Spirit Day

Today, the whole world celebrates Spirit Day, to commemorate the tragic loss of seven young men who took their lives after being bullied at school, because of their “gay” acts.

Bullying, whatever reason you may think of, is bad. I can’t help but feel sad when I read about the unwanted deaths of these young men. What I couldn’t bare more was the reason behind their choice to end their lives. Being bullied because you’re gay, or are being suspected of being one because of the way you act is just plain heartless and stupid.

It is hard enough for people like us to live in a society raised in a patriarchal and heterosexual culture. But we try, and we try hard. In fact, we try too hard to fit in in a society we did not choose. We long for acceptance in a society supposedly made for everyone. And what do we get? Still endless bullying, bashing, discriminating and belittling. It is as if we’re a species lower than heterosexual ones.

I am thankful that most of the people around me understand my sexuality and loves me just the same. Because my being gay is just one facet of my whole identity. It’s not my entirety.

Yet this is not the case for most of the gay men and women out there. Many are being ridiculed. Some are even hurt physically, just because they choose to be true to themselves.

We’re trying to live our own lives here. Please do not ruin it for us.

Days like this makes me appreciate those who try to reach out and help send the message across that we’re equal. We all breathe the same air. We all destroy the same earth. We long for the same love.

But this is not enough. Because as much as I hate to admit it, there still are several close-minded people about this matter. Many will just shrug it off and let this day pass by just like any ordinary day. In fact, this is just an ordinary day. Because no matter how much we try to tell others that this is to remember the short lives of these young men, they’re still dead. Their families are still grieving. All we can hope now is that none of that will ever happen again. But we all know I’m kidding myself. Yes, that’s the harsh reality of life.

I feel sad for everyone, not just the PLUs, who are being bullied and ridiculed for being themselves. But I feel worse for those who keep a close-mind about these issues. They are missing on a lot more colorful and happier world. We won’t be called “gay” for nothing.

But at the same time, I still see the hope that one day, there won’t be a Spirit Day, a gay Santacruzan, a queer movie. There’s just an ordinary day, a Santacruzan, and a movie. I still hope that there won’t be a need to label things as gay, because they’re as normal as anything else.

“It gets better,” as what American politican Joel Burns said. Indeed, in a slump state like this, it should all get better. In time, we hope.


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