Today at work, I got the chance to read PEOPLE’s special report on the teen suicide tragedies and bullying, an issue that should be required reading for all teens and their parents and teachers.
While light has been shed on the plight of young gay, lesbian and transgender students, what PEOPLE does so well is shed light on an array of kids who are bullied, from popular blonde beauties who are called sluts to biracial, Muslim and overweight teens. It paints a bigger portrait that everyone is a target, and the only way to strip these bullies of their power is for all of us to embrace our differences.
Reading this issue was bittersweet for me personally, as a survivor of bullying as a teen. While it made me stronger and helped me persevere and instill an enormous amount of self-certainty, flash forward nearly 10 years and I feel I am merely sitting in the shadows with this weight of responsiblity on my shoulders.
There’s so much more that I could do to shed light; so much more. I feel powerless and hopeless and ultimately cowardly for sitting here behind this keyboard with my anonymity in tact and knowing that I have a story that could help millions of kids out there who grew up with my struggle.
I vow, that once I have the courage, I will say yes, stripping myself of the veil and safety of anonymity and come forth with the intent of letting these kids know, kids just like me, that it does and it will get better.