I grew up bullied well into my high school years, but I don’t have it as tough as kids these days. The internet has made bullying inescapable for many of them.
God. Bullying is such a tough issue. If you’re suppose to pity the ones who are bullying, you still get to feel like ass. If you’re suppose to stand up to them, you can do damage to your reputation, academic life, or worse. If you’re suppose to shun bullies you run the risk of creating an overly sensitive community…or even becoming a bully yourself.
I’m going to theme this to Tumblr, because…well…you’re reading this on Tumblr and its relevant to you I bet.
I don’t need to explain how the internet and social forums like Tumblr can easily become a cesspool of negativity, and we often feel silly or try to push aside the fact that these text-based interactions can actually hurt us.
If you’re on a social media website and are gay, trans, bi, cis, whovian, bronie, poly, furry, brown coat, cavalcadian, Pepsi, Coke, or a combination of any of them…bullying affects you in some way. You’ve seen your friends go through it and you’ve also seen when positive intentions have turned sour through the chaotic snowball effect the internet has with opinions, disagreements, and anonymity. What usually forms are unsavory clusters of the unbelievably asinine. Namecalling, whistle-blowing, and generally just supporters fighting each other over petty, petty things.
But it does feel silly to complain about social justice warriors and egotistical celebrities when we can be reminded of the pain we all go through or have seen firsthand… and how many more people continue to suffer quietly through the abuse.There comes a time when you realize negativity only breeds negativity…and at the end of the day, even the loudest of agenda-pushing personalities online are mostly just trying to make a safe place for themselves.
I’d want these folks to stop becoming bullies themselves in their stances against things like bullying. When we argue about how to not do something, we forget the real problem is something we don’t need to confront with buzzwords, accusations, and negativity itself.
You don’t kill bad with bad. You don’t get anywhere in the frustrated moments of your agenda. You get somewhere when you calm down, shut up, and show a good example.
The moment you bring hate into your life, you’ve already lost the battle. You’re letting it, and its many faces win.
I know firsthand what its like to feel attacked for just trying to be yourself, and digital or not…your feelings of hurt are legitimate.
Anyone who knowingly or purposely causes you this pain is bullying.
The only thing that kills it in the long term is positivity. Put it out there for all your friends and family…and let them know that they have an ally in their struggles. Don’t let the ridicule and abuse run their lives.
As someone who receives death threats, transphobia, copious amounts of critique, and generally a million reviews on how I live my life and run my company…
I have learned you don’t fight hate with your hurt. You prove them wrong.
And allies are the best way to do this. Your friendship and their friendship creates the support system so many of us desperately need to cut off emotionally abusive parasitic behavior.
I hope you take solace in the fact that there are hundreds more out there like you who want to show their support and spread the awareness whatever your situation should be.
And just because I may be a digital face with opinions you don’t agree with does not mean I don’t want you to feel safe, loved, and empowered by being you on a digital platform or in real life.
At least what I can do is offer you a minute slice of Tumblr that won’t shame you on silly things. And when you take the time to see me at conventions or shows, I hope you feel as I do: safe- at least where our band is concerned and the many wonderful events we get to be a part of.
You’re all welcome in Bunny’s arms. But I can’t support everyone myself. You’ve got to join in the embrace.