Yesterday I shared the sad story of Michael Morones, who attempted suicide after being bullied for liking My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I suggested some ways that we could help support Michael and kids like him.
Today I thought it would be nice to offer our support by sharing the things for which we were bullied. Not as a way to dig up old hurts, but as a means of celebrating our favorite nerdclinations and the joy they’ve brought us, in spite of bullying.
When I was younger I thought I’d never be rid of my bullies. I thought my nerdy loves would have to stay hidden forever. Fortunately that hasn’t been the case at all. I’ve found friends and a wife who love me for who I am, nerdclinations and all.
Here are some nerdclinations I was bullied for.
I love Star Trek. Star Trek: The Next Generation opened me up to a whole new world of space, excitement and exploration. Unfortunately it also opened me up to new forms of bullying. It wasn’t enough to be overweight with a voice that hadn’t changed. My bullies also needed to make fun of me for wanting to boldly go where no one had gone before. In spite of the bullying I would still bring my Star Trek Encyclopedia to school, which was nothing compared to my friend who wore his Starfleet uniform for picture day.
Magic: The Gathering
I was only able to start playing Magic again because I had stopped. My friends and I would bring our decks to school and battle each other in the library. We thought the library would be safe from our bullies’ eyes but we were wrong. Magic, which had started as a fun game, turned into just another means of torment. Eventually we stopped playing Magic at school because the opportunity to play a few games at lunch wasn’t worth the teasing. I’m happy to be playing Magic again. It is so much fun and no one mocks me for playing it. Well Alycia does, but I think it’s mostly good-natured.
My friends and I were most bullied for our love for the X-Men. Every day at lunch and recess my friends and I would pretend to be X-Men and fight each other. Pretend Wolverine would disembowel people with his pretend claws. Pretend Cyclops would blow up the jungle gym with pretend optic blasts. Pretend Storm would cause pretend hurricanes to throw the rest of the playground into chaos. While everyone else was happy to play basketball and tetherball, we were happy to shoot, slash and fight our way through lunch. Our jumping, kicking and punching wasn’t very inconspicuous and everyone mocked us for our uncanny play fighting. But, if we had to be bullied, at least we were being bullied together.
At this point I’m so happy to define myself by my favorite nerdclinations and not my bullies. I’m also happy to define myself by those who love me and accept my nerdiness. We all have friends, family and a Heavenly Father who love us exactly as we are. And that kind of love is stronger than any bullying.
What were you bullied for?