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Attention Bullies: Shine On by Accepting Others

October 12, 2010

All Ed Sanfillipo did to get the attention of bullies  was to hop on the San Diego trolley.

In an instant a gang of strangers wanted to know, forcibly, if he was a man or a woman.

He ran away before they could find out.

I grew up being bullied. The mean girls made fun of my homemade clothes. My gangly  lanky awkwardness. The color of my skin.

Yes, there was the name calling and the rock throwing.

Oh, I had it easy.

The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network says  nearly 9 of 10 gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual middle and high school students suffered physical or verbal harassment in 2009, ranging from taunts to outright beatings.

In 2007 The Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey found that those same kids are at four times greater risk of suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.
 
Seth Walsh was one of them. He came out at 11. Bullies led to his suicide at 13.
His story in the Los Angeles Times made me cry.

Months ago it was my indignation about bullies led me to start working on Ed’s story.  Other priorities got in the way, so it was placed on the back burner.

At last, my story airs on FSRN  this week on more than 100 stations.

The timing could not be better.

How can you star in your own life, if you are so busy making someone else miserable?
There are no two sides to this story. Don’t be a bully.

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