Day of Silence: Jimmy’s Story
My name is James Tunstall and I was a victim of bullying all throughout my school years for what appeared to my tormentors as being gay or effeminate. I was called “gay” “faggot” “sissy”, I was chased and tormented on the bus, in class and in front of teachers who did nothing. I feared daily for my own safety. It was one of the darkest times in my life and I am fortunate to have survived it without harming myself. As an adult I suffered PTSD and sought help, which was enormously beneficial.
Bullying is not just teasing and it is not harmless. It ruins lives and it kills.It is the constant, unrelenting intention to humiliate, degrade, frighten, and crush ones spirit. Today I am speaking out to say BULLYING IN ALL FORMS MUST STOP.
To those that have been bullied let me say this: First of all it will get better and you will not be a victim your whole life. For me, it made me stronger, more compassionate, more courageous and gave me a passion for helping others. Second: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE IT. Talk to an adult and make them listen and do not stop talking until something is done to make you feel safe. Talk to a teacher, a parent, the minister at your church, the police. Talk to more than one person if you have to, but keep talking until someone listens. There are support groups and a millions of people like me who are on your side and who love you just the way you are.
To The Parents of bullying victims: ASK YOUR CHILD IF THEY ARE EVER BULLIED IN SCHOOL for ANY reason and get to the bottom of it.Today. Now. Don’t just sit there and think ” kids will be kids, and they’ll grow out of it”. It is this attitude that is an enormous part of the problem. This is an attitude that kills our children through so many teen suicides each year. We MUST stop bullying dead in it’s tracks in order to save our children. It is up to you, THE PARENTS.
It is my hope today that people will begin to take this issue seriously and that together we can get some strong laws into place and find some solutions for these victims.
I was bullied for most of my childhood and it had an enormously negative impact on my life, but I was lucky to have wonderful parents who did everything they could and helped to get me through it. I was one of the lucky ones and not every child is as fortunate, some of them are scarred for life and some of them die as a direct result of being bullied. Am I making myself clear?
Do whatever you can today to put an end to bullying, and remember you are loved.
Peace, love and happiness will be yours.
Ten to Twenty note: Today is the GLSEN Day of Silence which is a student-led national event that brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. We’ll be featuring writings from various authors who give us their amazing insight. We hope you enjoy and take the time to reflect on the challenges our LGBT teens experience.
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