Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joel Burns Bares his Soul

This post is about love and acceptance.

My daughter sent this to me and asked me to post it on my blog. Joel Burns is a councilman in Forth Worth, Texas who has added his voice to the swelling chorus preaching love and compassion for kids being bullied because of their sexual orientation.

Watch the whole thing. You won't regret it.

Recently, there have been a lot of "it gets better" videos circulating on the net in response to the spate of suicides by gay teenagers, some of them barely out of childhood, who have been bullied literally to death. It is heartbreaking, it is tragic in the truest sense of the word. And now gay adults who have gone through similar experiences are speaking out to say to these kids just hang in there, it gets better, it really does.

Don't give up. Life is always worth fighting for, even though it may not seem that way now. For many of us, myself included, high school was just something to get through, like a bad flu. And yes, it's tough, but you must survive and move on. A beautiful life awaits you. There will come a time when you are old enough and strong enough to shout out to the world "THIS IS WHO I AM! Take it or leave it, it doesn't matter because I love who I am. I don't care if you try to make me feel less worthy. I, and I alone, decide my worth, what I want, and who I want to be."

When you realize that it's a decision you make, that it starts and ends with you, then you'll also know that anything is possible. Opportunities will be spread out before you, and they will be limitless. I promise.

It will get better.

Over the years, people I love with all my heart have struggled with coming out and being loved and accepted for who they are. I've listened to friends describe the heartbreak of coming out to their families and being outright rejected, while others have been shocked to their core because their families, despite all evidence to the contrary, came through and supported and loved them.

I read somewhere that being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections and accept what is. So look beyond the imperfections in society, the prejudice, the ignorance, the people who say you must be one way or another.

Once you find peace within yourself, you will be able to live in peace with others, no matter what they think or say. It simply won't matter anymore.

Do not fear your future, embrace it, and always, always strive to live without regrets.

(For some reason, my posted videos show up as smaller than they are, so if you want to see the whole frame, just double click on the video and it will take you directly to YouTube where you can see the whole thing.)


Diane T. said...

Pam, thank you for posting that (and thanks to your daughter, too). It makes for a great discussions starter at home.

A Novel Woman said...

Well it's important.

You know, I just don't understand why people get their panties in a twist about gay men and women and the transgendered, etc. Seriously. Aren't there other things to worry about than how someone chooses to spread their love around the world?

Debby said...

It is important. I've seen this everywhere, and I am glad of it.

PS, Pam? To change the size of that video, just download it like normal, and then click on the 'edit html' tab. Scroll down to the measurements and make the last one (the width) a smaller number. You can experiment with this until you find the measurement that works, and then just always change the width of all videos to that in the future. Voila. It works.

A Novel Woman said...

Hey, I did it! Thanks Debby. That's been bugging me for weeks. You are a genius.