It Gets Better...
Originally posted: October 15, 2010

Text by: Cyndi Seidelman

C-Note: This commentary was written before I came out as trans. The point of the commentary still stands no matter what.

Over the course of this past couple of weeks, 6 teenagers in both high school and college have committed suicide because of being bullied and harassed by other students because they were gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. Reading story after story and seeing these stories on the news really hurt. I am a bisexual man, but with heavy gay leanings. I thought that we were past all of this nonsense about how being gay was evil and that it should be vanquished. Over the past week, "Savage Love" guru Dan Savage started a media campaign on YouTube with the simple message of, "It Gets Better." His message was that after High School, after all the bullying, life does get better. As a matter of fact, it gets wonderful. I am here to say that he is right.

I too was a victim of bullying during my days in High School, and even at home by my stepfather. I didn't know that I was who I was at that time. I was different to say the least. I wasn't into the main cultural things at that time. My school, Franklin Pierce High School, was very overcrowded. Had classes upwards of 35-40 kids at one time, and the atmosphere of the school was very hip-hop and heavy metal rocker at that time, where I was an 80s music fanatic who loved sappy ballads, Journey, Huey Lewis and the News, Wham, and The Human League. Not only that, I was very introverted. I didn't speak up that much, but when I did speak up it was only when I was spoken to, or it was because someone asked me a question about a certain subject in school. I should have known that I was different, when I made 2 jokes revolving around me being gay, but then again I had no idea what these things meant. The first one was in French class where me and this kid had some banter going on about how he was into Lion-o from Thundercats and oddly enough Martha Stewart. He then proceeded to say the infamous line, "That's Not what Your Mother said last night." I'm assuming this was a quote from Saturday Night Live, because the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches were very popular at that time. I then uttered, "That's not what your father said." The class was shocked at what I had said. Little did I know that this would set a precedent. A few months later, I was harassed by this sophomore in my Algebra class after I made some line about Richard Simmons. Then when he continued to harass and bully me, I asked him to stop and he let a fist fly at my nose. After that time, I didn't say much about anything in my personal life.

After that, I kept mainly to myself and suddenly lost interest in lots of things. My sophomore year was the worst year of my life. It seemed like nothing was going right. I was failing classes left and right, and I was still intimidated by being who I wanted to be. It also didn't help that my life was seemingly falling apart. My surroundings were no longer with our family as during that time, people were staying here in the house and I felt very uncomfortable even talking normally to people. It also didn't help that I was being force-fed religion as well. Eventually, I would give up on church as I became disenchanted with what was being taught there. Quite simply, I felt like killing myself several times over this self-discovery.

Junior and Senior years were when things finally started to, in a way, get better. I had finally admitted to myself that I was bisexual, but I still didn't have the nerve to tell anybody else either. I had found a way to sneak past all of this by becoming the ultimate Game Show Geek and being a great broadcasting student. I had found my niche in high school at last. I slowly started to become interested in my class work again, and started talking about various things to my schoolmates and the school staff. I think it all came to ahead where the situation was solidified when I was somewhat honored in my Media Literacy class as they played Most Outrageous Game Show Moments 2 for the day. I admit I was embarrassed, but in a good way.

After High School ended, everything did get better. I proceeded to go my own way and started going to technical college to further my studies as trying to learn more about Broadcasting and maybe finding work in said field. The moment where I finally came out to people was during the last few months there. It was me taking care of some last minute fixes for a stock cut-in. I was talking to my classmate Chris, and telling him that he's got a really good life with his current wife, Andrea and that he's found happiness. He then said that when I find a woman that would be my everything, I would truly be happy as well. I then said, without him in earshot that "It didn't necessarily have to be a woman." Without knowing that Andrea was in the edit bay, she finally asked the question, "Are you gay, Game Show"? (Game Show was my nickname in college). To which I replied, I might be, I don't know. It was then I realized that I've felt comfortable now being who I was.

In 2008, I finally started acting on who I was. I had met some really great friends in the LGBT community, finally started going out and meeting people. I also got to finally hold my own on my former radio show, The North American Wrestling Connection, and in July of 2008, finally lost my virginity to a really great guy. Ever since then, although I've had my share of ups and downs, life actually did start getting better with the help of great online friends, and also seeking counseling to help finally get everything off of my chest. Then I finally started the drive in August of 2009 to start up this website, combining my loves of writing and Game Shows. This site also helps remind me that it does get better after high school.

In closing, to all the young LGBT readers of my website. Life does get better after high school. The bullies that you deal with in high school are a pain and once you finally start getting around that pain and after high school altogether, life immediately will get better. All it takes is to be strong and be patient. You will be beautiful and fabulous in this world. Don't let any of the bullies and harassers tell you otherwise. You aren't useless. You aren't worthless. You aren't better off dead. You are beautiful just the way you are. Don't let the bullies win. Trust me, it does get better.

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