. Everyday. And as I said before: The more help together, the easier it gets.


Okay, and here's for the "Hold that thought" that I wrote above:

There are many victims out there. And bullies are numerous. But those, who are neither victims nor bullies - their number is legion!

It's time for all of them, who are the (literally) "silent majority", to stand up and do something. 

Not just lecturing kids that "suicide is not an option", as I read in a (not very helpful!) video comment yesterday. And not just telling them to "tough it out", and to send them to counseling.

We may not leave all of the burden on the shoulders of those who get victimized. We may not just just urge them to be "strong". We may not just offer them nothing but hope of a future that is worth living it, and that it will "get better" some day. Of course, all of this is correct, but:

Where is this extra strength supposed to come from? How can you find comfort or new motivation in the vision of having to endure another three, four, or five years of hell?

These kids are forced to go to the limits of what they can deal with every day already!

Some of them have to go even beyond that ... and those are the one we lose, who just can't take it any more, and who end their lives.

No. All these well-meant and heartfelt thoughts above, about being strong etc. etc., are good - but they are not good enough. We have to bring reinforcements ... We are needed, personally!

We need to be there and help those kids, be at their side, become their allies in situations when they have to face their bullies, and contribute what we can to stop what's going on there - stop the abuse, and get in the way of the bully and his prey!

There are many things that can be done, and they HAVE to be done, by every single one of us, and whenever we are needed. I found out that one new anti-bulliyng law that came up in Connecticut takes a tremendously good approach on things.

The most recent suicides of Jamey Rodemeyer (14) and Jamie Hubley (15) are the final ones in a line that is far too long and numerous for anyone who has a heart to feel comfortable with. In their own words, they tell us where the real problem lies:

"No one in my school cares about preventing suicide, while you're the ones calling me faggot and tearing me down. (...) I always say how bullied I am, but no one listens. What do I have to do so people will listen to me?"
-Jamey Rodemeyer, from his Tumblr blog

"I'm tired of life, really. (...) It's just too hard. I don't want to wait three more years, this hurts too much."
-Jamie Hubley, from his Tumblr blog

They tell us and urge us that we need to stand up now, and be allies to those who get bullied, abused and victimised every day. And we all need to work together in this.

Wear purple every day, in your heart. Be resolved to help and support victims every day ...

Make every day a Spirit Day.  

Because only then, it will get better.



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