For this hop I am giving away a print book from my GBLT bookcase-Under The Skin by Ariel Tachna and Nikki Bennett plus a promo goodie bag full of good stuff to one lucky person.
To enter, all you need to do is comment on this or the above linked blog post for the next three days and you are in the running for it. Contest ends May 20th at midnight. I will announce the winner on May 21st here on my blog and you need to leave an email address in your comment so I have a way to contact you in case you win.
May 17th was International Day Against Homophobia, and this hop was organized as a way for members of the M/M writing community (authors, publishers, reviewers and more) to join together in a demonstration of support against discrimination and to raise awareness, to learn more about the hop and participating authors, please go here: http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com/
For my post today I am going to talk about bullying of gblt kids. Namely teenage bullying of anyone who is different. I live in Western New York, about 40 minutes from where Jamey Rodemeyer lived, learned and was bullied to the point where he killed himself from experiencing it again. No kid or person should be subjected to this just because they are 'different'. I am not gay or bisexual but have a strong empathy to those who experience this sort of thing. Yes I was bullied in school but not to the extent that many other young gblt kids have been or are experiencing now.
My children's school has a no tolerance for bullying but with the advance of technology bullying can occur 24/7 on the internet. Web pages. Social media. blogs. Twitter. The scary thing is kids seem to think this is funny or a joke. Bullying someone to the point where that person feels death is better is NEVER a joke. What these bullies are doing is driving someone to the end of their lives and to me, in my opinion, is murder. My kids don't have facebook accounts, twitter-tweet-whatever it is or even an email address. I feel they don't need it and the horror that a kid finds online is something that scars the crap out of me. I am a single parent who finds this changing, evolving world a very scary one from the one I grew up in 20 or even 30 years ago. Nowadays, parents need to be vigilant and kids need to be taught from their parents that bullying is not acceptable.
With my own two kids I try to teach them that just because you are different doesn't mean it's a bad thing. The world would be quite a boring place if we all were the same. Different is a wonderful, magical thing and they should embrace it-100%. The thing we need to get out to kids as early as elementary school is that being different isn't a bad thing at all. It's a wonderful thing because you are a unique person. A wonderful person with so much to give to the world.
If you need help or someone to talk to, please contact The Trevor Project at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
There are people out there who can help you...don't let the bullies win in making you feel so alone that the world is better off without you. No one should feel like that and I have this to say to you-you are a wonderful, gifted person who has so much to live for. It will take time, the bullying will leave scars inside but you will be a stronger person for it. Don't give up. There is a whole world out there, waiting for you to explore it.
This hop against homophobia is a chance for many of us to show the world that we stand together, gay-bisexual-transgender-lesbian & straight, that homophobia isn't right and that by showing the world we won't stand for it, maybe, just maybe we can make a difference in this world.
Thank you for letting me part of this hop and letting me ramble away.