Warning....heavy discussion follows.......In my Juliana Coles online class we were tasked to create a piece about a second scar for our Bride of Frankenstein chapter. My scar has to do with bullying. Understanding the parameters of bullying was not something that I undertook until I was an adult. When being bullied one does not have concern for the bully. The bullied just want to escape the living hell that the bully doles out. I lived the life of the bullied when I was younger, especially in middle school and at times thought about death. What a horrible position to be put in at such a young age! Thankfully I did not act on that.
Our society has not until very recently been accepting of differences. We seem to be getting better in some areas but we still have a long way to go. Discrimination based on color, abilities, sexually, disabilities, age, and all the other differences that exist comes from lack of education. Narrow mindedness is the root. One learns to be a bully through narrow viewpoints.
So when we were tasked with this scar project I thought of the It Gets Better Program. Dan Savage and his partner started this program to help others who were experiencing the pain of being bullied because of their sexuality. It is true, it does get better with age. However, it took 63 years for it to get better for me. At age 63 and for the past 21 years my relationship was considered to be a second class one. The American government did not recognize my relationship with my partner, husband, to be legitimate. Finally this week our relationship was recognized. My partner was given permanent status in the United States. It is unbelievable how a stamp of approval can change everything in a matter of seconds.
Scar #2 is my way of dealing with bullying....be it from an individual, an institution, or a government. It is my attempt to try to make sense out of the senseless.
This brought me to tears- this is the most powerful page I have ever seen you do and I love you for it. Those scars may fade a bit but I don't think they ever truly heal.
it is true that as a group we are not a very forgiving people at times...you have waited a long time for equal recognition...I'm so happy you and your husband finally have it!
John, this is just spectacular. I can so relate to what you have shared here. This spread really speaks to me and it is really exceptional.
Excellent post and spread, John! I'm so happy for you and your partner, so glad he got permanent status, so glad things are changing, albeit slowly. In junior high I was bullied for a number of things -- although I thought of it more then as being ostracized because I was different. This was way before all this outting was called bullying. For me, it was because I was chubby (I wasn't even FAT), because I had curly hair, because my parents divorced before it was the norm. That ostracizing pretty much set the tone for my life, as I've never felt I fit in anywhere.
Congratulations on finally having your relationship recognized! It seems like more and more rights are being recognized, but the slow pace can be infuriating. This video is one of the most powerful reflections on bullying I've ever seen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltun92DfnPY
William Golding's Lord of the Flies is a book I can't bear to re-read - even though I recognise it as brilliant. Brave post, John.
A strong story, a strong spread! I am so sorry for all these years you had to keep on waiting to be considered a human being like others. I am glad you have the tools to tell your story. And I'm proud you never gave up.
This is my first time visiting your blog, and you have so many different heavy yet very eye opening topics and I applaud you for bringing them out to the open. And I like your artist way to express them, all very raw yet heart warming. I'm glad your relationship is now recognized and wish you both only the best.
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