Stay in the fight

      The word bully never really entered my mind when I was a victim, hating having to go to school in the morning and battle my way through insults and demeaning words was business as usual, another day. 6th grade for me was the worst year of my life and it was when my story started. I was a new kid at a school with many who already knew each other for years, a scenario I can understand is not the most conducive for anyone. I remember distinctly, wanting so bad to find a friend just someone to talk to and sit with at lunch, unfortunately friends were very hard to come by. The worst of my experience began when I got into a push and shove fight with another kid who was very popular, after the fact, it it was deemed that I got my ass kicked, and news of this spread like a wild fire. After this the flood gates were opened for verbal insults and even some physical abuse.

       I thought that after surviving this that 7th grade would be better, I was wrong, the insults continued, getting pushed and hit for no reason were very common, and the word "faggot" became an almost everyday utterance. Athletics and football began and living in a small town in Texas this is almost a second religion, I was not good at football to say the least, and every practice they made sure that I knew this , not just the kids but the coaches, grown adults, as well. 

        I really feel like I could go on and on with this but I think the point would be lost. I am 26 years old, I've served in the Army, attended special forces selection, I have a beautiful wife and a wonderful home, I get to do what I love everyday in my studio and I can still feel the impact that these words and actions have had on me. They have affected my interpersonal relationships, they have affected how I view myself, they have affected my view of others and they have affected my quality of life. Today I want to make a promise to myself and to everyone here that is still fighting and still struggling, that I will stay in the fight, That these words will not be my demise.

    To all of you out there who are still fighting, 

    You are a strong, beautiful, radiant individual whose light can never be dulled by words or actions. 

    Stay in the fight and I promise I will too.

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