A Stand Against Bullying on Spirit Day

10/19/2012

MonteToday, people across the nation (myself included) are wearing purple to recognize and combat the very real, very frightening issue of bullying.

GLAAD’s Spirit Day is an annual day in October when millions of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. You can learn even more right here.

It's difficult to define bullying. It's not just a physical phenomenon; it's verbal, too. Bullying is about saying awful things, but it's also not saying them. Acts of exclusion or deliberate class distinction can be forms of bullying. When you manipulate someone, that's also bullying.

On Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, I'm known as a prankster. And I'll admit it, I love (love!) to tease. There's a very fine line between bullying and teasing, though, and I never cross it.

In school, I was bullied. I was a small, slight person, and I was shoved into lockers and had my books knocked out from my hands. I never got picked first for sports, and I had trouble fitting into the mainstream. But I found comfort in the arts. I thrived in art classes and drama -- a creative outlet was my key for coping.

Equality is one of the hardest things to accept and promote. Accepting people for who they are is a challenge. But we should all strive for it. Using repetitive words and acts to convince people to change so they better fit who you want them to be is bullying. 

If you are a victim of bullying, I hope you find the courage to stand up for yourself or to tell someone that you're being bullied. If you don't show the strength you have inside, someone will always take advantage of your weakness.

About the Author

Monte Durham of "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" invites us to see the world of weddings, style and etiquette through his eyes.
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