February 23 is Anti-Bullying Day! Thoughts and Feedback – Post your comments – Cornwall Ontario

Ottawa ON – February 23 is Anti Bullying Day.   We had the following letter to the editor arrive and it also reminds me of a column that a friend of mine in Los Angeles wrote.  This piece was also published in The Huffington Post.

Here is the letter first from William Hennessy of Ottawa:

February 23 is Anti-Bullying Day, or Pink Shirt Day (www.pinkshirtday.ca) and I would like to encourage everyone to support this important day by wearing a pink shirt in support of anti-bullying.  This day revolves around an incident in Nova Scotia where a student was bullied for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school.  Since then it has expanded into a campaign to eliminate bullying of all forms in schools.  Too often the colour pink is associated with femininity; thereby relegating it to a colour which society deems can only be worn by women.  This gender stereotyping is dangerous and leads to bullying and homophobia.  Pink is just a colour and should not represent a gender.  It should be worn by anyone.
William Hennessy,  Ottawa Ontario


and here is Jason Stuart’s piece on being bullied as a student:

I could have been Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Tyler Clementi or any of the other teens that recently ended their young, precious lives. I grew up in the 1970s when being gay was still considered to be a mental illness by some. I would go to sleep hoping not to wake up, simply because I liked men. While much has changed over the last 30 years, feelings of isolation remain, much of it brought on by peers.

Like those boys and so many others, I was bullied in school. I guess my locker had some pheromone that attracted people that hated people that were somewhat different, because in the first week of 7th grade a kid scraped the word “fag” on my locker with something sharp like a pocket knife or a nail. Even though I could only see that word when I fumbled with the combination, the sadness and loneliness that the word made me feel lingered in the back of my mind every day of those horrific three years, a feeling that continued until I finally came out publicly on television in 1993. This one act and other daily forms of abuse by my classmates changed my life and my ability to learn and participate in friendships and relationships. The fear that I had because I was different was so strong it convinced me not to attend college; I was not prepared for what the repercussions might be if people knew I was gay.

When I was in my 30s and starting to act, I was completely guarded with my secret, convinced I had to suppress it and pretend it was non-existent. It was so detrimental to me that I only wanted to be with other “professional” actors, where I felt safe. Where I knew that as long as I was in this box of mine, life was going to be safer. “Just DON’T be yourself.” That’s what I believed and in doing so, I missed so many potential experiences and relationships that I will never know what could have been.

I regret not having the experience of going though the same things at the same time as my peers. Folks often say, “You can go to college now.” Of course, it wouldn’t be the same. I often travel to universities to do stand-up or lecture, and I learn so much just being around students, faculty and members of gay-straight alliances. Recently, after a performance, I had a good cry when I was back in my hotel because I had been in the presence of these students who are not afraid of being out and accepting who they are. It impressed me immensely.

When I was 21, I made a call to a suicide prevention lifeline because I realized I needed help. I was starting to have thoughts of suicide and I needed someone to stop me, to save my life. I began seeing a counselor after that, who I knew kept everything confidential, but even with my back to her chair, I sat there and lied that I was bi-sexual, uncomfortable to even speak the truth to a professional. It was too hard and I was afraid for my life.

Career-wise, I wanted to be an actor while some in the industry would say I was “too light in the loafers.” Memories of all these kids who beat me up and humiliated me all through school came back to me repeatedly in my early years of pursuing my career. Being afraid of people and re-learning how to trust them is a daily reminder of where and how far I have come.

Now I am an actor, a comedian and an advocate for equality. I have been able to get past my childhood and work in my chosen profession. I also have been able to give back to my community by being chair of the Screen Actors Guild National LGBT Actors Committee and a mentor for LifeWorks, which supports LGBTQ youth between the ages of 12-24. I have also produced and performed in a comedy benefit for the past five years to raise money for these kids and to show them there is hope out there.

Doing service for others and accepting the support of others has been my way of healing. I have been able to overcome my feelings of not being “enough.” I came to realize that the thoughts in my head are just that and can go out as easily as they entered those many years ago. I can create a new life story by which to live my life. It’s 2010 and I don’t have to be that kid in the 1970s who was abused and suicidal anymore. I often wish I could take that kid by the hand and show him the life I have now and tell him, “It will get better. I’m someone. Someone with a life and someone that matters. Just like you do.”

Jason Stuart – Los Angeles California

Now Bullying isn’t something that just happens to students.  Bullying occurs in life, in business, and all over.  It’s not unique to men or any age bracket.

In this age of Political Correctness and conformity it’s not easy to stand up to bullies.  My grand-father was a boxer.  He taught me at a very young age when I was bullied in school that you had to stand up to bullies and have respect for yourself.   He also taught me that you sometimes had to stand up for others who maybe couldn’t stand up for themselves.   And his last bit of advice on the subject is that sometimes you pay a price for doing it, but that the price was far less than not in most cases.

So cheers to everyone on Anti Bullying Day and when you see someone at any level in life getting bullied remember that one day it could be you and that maybe, just maybe, going to their aid may not be the worst thing you could do!

You can post your comments below!

Pommier Jewellers


  1. I guess God is a bully? 1Co 6:9 “Don’t you know that evil people won’t have a share in the blessings of God’s kingdom? Don’t fool yourselves! No one who is immoral or worships idols or is unfaithful in marriage or is a pervert or behaves like a homosexual 1Co 6:10 will share in God’s kingdom. Neither will any thief or greedy person or drunkard or anyone who curses and cheats others. 1Co 6:11 Some of you used to be like that. But now the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God’s Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God”.

    No God is not a bully, He is loving, righteous, and has “purer eyes to behold iniquity”. God doesn’t bully, He just changes you by His powerful grace – 1Co 6:11 “Some of you used to be like that. But now the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power of God’s Spirit have washed you and made you holy and acceptable to God”. I love being acceptable to God; all should feel the same way!

  2. Bullying doesn’t belong! Lets get rid of it now before it grows to unmanageable proportions! Not educating bullies might be a solution!

  3. Pastor Tom how can you be acceptable to God when you still continually curse others who don’t fit into your vision?

  4. More hateful crap from the preacher! Jesus H. Christ… will it ever end?

  5. the beauty of this campaign is that it touches on bullying on many levels. it may have been borne out of a reaction to an anti gay sentiment, but it has been embraced by so many affected by bullying.

    thank god – and i do not say that lightly – that our schools have embraced this. life is hard enough when you are different ( be it for religious reasons, sexuality or other reasons ) and how refreshing it is to see education happening on a day like today.

    my child’s school ( viscount ) was awash in pink today and i think this is a fabulous thing.

    as for the first comment above? well…i hope that the message today is making so clear, this very education, reaches the children of the people who still preach hatred and ignorance. just a small thing to make them stop and think if those are the words they truly want to live their lives by.

    pervert? homosexual? used in the same sentence? under the guise of a loving god? thank you, tnpreacher555, for making very clear why these kind of events and efforts are necessary in our society today.

    hopefully the kindness and acceptance that today embodies will be what remains, not hateful words that serve to isolate and hurt.

  6. You know, sometimes I write these letters and comments just to see how fired up Pastor Tom will get. If God doesn’t accept me for who I am, then I don’t want to be a part of his plan. That is of course if you believe in his/her existence. Don’t let Tom distract us from the real conversation we are having on a very important issue: stopping people from telling us how to think,act, love, and believe. Actually, that sounds exactly like what Pastor Tom does!

  7. Dude, bullying can lead to suicide and anorexia and biolemia and stuuf, like ya. Tottally this should like stop. Like, ya, its not good man. Like when I was tottally younger I was bullyed

  8. William – you can say all you want about the messenger, but you still can’t change the message!

    Joh 10:10 “The thief does not come except that he may steal, and kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and may have it abundantly”.

  9. Author

    So Tom I’m trying to understand your position. Do you support Bullying or are you against it?

  10. Tom’s answered that time and time again, Jamie. He is a bully, probably always was, and no doubt always will be.

    Why he has to bully in the name of Jesus, who stood up for the poor and oppressed, is beyond me. However, rest assured, he and Satan will come up with a good excuse (also in the name of Jesus).

  11. Jamie, The preacher clearly supports bullying. The god that exists in his twisted little mind is truly an evil bully. The man has a severe mental illness, and that won’t change until he gets treatment. Sad, really, and hurtful to anyone who might take him seriously.

  12. Author

    Just a question Furtz, The Watcher; isn’t what you’re sort of doing Bullying to Tom?

  13. i think the message is getting lost here…or is perhaps being illustrated. not sure.

  14. What ever happen to “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”, yes, I am against verbal and physical abuse but why? Because it offends the sacred cow of political correctness – no way! To bad most of the posters on this website don’t have a clue of what real verbal abuse is. Slay the sacred cow, and quiet wearing your feelings on your pink sleeves, and grow up! Boo, woo, boo woo!
    Mat 5:21 -22 “You know that our ancestors were told, “Do not murder” and “A murderer must be brought to trial.” But I promise you that if you are angry with someone, you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell”

  15. Jamie, for years now, the preacher has been totally without respect for other peoples beliefs and feelings when posting here and other places. He’s repeatedly told us all that we will be roasting in hell if we don’t believe what HE believes. He insults us all regularly. I see nothing wrong in slapping a jerk like that down whenever he writes garbage like his above post. As the owner and moderator of this site, you have every right to block my posts if you think I’m out of line.

  16. i think meaningful discussion on this page is pointless. too bad, admin, you started out with something good.

    and pastor tom? whoever you are ( obviously other people know you…i have no idea who you are )? i wish you peace but truly think that you are misguided. and as for assuming who knows what in terms of abuse? you simply don’t know. but continue with your tirade, because there are more and more people out there who will stand against your kind of bullying.

  17. Meaningful discussion on these pages is never pointless, Angela. You just have to know how to weed out the goats from the sheep, and one goat in particular.

  18. Hey Angela, It’s true that meaningful discussions are often sidetracked when the preacher releases his hateful stink-bombs. It would probably be best to just ignore the jerk, but that’s hard to do at times.
    It’s really encouraging to know that there are steps being taken these days to eliminate bullying in schools. Back in the fifties and early sixties when I was in school, it was a regular occurrence, and I was usually on the receiving end. As far as the teachers and the principals were concerned, it was my problem. Fast forward to the nineties, and my son went through the same, only worse, at Gananoque Secondary School. A few teachers were concerned about the situation, but the principal seemed only concerned with the sports teams and show-boating.
    My son never completed high school, and is now paying the price for that. Thank Dog, despite whatever the preacher says, that there is an awareness of the problem, and an effort to end it.

  19. At St. Lawrence School, a while back, the principal (his name was Lalonde) used to solve the rampant bullying problem by suspending the victim. I’m not sure, but I think the public school board promoted him out of the school.

  20. Richard, That’s pretty funny. From the age of about eight to sixteen, I would have given my eye teeth to be expelled from school. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t quit high school sooner. Many years later , when I was motivated, I completed the HS thing, and a three year technology program at St Laurence College. Why do we have to jam all the schooling/education into people before they hit twenty, or before they know what the hell they want to do?

  21. Is this topic dead….am wondering why my comment wasn’t posted?

  22. why not let the kids fight?? I think a good portion of the posters in here will and do stand up for themselves as needed by the events they ace.

    Not all kids are the same??? No shyte. But let them face controversy and address it head on. It will build character….

  23. Author

    Smee bullying isn`t about kids fighting. It`s about bullying.

  24. I’ve finally got you figured out smee. I realize now what you have been doing. You work for the Cornwall Free News don’t you? You are on this website to deliberately stir people up and cause controversy so that people will feel the need to comment and to check back frequently to see what obnoxious thing you are going to say next.

    Well done sir! You even had me fooled and I rose to the occasion more than once to challenge you but…no longer! I am on to you now.
    Your mistake was overplaying your hand. There is no way that any reasonable, intelligible person with feelings could ever say something as stupid as, “It will build character” in relation to bullying. Unless, of course you are merely trying generate interest and pretend to be a heartless human being. Well, I am not fooled any more.
    You should be more careful in the future though sir, the families of teenagers like Phoebe Prince or Jared High or countless others might read your comments and get really angry and not realize that you couldn’t possibly mean it.

  25. Author

    Standup I can assure you without any doubt and full warranty that smee definitely does not work for us in any capacity for fee or free.

  26. Well then I am confused…

  27. In fact, I shall, after much research, reveal Smee’s real identity next week. Stay tuned.

  28. Go Richard!

  29. ” I think a good portion of the posters in here will and do stand up for themselves as needed by the events they ace.”

    Well, SMEE, I think those of us who don’t hide behind a pseudonym stand up for ourselves….. although if we ace something then we would just be bragging.

  30. Furtz, the high school thing is getting worse for kids. In grade 10 kids will be expected to choose a stream of courses. If you choose technolgy, graduate but want something else then, you are further back when starting post secondary. A good grounding in everything worked for years didn’t it?

    Also, the T R Leger adult high school is something that your son may be able to use. They are doing some great work to help attain a grade 12 diploma.

  31. Eric. I wouldn’t want to be a high school student now either. Seems like the school boards are bowing to the Fraser Institute, and focusing on training rather than education. I’ve heard really good things about TR Leger from a few adult friends who got their diplomas there. I’m coaxing my son in that direction, and keep hoping.

  32. The Troungs should be under investigation for their role in contributing to the death of her son, Asher Brown.
    The Troungs should have to explain why a loaded gun was left out in the open in their closet.
    The Troungs should have to explain how a tiny boy reached the upper shelf of their closet; no chair was found near the body.
    The Troungs should have to explain why her son killed himself on the same morning he, supposedly confides to his step-father (confided for the FIRST time to anyone) that he was gay.
    AND they should have to explain if the boy was bullied for over a year, why they did not contact the school; they did contact the school once, but it was to inform the school of an issue at HOME.
    AND the scumbag stepfather should have to explain why he is soliciting online donations on behalf of Asher but the money is to be donated to a church (formed just recently) run by the step-fathers BROTHER and registered online right after the tragedy.
    Lastly, does anyone know that the boy has a twin brother who has been taken by CPS from the home because of terrible ABUSE.
    If there are any investigators out there reading this: was there been a gun powder residue test done on the boy as well as his scumbag STEPFATHER?

Leave a Reply