Ronin Shimizu

Broken Hearted

A twelve year old boy committed suicide because he was bullied for being a cheerleader.

The world is a terrible place.

Sometimes I wonder about bringing a new spark into this scary place.  War, hate, terror, hate, murder, hate, hate, hate…  There is no way to shield my Baby Girl from all of this.

Luckily – yes, because of luck, or fate, or maybe for no reason at all, and not because she is somehow more blessed than other babies – her little soul was born here.  Right in the G.D. Middle of America.  She will avoid so much of the terror that roams much of the world across the sea in a place that most of us will never see and never know.

She is white.  She will not be shot for holding a toy gun on a playground by a police officer.

She will grow to become a woman – but I will do my best to make her strong and to stand up to a world leveled against her.

Unfortunately, hate finds us no matter where we live, no matter our gender, and no matter the color of our skin.  Sometimes it finds us just because of how we dress, who we love, or what we like to do in our spare time…

A twelve year old boy committed suicide because he was bullied for being a cheerleader.

So, obviously, he was gay…right?  Right?  My heart breaks and rages at the same time.  Is being gay such a bad thing that a child should be bullied to death?  Is being gay such a terrible fucking thing that a twelve year old is better off dead than a cheerleader?  Or GAY.

Gender norms.  Ok.  I get it.  I still get a little frustrated whenever I take my beautiful baby girl out and about in a fabulous outfit and a stranger comments on how handsome my little boy is.  (Really, people?  Does she have to be in head-to-toe pink with a giant bow on her head to be a girl?  If you can’t tell if my baby is a boy or a girl – and I understand, it can be hard – maybe you should just go for a nice neutral: “Good lookin’ kid.”  See?  EASY.)

But then, I always have a short quiet conversation with myself that makes me feel better…  “Is it really that important that they can tell that she is a girl?  Does it really matter?  As long as you are happy and she is happy?”  The answer is no.  It doesn’t matter what anyone else in the world thinks.  At least it shouldn’t.

But it does.

Because we’re only human.  And some of us are only twelve.  And at twelve, not very many of us are strong enough to be who we are when others are telling us we shouldn’t be.  We want friends and approval and just to be happy.

Was that little boy gay?  Who even cares.  Because he’s dead now.  Because a bunch of bratty kids decided that being a cheerleader was too girly.  Because their parents taught them that.  Because society tells us this.

R.I.P. Ronin Shimizu.  I am so proud of your cheerleading.


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