Rick Mercer is a national treasure and is quickly becoming a significant part of the Canadian conscience. In his rant on gay bullying he calls on gay adults to step forward to act as role models. I don’t think that is enough. I think all adults need to step forward in a way that shows teens that standing up for gay rights doesn’t have negative consequences. You see, I’ve talked to some young people about this and they say that they are afraid that if they stand up to the bullying, they themselves will be branded as gay. This is one of the first things that has to change. Mercer says that there are probably lots of kids who know who the bullies are. Why don’t they step forward? Because they are afraid of being branded “gay” as well. If we can change this, then I feel a lot else will change.
I love Mercer’s comment about the police coming to an assembly. His legitimate insinuation is that if the school had been set on fire, or the lunch room vandalized, the police would come in to find the guilty parties and there would be consequences. It is a sad commentary that in the case of bullying resulting in suicide, the only action will be grief counselors. I have to say that if I were in a situation of knowing about such bullies, I’d be sorely tempted to spray paint “MURDERER” on the front of their homes.