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before | after

call me a crotchety old man (it's all right, both my best friend and my boyfriend have already done so), but i've never been a fan of webcams being built into laptops and computers on an industry wide scale. having never been an exhibitionist myself, i've never trusted it. at least once a year my mistrust is proved to be well founded.

last time it was thanks to a Pennsylvania school system spying on it's students via the webcam on their school issued laptops. last week an 18 year old threw himself off the George Washington Bridge because his roommate and another student used a webcam to live stream the 18 year old having sex with another man. i'm not naive enough to believe that is the only reason he committed suicide, it was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

that straw should not have been there.

there's a part of me that wonders how he could have been so weak. throwing his life away because people saw a video of him having sex? Paris Hilton started a career with that. yes, it's incredibly embarrassing, but it's nothing to end your life over. if i'm honest, while i'm disgusted with myself for having the sentiment, my bafflement is real.

i was bullied for most of my life. for some reason early on in school one kid had decided that he didn't like me and the rest of the pack had followed suit never questioning why. it started for incredibly infantile reasons such as my appearance, (my height, facial scars, etc.) my family, (they are hippies who don't like American football. nuff said.) and my interests (there is no way on earth to convey to middle schoolers that magic is anything other than lame). later on it was for my sexuality, but the fact that they teased me about being gay didn't phase me because if it wasn't for that, they would attack me for something else.

i despised school. i begged to be home schooled. i begged to be allowed to move in with my cousins in another state so i could be somewhere where they didn't know me. neither were really options. yet every morning, except when i was hospitalized, i would be at school diligently counting the minutes until i could escape. what got me through the living nightmare of taunting, tricks, and beatings was my family and my best friend, Emily. this was especially true of my cousin Steven.

Steven was named after my dad and was born seven years before i was. i was in 4th grade when he got his drivers license and he started picking me up after school. we would get milkshakes, drive off to a quiet spot and he'd let me scream and yell about every single horrible thing that had happened that day so i could get it out of my system. then we'd talk about anything good that had happened that day and the conversation would always turn to music and bands and horror films. so by the time he would drive me home, i'd be in a much better mood. he got me into punk and he would quiz me on bands, political movements, and dates of historical battles. i always had a blast with him. then one day in the summer i was 13, he killed himself. i still have no idea why. he was 20 and the epitome of cool. had an awesome car, good friends, good job, close to family, and yet... his younger brother is still convinced Steven killed himself over his girlfriend. i can't believe that. it's too trivial. then again, most reasons given are.

things got really ugly after that. i became depressed and withdrawn. at school my fellow students found out that i was actually gay (before that they simply assumed) and the teasing and fights increased ten fold. later that year i got curb stomped by the basketball team and getting attacked in the hall within ten feet of a teacher was not an uncommon occurrence. the insult to injury was that one morning, after some kid somewhere in the country had shot up his school, i was called to the principal's office and sent home because they thought i was a likely candidate for a school shooter. somehow, thanks to support from my family and Emily, i survived.

high school was better. not perfect, but much much better. the big fish in my previous schools that had everyone ganging up on me, was suddenly a very small fish and his pack disbanded. i made some new, amazing friends. i had my brother, who is two years older than i am, there from day one with his friends ready to help out if anyone gave me any problems. and for the first time at school, i was able to breathe. by the end of high school several things had happened that i would have never thought possible. i came out to my family. i got my wonderful boyfriend. and i came out to some of my hockey teammates without a negative consequence. hell, if they repeal "don't ask, don't tell" in the next couple of years and i can join the military without the fear that any knowledge of Simon would get me dishonorably discharged, all the fears that kept me closeted and cautious will be gone.



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(Deleted comment)
Jan. 25th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
Re: Well-founded indeed.
my grandmother is fond of the phrase "God never gives us more than we can handle". i don't know if i agree with that but i've been able to roll with everything so far. or as a friend put it to me, we're fierce for a reason ;)

thank you, he was pretty amazing.

heh, i really didn't expect it too. the grudge against built in webcams is my own little pet peeve.
( 1 break in the silence — the world is quiet here )


i read a lot, expect too much from people, i'm too serious for my own good, don't smoke but i hate anti-smoking ads.