Saturday, 6 December 2014
12 Year Old Boy Takes His Own Life After Homophobic Bullying
It's a terrible thing whenever someone ends their own life. For someone to be in that much pain that the only way out they can see is to take their own life is almost unimaginable. I'm sure for a lot of people, people who have never had thoughts of suicide, they cannot even begin to relate to it. Whether you understand it or not, I think we can all agree that it's one of the worst things to hear that someone has committed suicide. So to hear that a child as young as twelve has ended his life because he was bullied and taunted, simply for being a cheerleader is heartbreaking.
A child, someone of only twelve year of age, took their own life because other children teased him for doing something that he loved. A little boy with his whole life ahead of him, with everything to live for felt that the only way he could stop the pain he was going through was to die. I don't know about you, but that moves me to tears.
Ronin Shimizu was the only boy on an all female cheerleading team in a middle school in California. From all accounts he was a kind and loving boy, one who was beloved by many of his peers and teachers. He joined the cheerleading team because it was something that he loved to do, it brought him joy. So why was he driven to take his own life?
Representatives from the school have confirmed that Ronin and his parents had reported multiple cases of bullying, including students taunting him with homophobic insults and violence. Their reason for thinking he was gay? He was a cheerleader.
He was a male cheerleader and because of that he was bullied to death. I'll say it again to let the awfulness of that sink in. He took his own life because he was bullied for being a cheerleader.
I hate gender stereotypes. It makes my blood boil whenever someone says that a certain toy is for a boy because it's an action figure, or for a girl because its a doll. It's stupid that boys get strange looks if they wear pink. It's wrong that children are told they can't do certain things or have to act certain ways because of their physical gender.
This is kind of thing is exactly why Ronin died. Children around him told him that only girls or gay people would be a cheerleader. That it wasn't what a boy should be doing. That he was strange for enjoying it. They held so strongly to that belief that they hurt him, in so many horrible ways.
But is this down to the children? Is it their fault that this child is gone? No. It's ours. It's societies fault. Children don't come up with the idea of gender stereotypes or 'boy things and girl things'. These views are taught, they're programmed in. By us.
Society is responsible for the death of Ronin Shimizu. If you're the kind of person that thinks girls can't play with toy guns, that boys shouldn't be allowed to have dolls then you're responsible for the death of of Ronin Shimizu. If your children or grand children laugh at the boy in class who wants to wear a pink shirt or the girl who wants to wear shorts instead of a skirt then they're responsible for the death of Ronin Shimizu.
A child is gone from the world, his life taken by his own hand because of the way the world is. How many other lives have been lost for the same reasons? How many more must we continue to loose before we finally look around us and think enough is enough?
I hope you've found a little peace now Ronin. I didn't know you, but tonight I've cried for you.
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