A young American teen, Jonah Mowry, has released an incredibly moving video (below) in response to the years of bullying he has faced at school.
In the modern era, we’ve come to take a lot for granted with regards to freedom of sexuality – which was fought for on our behalf by the gay rights movement of the 1960s. But for many young people, school is sadly not a safe space in which to grow up.
The video above has gone viral in recent days, collecting thousands of views on Youtube and Facebook. While the cynical amongst us might harp on that it’s not our problem, ‘we had to deal with it without any help, why should they be any different?’, the emotional trauma that bullying causes is evident. Mowry’s message is incredibly powerful – you really do have a million reasons to be here.
In the past few years, the scale of homophobic bullying has been highlighted by the tragic spate of suicides in the US of teens (some gay, some just perceived to be gay) who were persecuted to the point where they decided to take their own lives rather than live through a daily hell of abuse and isolation.
This has given rise to the It Gets Better project, which was launched in 2010 in response to these teen suicides. The message is simple – It Gets Better. You have a full and exciting life ahead of you, and there are others out there willing to support and help you get through the pain. To date, the website contains over 22,000 videos and messages of support from all walks of life, including many celebrities and famously even Barack Obama. We’ve put together a collection of these videos and stories in a special section on So So Gay.
Please consider whether there is anybody you know who may be the victim of homophobic abuse. Then think about how you could help them. Point them in the direction of the It Gets Better website, Stonewall’s It Get’s Better – Today campaign in the UK, or just offer a few friendly supportive words of encouragement. Small actions make big differences, and together we can all do our part to eradicate homophobic bullying.