You wouldn't know it, looking at my brazen confidence, optimistic outlook and a trajectory destined for leadership, but I was the kid who got bullied in school.
Not teasing and name calling, but vicious, severe bullying.
It happened here in Greater Cincinnati, at one of the most elite public schools (wait, is that an oxymoron?) around... you know the one. Nice homes. Picket fences. Every kid plays soccer.
I was always bookish, and I already explained to you that I was nerdy/dorky.
I was such an easy mark.
Sensitive and not yet socially confident, I was an A+ target for several spiteful classmates' cruelty. And it was a cruelty that swept through the school like a wildfire in Malibu.
Literally hundreds of students would taunt me daily. That's not an exaggeration.
I won't criticize their parents, though those kids should have been taught better. What I will do is celebrate my parents, who were supportive and wrought with care.
"No matter how bad it gets, Katy, you never have to end your life." It's something my dad said to me when we were on a ride together. I don't know if he worried about me committing suicide, but I think about those words often, and know that, yes, it does get better. (Side note: The Trevor Project is a great resource for anyone coping through a tough time as a youth - LGBT or not.)
I reveal this, not to display my wounds, but to champion the success that is me.
I survived this. I conquered this. I surpassed this.
Today, I am a young professional with a treasured group of friends, limitless potential, an exciting social calendar, and several passports full of international stamps.
I am literally going places.
My confident, 34-year-old self is really irked. No, I am incensed after reading that the state of Michigan is close to embracing legislation that would allow religious-based bullying.
Michigan's GOP-controlled state senate has passed a bill that allows children, adults - whomever - to bully students under the guise that it is religiously or ethically motivated.
As in, "Well, I beat the shit out of/harassed/otherwise tormented Johnny because he's gay, and that is against my die-hard evangelical beliefs."
Are you kidding me?
Seriously, What Would Jesus Do?
This sickening kind of legislation makes me think that the Christian Right, Neo-Cons, Tea Partiers and everyone else on the Right side of the aisle needs to re-examine their spiritual beliefs.
I'm sorry, but your religious freedoms do not open the door for the harassment of another human being.
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.