These were all names I was called throughout primary, intermediate and high schools.
Because I started growing breasts when I was 10.
Because I sang songs and played guitar and piano.
Because I had had 10 brain surgeries.
Because I was smart and could spell complicated words.
Because I was one of the darker kids in class
Kids can be so cruel.
So why am I talking about this? Last night, I was having a discussion with several kids (I’ve been a part time youth worker for the last few years) about bullying, and why it’s unacceptable – but one thing that I feel we don’t acknowledge as a society is that no matter how many times we talk about kids being cruel; we forget how cruel adults can be too.
I remember one particular evening while on tour with my band Static Era (we were touring with an Aussie band), and three skin heads showed up, and – because I’m a dark skinned rock singer – hurled a few quite delicious insults my way.
Adults can be so cruel.
While I’ve learned to embrace some of these insults – damn straight I’ve got a permanent tan, and I have the opportunity to sing defiant and loud music. Hell yes I’m opinionated and unafraid to voice my ideas. Funk yes, I’ve had 24 operations – you say “freak”; I say “survivor”. And YOU KNOW that I love nothing more than having intelligent conversations about society, politics and philosophy.
Why are these things meant to be insults?
Why do we paint eachother with a dull brush simply to try and make ourselves feel better?
I’m a huge believer in success through empowerment – through lifting each other up; not bringing each other down.
Embrace our different ethnicities.
Recognize the importance of diversity – that’s the only way that society is going to move forward.
Let your freak flags fly, my friends.
Stay golden xx