I know it's not the best thing to put out about myself but nobody said I have to be perfect. But yeah, I watch only America's Next Top Model. I don't bother with the Australian edition or the British version for that matter. I'm just crazy about the US of A. Besides I think Australian and British girls are abit of a snob types. They have got so many issues.
In the most recent cycle; that is cycle 15, there is an openly lesbian contestant Kayla Ferell. No, it's not that she's the first lesbian to ever appear on the show. There have been many through the cycles. There has even been a transsexual contestant, Isis King.
In cycle 15, the very first photo shoot the girls were put through was based around the theme of Teen Bullying. It revolved around a particular word the girl was taunted with during her time in middle school or high school. Kayla has been open about her sexuality since 10th Grade. It's pretty obvious to conclude that she has been teased about it. Her bully-word happened to be 'Queer'. Pfft! The bullies could not even get creative.
Tyra showed up at the shoot because she wanted to help the girls and not let their bully-word over power them. She told every girl to choose a word in context to the bully-word but it should be in a positive sense. Something that reinforces positivity and induces confidence into them. She sat down with every girl and helped them through. They showed some of the girls one-on-one time with Tyra and Kayla's time was included. You can catch it here.
When Tyra asked Kayla about her bully-word, the response was like a quiver. Like she was scared for her life. She recalled how she had to change schools because it had gotten so bad at her previous one and she was scared at how the people were treating her. They used to talk about her sexuality, ultimately she started facing rejection. Rejection is bad enough to get at any point in life, but to be rejected during high school is the absolute worst. High school is undeniably one of the toughest parts of a person's life because there is so much happening at the same time. It's hard not to let it all take over yourself.
Her power-word was 'Free'. Her entire body was covered with the words 'Queer' and 'Free' written in paint. She describes the process of the word 'Queer' being written as harsh, and it has to be. When you are taunted by some word, the first thing you want to do in response is not to be associated with it. Having it written over your own body is like wearing it. Fortunately Kayla was also excited about the word 'Free' being written on herself. She recalls how therapeutic the word 'Free' felt when it was painted over her neck.
"You can't like fully understand unless you are what I am in my community" - Kayla Ferell
I could not put these sage words any better than she already has. Ever since you have been a kid you have been exposed to the idea about unions can only be formed between a man and a woman, and that only the attraction between a man and woman is natural. So to grow up and realize that your mind says something else and your heart is singing a completely different song is really hard to comprehend, accept and live your life through like that. Every person who is growing up facing the issue of sexuality feels the same. The feeling that nobody can really understand what is going on with them. Every guy is discussing about boobs and butts, it's hard to say that you don't. Most teens don't because it's going to turn into a lengthy and possibly an embarrassing or even worse, a violent conversation. This attitude is carried on into adulthood and in some unfortunate cases through life.
LGBT teens do not want to be ridiculed and humiliated. No teen wants to feel like they don't deserve to live. But all this bullying does make LGBT children feel that way, that's why there have been 4 suicides in the past few weeks. These are just the ones that have come into news. What about those that haven't? What about the ones unheard and unseen?
Teen Bullying doesn't just exist in America. Teen Bullying is everywhere in the world. I have been bullied and I'm pretty sure each and everyone of you have been bullied as well. While my bully-word was nothing harsh like 'Queer'. I was termed 'Mama's Boy'. I won't deny that it didn't hurt because it did. But now I realize that was me being 'Obedient'. At the end of the day, I owe my mother alot more than I whatever I owed to people inviting me to parties or whatever they were planning.
To any teen reading my blog, if you are being bullied you can seek help from this website. It's also been mentioned in the video that I have linked earlier in this post. It's time to take a stand! It's time to put these bullies into their rightful place.
On a side, Kayla has been doing extremely well in the competition up till now. She is not only amongst the judges favorite but also a favorite amongst the viewers. I'm totally rooting for her to take the crown. Check out her picture from last week where she was an undersea Goddess.
Ain't she a beauty?