Bruce died just over a year ago, and he's in my thoughts tonight. As my friend Lynne writes, there's lots of focus on bullying these days. Also, I happened to watch the wretched Rick Perry's unbelievable ad today, bizarrely called "Strong" (I ain't linking to it, especially in a post about Bruce).
I'm going to re-post what I did last year. Here 'tis:
I found out some of his thoughts when I spent several hours later that night reading his blog, Canuck Attitude [update: which, unfortunately, was taken down soon after his death]. This post, in particular, was so full of pain, sadness, rage and disappointment it made me weep for him and every person who's gone through anything like what he describes.
Here's just a bit:
There was a time when I couldn't see myself living beyond sixteen because I couldn't believe that a life so full of hurt, actually it wasn't just the hurt, it was the hatred that was directed toward me that made me feel that maybe being born wasn't such a great thing after all.
Imagine that, eh. You're you. And you're making your way through your childhood and youth, learning that a significant proportion of the world hates you. You've done nothing to deserve it. Nothing!
He also said,
As much as I'm impressed and heartened by Dan Savage's It Gets Better Project and the incredible response it has generated, I can't shake the feeling that all we are doing is patting kids on the head and sending them back to the dungeons while telling them to be patient. I'm sorry, but that's still a kind of tacit approval of bullying.
Bruce designed this flag, put it on his blog, and encouraged people to copy it. In his words, "This flag has no meaning beyond declaring self-purpose about one’s individuality. It’s a testament to the fact that no matter what, we all have to get up every morning and live in and share this place no matter who we are."