Into This World We’re Thrown

I have recently finished reading Mark Kendrick’s second book concerning teen couple Scott and Ryan “Into This World We’re Thrown”. While I am not normally a fan of gay teen stories (I prefer my guys a bit older) I was never-the-less impressed by the writing style enough to read both books in the series. Beginning with Desert Sons, Mark weaves a story of teen angst and passions between two boys with markedly different backgrounds and characters. Somehow they fit each other well, they have their highs and lows, their threats and reveals and obstacles to overcome. The sequel ties a lot of loose ends up and (without revealing too much) manages a successful conclusion. Am not saying if this was a happy end or not, you’ll have to read it yourselves. However, these books were published a decade ago, in 2001 and 02 respectively. Reading the sequel, I could not but notice the opportunity that Kendrick had taken to show up the high instance of gay teens who were committing suicide even then. In light of recent movements, it seems that this world has taken far too long to wake up to this, a whole decade in fact. God only knows how many we have lost in those years. Now the “It Gets Better” and Trevor Projects are doing their bit to stop this. Lets make sure we don’t fail our young people again. Support both these projects by letting as many people know about them as you can. That’s what the internet should be for – networking, spreading the word – so let’s use it that way. I offer my respect and thanks to Mr Kendrick for including this theme in his work. The more of us who do, the better.

It Gets Better!

On seeing this vid, I had to post it. It made me think. It made me remember. Read on and when you get to the end, watch the video. Thank you.

All kinds of people get bullied.  In fact the one thing bullies seem not to be guilty of is discrimination. I was bullied at school. I was the quiet one, the one who wouldn’t say Boo to a goose, the one who was desperate not to be teased or made a fool of. I was easy to pick on. I never wanted to be on stage, to perform in front of an audience, to show myself up. I felt I was a coward, I ran from a fight, I hated myself for that and felt I should have been able to stand up for myself.

Well, recently I found out that I needed to stop it with the “Shoulds, woulds and coulds”.  Not everyone can fight. Not everyone wants to but there is nothing wrong with that. It is not a weakness to want peace and quiet. It is not a privilege to be earned either. Everyone is individual and is allowed to be. Everyone needs to be who they really are and not made to feel shame or inadequacy for that. Everyone deserves equal access to their rights, basic HUMAN rights, to support, to help and to their future.

Boy, what I missed. I wish now I had been able to take more opportunities to perform. I love singing. I love acting. I love entertaining. I love writing. Where once I wouldn’t put myself forward, now I don’t recognize myself. I’m not gay, I’m not black, I’m not disabled, I don’t tick any boxes for minority groups. I’m a common-or-garden middle-aged Caucasian woman from Britain, I’m ordinary, I’m not fantastic, I’m no West End or Broadway star or famous author (yet), but…

In my life I have seen things and done things I never would have done if I’d decided to put an end to it all.

1. I have had a standing ovation from forty people for singing folk songs to them. I have performed in a play in front of 500 plus people. How cool is that, seeing all those people applauding me? Me? Priceless.

2. I have had two babies, I have created two people. How cool is that? The ultimate creative act. I have brought two gorgeous wonderful new people into the world. Me, I did that. Priceless.

3. I have had lots of varied jobs, accrued lots of interesting skills, met lots of interesting people. Still am, actually. I have used those skills to help other people. How cool is that? Me, I’ve helped other people. Priceless.

4. I have found a deep well-spring of courage I never knew I had, and turned the bad times into good ones, learned from the deepest darkest times and enjoyed the joyful ones to the full. How cool is that? I have lost people, gained people, found people. Within each of us lie resources only accessed in the darkest times. How better to relish the joyful ones? Priceless.

You see where I’m going here? Hey, I forgot number 5. I wrote a book and it got published! I have had a book published. How cool is that? I’m an author! I also have the sequel coming out soon. I am so not a one shot wonder… how cool is that? You know what comes now… Priceless.

When you are young, life seems so insurmountable sometimes. I remember when I was at school I hated swimming. It terrified me. It terrified me more than the bullying. I turned to the bible for help. I did. No lie. And I found a little reassurance from it. But I found more in my family. I shared my fears with people, I found more in the sure and simple knowledge that this couldn’t last forever. And it didn’t. And, while I’m not dissing the bible here (I actually am not a Christian and I don’t believe in the same God as everyone else but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect what other people believe) what mattered more was life, my life, the life around me, others lives and love. And if you feel you don’t have any, think again. Get in touch with the links here, talk to people. You’ll see they care. Okay, they may not love you, they won’t know you, but they do care. Let them care. Let them care about you.

When in need, turning to total strangers is not easy but those strangers are nothing more than potential friends who feel strongly that every life is worth saving. You are a unique individual and special in your own ways. If you can’t see those ways, doesn’t mean they’re not there. If the breaks can happen to ordinary people like me, they can happen to you too.

Spread the word people, It Get’s Better with age…

And for useful contacts

http://www.mesmac.co.uk/  (UK)

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ (USA)

http://www.samaritans.org/ (UK)

http://www.itgetsbetter.org/

And you’ll find a link to Stonewall too down the Right hand side of the page.

 

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist Found Dead

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20110127/twl-uganda-gay-rights-activist-murdered-1a2730a.html

A Ugandan man involved in gay rights has been found murdered. We can only hope his killers are brought to justice. David Kato was an activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda and was ‘outed’ by the newspapers there last year. It is a stark reminder that being gay is still neither safe nor accepted in some parts of the world and we must fight to change that. IN our own small way, if what we do, if what we write allows people to accept LGBT issues as mainstream, then hopefully, the prejudice will diminish and stop altogether. Maybe not in my lifetime, but maybe I can have some small part in working towards that ultimate goal. My sympathies are with his family and to his killers I would say, you will not win.