There’s been a lot of much-needed talk about bullying these days, especially when it comes to either kids from gay families or kids dealing with their own sexuality. We keep telling them “It gets better!”, as though our wisdom of years passed will help them get through this painful time of life. There’s a whole organization out there devoted to the idea of passing along those three words, as though they were some magic talisman whose spell immediately shields and protects.
But I sometimes wonder: when you’re a teenager, do those words really have that much of an effect? Or do we tell them that so we can feel better about our own crappy experiences growing up? Doc’s right: some of us are lucky — we survived it and learned from the experience. It body-checked us and forced us further down the road to maturity. At least with most of the folks I know, those lousy years as teens gave us a deeper sense of empathy for those who are now systematically abused by a society that seems to demand conformity and punishes those who dare wander from it.
So yes, it does get better, even though it may not feel like it at the time. We rarely realize as kids how our experiences will shape us into adults… and yet, of course, it does. We bring those attitudes with us and do our best to pass them on to the next generation, in the hope that they will learn a bit more quickly than we might have, whether it has to do with homophobia or racism or gender politics or just simple xenophobia. Maybe, with all this social media awareness, society itself is starting to grow up and honestly confront the forces that make life unnecessarily hard for those we see as “different”. And that would be a good thing…
And that leads to the statement I’ve seen around the Net for some time now. Perhaps we shouldnt be just telling the victims “it gets better”. Perhaps we should be telling the parents of the bulliers not to raise such shitty kids. Think we can get down with that, readers?
OK, a few single panels and one-pagers, then we’ll hit the next storyline. As always, thank you for reading, good people.