Last Friday I put up a blog post entitled "It Gets Better" that discussed bullying, cyber bullying, and my own experiences with those mediums. I planned to start a new feature either this week or next week where I write and post a fan fiction each Friday, though I am now debating doing that exclusively on Tumblr. Today would have been the first post but like the best laid plans, things change. I was on Facebook today looking at status updates from friends and "friends". One of my "Friends" put up a status that basically said they was walking through a local college cafeteria at a school I attended for the better part of a semester and that as they was walking they saw people playing Yu-Gi-Oh!, Marvel vs. (I wanna assume Capcom), and reading comics on their laptops. After that, they stated they closed their eyes because they didn't want to see anymore. My first instinct was to comment on the status itself, but I decided to back off because I didn't want anything I said to be taken as racist (people in my area can be twisted). Instead I decided to use today and this blog as a forum to speak on this topic a bit.
First and foremost, I've shared my thoughts with people on this topic a few times but I feel this will be the most in-depth. Second, I ask you read with an open mind as my comments on this can get a bit out there, but I mean nothing offensive by it, racially or otherwise.
To start this off I want to touch on bullying again for a second. One of the biggest factors that motivated my bullies in school was that I was an easy target. I grew up with very diverse interests and I'd like to share some of them now. I like science fiction, fantasy, anime, movies, books, theater, video games, technology, and a billion other things. I'd say none of that makes me a bad person or shows the content of my character, just how I like to amuse myself.
Getting that out of the way, statuses like The one my "friend" put up always irritates me. I was picked on for what I like after many told me to just be myself. Many others have experienced that as well. Picking on someone for what they enjoy is sick and wrong, and it really creates bad stereotypes for groups. This is where I start getting a tad edgy. I realize that I am white and after the last 400 years or so what I am about to do is taboo, but I need to start with the ghetto community. Understand I didn't say black. I'm not here to give a hard time to the African American community. I'm here to deal with the group that walks around wearing padlock chains as necklaces or their pants so low you can see their ankles above their belt loops. If this is generally how you act and your vocabulary contains words like "dawg" or "whazzup" you are most likely a ghetto individual that enjoys listening to rap music. Despite all the torment we geeks receive from that group you don't see us jumping down their throats about how they are wrong or less of a person for choosing to enjoy that style of life.
The same thing goes to metal heads, I actually have a few friends who are metal heads and they are very nice individuals with hearts and souls, but then there is the group of metal heads that say f**k you all. If you don't walk around wearing black, chains, ripped jeans, vests, have long hair and a load of tattoos then you can't listen to our music, again this is something I see as wrong, I'm a geek and a nerd by nature, I listen to rap, I listen to show tunes, but I also listen to rock, hard rock, rock and roll, heavy metal, and thrash metal. I don't walk around looking like what you expect a metal head to look like and I don't mosh, but that in no way reduces my value as a fan to the artist. I'd really like to think the community of fans could think the same way. To those that agree from any fan from any group for anything, I applaud you. For those that don't it's sad that you need to have such a narrow minded view of things.
My point is you shouldn't be ashamed of what you like or afraid to be who you are. No one has the right to tell you that you are wrong for what you like, so embrace who you are and don't be afraid to be yourself and express yourself.
Sound off with your thoughts below.