Now, today I want to talk about something that has always been something that I’ve held dear to my heart, but has really been brought into stark focus recently, and since I’ve got a soapbox, I’m going to use it.
Now I don’t know how many of you have heard the news about a young kid called Michael Morones recently, who is currently fighting for his life after attempting suicide because he was bullied for liking the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Now I have to say that I am appalled by this, both as a Brony (and willing to admit it out loud, in front of a load of strangers that I only know through the internet) and as a human being. Michael was only 11 years old and to feel that your life is no longer worth living at such a young age is just beyond words. I don’t know what kind of bullying he went through, how bad it was (though I’d have to assume it was pretty bad) or for how long it had been going on for, all I know is Michael’s age, that he had ADHD and that he like the show because he identified with one of the main characters due to her ADHD like behavior. But still, the fact that he felt forced into such drastic action just because he was different is tragic. And that brings me onto the point of today’s missive.
Difference is not something that should be shut out, forced into a corner or laughed at. Difference is something that should be embraced, celebrated. We are all different in our own way and the more we recognize that, the more we grow as people. Hell, I’m a guy who loves children’s cartoons, still collects toy cars, watches sci-fi, reads comics, but I often feel I was born the wrong gender and I’ve always and will always support anyone who feels shut out because they are different and I have been bullied because of it. There were times when I seriously considered suicide, but I didn’t because I knew that it didn’t matter what the bullies and the judgmental thought, it’s what you think that really matters. If YOUR differences make YOU happy, then why should you bend over backwards to please the world, because trust me, you cannot please everyone. And that’s why this story gets to me so much.
We in this community are made up of self-professed geeks, nerds and weirdoes, who have been drawn to this site to unleash our creativity into a variety of geeky worlds, be it superhero, sci-fi or fantasy, all genres which have had their fair share of ridicule from “normal” people (and I say normal in the loosest possible way, because, as stated before, we are all different so there is no such thing as normal). Hell, I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has gone through bullying for being different, but we’re all still here and that is what matters.
So please, if you do nothing else today, give a thought for Michael Morones and don’t looks down on anyone because they are different, embrace that difference, because remember, you’re different too.
Get well soon Michael.