We had a full house this weekend. Most of our activities centered around no activity and just talking with each other. Most of it was fun, but some of it wasn’t.
My brother Andrew is here with his two cats. The orange cat Nimrod and a new teeny tiny black kitten he calls Josephine are tearing around my house with my two cats. Of course my calico Gloria is none too pleased about it.
It was nice to have everyone here to share the fun and relax together. It was a good way to end the holidays and start off 2015.
My eldest Garrett (a freshman) left last night to return to college. Winter quarter starts today.
We talk almost every single day and text but he is still 400 miles away. Somehow I fool myself into believing it isn’t that far since we’re still in the same state.
Once again the subject of suicide and acceptance came up. That includes just fitting in. Both of the kids (18 and 15) brought it up a lot.
The death of transgender 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn was tragic. All of the teens are talking about it. They’re comparing her experience with that of teens they know who are “different.” Those “different” kids include some of teens in our life.
Our local community is still mourning the loss of a 12-year-old boy in Folsom, CA. He was bullied by classmates for not being masculine enough. His parents changed his school and the bullies followed. They eventually pulled him out of school but the bullies followed him online and into his outside activities and other parts of his life. Why did he have to leave the school? Shouldn’t the bullies be the ones to have to go away. Shouldn’t their parents be the ones to have to scramble around and find a place for their children? They were the ones who failed, not the parents of the sweet boy who liked cheer leading.
Their crime was being different. Their crime was not hiding who they were.
Many people can’t understand the level of pain and despair these young people were feeling. I wish someone had been there to convince both of them that things would get better. I wish they could have known that success would have been their best revenge. But when you’re young your world is small. Your parents and school are your entire world for the most part. If that world turns into Hell sometimes it seems there is no choice except to get out anyway possible. It is a pain that is unimaginable.
I know that feeling. I’ve been there. It wasn’t for the same reasons as the young people I mentioned here. It passed without any physical scars, but the brand of being different always burns.
I have a post written about a girl Garrett met in his dorms who was different. She was alone and sort of lost. She was defiant and didn’t trust anyone. He reached out to her. I don’t know if it will help her but time will tell. He just let her know she wasn’t alone. But I’ll save that for later.
The cruelty of intolerance is an evil I can not understand or explain. As I’ve grown older and my world has grown larger I have become more tolerant and more understanding. I embrace difference more not than I mistrust it. If I don’t know about something I try to find out about it. I’m not perfect. Yes, there are people and beliefs and lifestyles I don’t approve of, but as long as they are happy and not hurting anyone I’ll let it go. I would never push someone towards death because their beliefs and lifestyle don’t match mine.
Because of this I’ve always been open with my kids about everything. In return our discussions have even changed my mind on some subjects. They are skeptical about bull shit but open and accepting of others. I never want them, or their friends, to feel like like is hopeless and that their lives don’t matter. I will never let anyone make them feel that way.
I can’t protect them from everything but I can always let them know that I am here for them, no matter what.
We have friends who are transgender and gay. We don’t love them any less. We don’t try to change them. Why would we?
We know straight boys who are called gay and girls who are called dykes because they don’t fit into the mold. They express themselves in happy healthy ways but some asshole always has to say something. What matters is our hearts. What matters is that we can laugh together and share our stories and our lives. It matters that we love. I don’t give a crap how you dress or what is under that dress. OK, I want you to wear a stylish dress, or pants, or shirt or hat… but that is another post.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman
I’ll have more Modern Vampire stuff and bad poetry later this week. And remember all of you parents out there PLEASE talk with your kids and really listen to them. Don’t just judge. And fight for your kids. FIGHT for them. Know your kids. Love your kids. Listen to them.