I love spending time on Ellen Degenerous's offical website (http//:ellen.warnerbros.com/ ) because, not only are the video's of her show and things she has done so funny, she also puts things on there worth watching that aren't always so funny but very important. ( I might add that I have been clicking away on her tickets calender for a year now and no luck...always full or I'm doing it wrong. Hey Ellen, could you hook a girl up pleeeeeese?)
A lot of people who "know" her have heard her speak out against bullying and she has admitted that of course she suffered that as well when she came out as a lesbian in Hollywood just when she was becoming well known and famous. She says she was shut down and nobody wanted to touch her after that. She suffered adult bullying and I happen to know personally that it hurts no matter what your age is.
She showed them though and came back bigger and better than ever. In your face Hollywood!!!
However, dealing with this bullying when you are young can be life altering...even life ending. You are made to feel different, or when people perceive you as different, their "normal" reaction is to isolate you even more. To ostracize you and make you feel that your difference is somehow your fault, your problem, your defect. You must deal with it alone, or change and become "one of them" in order to be accepted.
For a young person this forced change can be the beginning of the end for how they perceive themselves. When you are different (as judged by society) everything else connected with you appears "off" or nuanced into suggestive meanings. Your every step, word, or thought is made to feel skewed or somehow shameful. Your not "normal" and boy don't the bullies let you know it.
On Ellen's website she has a short film called Trevor(for some reason my copy paste abilities are suffering today, but you can find the film on her website or Google of course). This is a film about a teenage boy just coming to learn that he is possibly gay and the repercussions he suffers because of it; both from this parents and society (school mostly). It's poignant because throughout Trevor tells himself that he "looks normal" and "feels normal" but apparently everyone else can see something different about him that he can't see himself, otherwise why would they treat him as they do?
The film is almost lighthearted in it's acting but the message is strong and in your face. Not everyone is "like you" and who are you to demand that of anyone anyways. Why demand people be "normal" because what does normal mean anyhow? Normal to you (any you) means to bully people into changing themselves to suit you and make you happy. So is bullying a characteristic of "normal"?
When you look in the mirror do you see "normal" or is there always something about you that you would change, and are these changes possible; like losing weight or cutting your hair, or something impossible like changing the color of your eyes....or your sexuality? It seems bullies, both adult and children, demand we change things about ourselves to please them in some way.
If you are gay, change that because I am not gay and everyone should be like me. You might not be gay, but you're a homophobic hateful bully with a black heart that cannot accept people for who they are without taking it personal and wanting to force them to change. Why should I be like you...are you normal?
I loved this short film because it says so much in such a short time. The message is direct and easy to understand; not everyone is the same and what a better place the world is because of it. We are not all cookie cutter personalities with desires and dreams that match...what a boring world it would be if it were.
For those of you who point a finger at those of us who aren't normal (and yes I include myself because...really...there isn't too much normal about me. I'm fucked up in so many ways you don't even know), when you look in the mirror are you completely satisfied with the person looking back at you...or is there something...just a little something, you would change to better suit your idea, or societies idea, of what constitutes "normal"?
Nobody is perfect, we all have our flaws, but when you look at me (any me) with my short body, red hair, long spindly legs, stutter, freckles, pudgy belly, gangly walk, non stop tick, bad teeth and bad skin, green eyes, blue eyes, brown eyes...my sexuality... when you look at me and don't like what you see and decide you have the right to point it out and demand I change it....let me ask you this....why should I?
Do you stay awake at night unable to sleep because I wear clothes that offend you, because I have thoughts that offend you, because I dance, talk, laugh, sit, eat or do nothing at all and that still somehow offends you, or is it because I found love, the hardest of all emotions to find, keep, and cherish, with someone you don't agree with...and you find that the biggest offense of all. Why are you losing sleep over this...why are you shaking your head, clenching your fists and feeling a sense of revulsion at my happiness and gratitude that I. Found. Love.?
Why are you standing there feeling superior that you are hetero that you are "normal" and that you are doing God's work by sending me and my "type" to hell simply because I love? God created me with the ability to love...He did not create me with the ability to choose whom I love. Why should I be punished for His omission?
When we are young our parents tell us...one day you will grow up and find someone to love and who loves you. What they don't tell us is that society must first agree with our choice because society has a say in who we love...even though we ourselves have absolutely NO say in who we fall in love with. Is loving someone something we choose? Can we point at a person and say..."hey, I think I will make myself fall in love with you today"....can hetero's do that? I'm guessing they can because they seem to assume gay people can do that too.
I cannot stand people who bully, people who judge, people who spend so much time up on their "holier than thou" soapbox that they can't live among the rest of us.... without looking down.
Must we always find reasons to look down on people...why not find reasons to look up to them instead? I find that the kind of normal everyone should strive for. The world is in the fucked up condition it is today because we spend so much time looking for differences in each other that we miss all the similarities.
Speak out against bullies...even if you don't like something you see in others...neither you nor anyone else has the right to demand they change it. Even if you use God as your "excuse"...just turn a blind eye to someones "defect", to their gayness, just like you turn a blind eye and keep silent about so many other "un-religious" actions so many of your faith engage in. Just add this one to that list...won't ya?
Or does that whole...live and let live thing ... just pertain to YOU and your "lifestyle choices"?