Due to the recent suicides all over the country related to gay bullying, I have decided to share my story. I have never told it before. But my bullied past is what prompted me to form Color It Pride. These recent events have struck a fire under most of us to make a change. For me these have all struck home.
I was mentally and physically bullied every day of my school career. At first I was bullied for being a geeky kid, I liked school and loved to learn. The kids who bullied me made it very hard for me to do that. They made me feel worthless, which led to me eating all the time and locking myself away in my room. This led to a major weight gain. I went from 100 lbs. in 4th grade to 200 lbs. in 5th grade and that weight gain just continued to escalate until I reached over 300 lbs. by junior high school.
The bullies in junior high were worse. Even though I had a few friends in junior high I was still miserable. My friends got bullied almost as much as me, except now things were getting a little physical. I was bullied for being a geek and fat. I had to stay with a group before and after school just to keep from being attacked. My parents went to the principal many times and to some of my teachers. They said they would take care of it but it just got worse.
Next came the gay name calling. Sometimes my teachers would make a joke aimed at me as well. I would go to my room every night and cry because not only was I being picked on for being fat and geeky, but I was also being picked on for being gay. I was so scared that my parents and friends would find out it was true and kick me out of their lives. I didn’t want to complain to them and felt like I had nowhere to go but to sleep permanently.
I took so many sleeping pills I should have been dead, but my best friend - she was also picked on, but had a great outlook on life - found and saved me. Her passing away earlier this year was very hard for me. The suicide attempts and thoughts continued all through junior high. My parents decided they would try and home school me. That was a disaster; they didn’t have the time or knowledge to do so. So they sent me to high school, and that was even worse. I made it one year there before I dropped out and got my GED.
After leaving school I took control of who I was. I came out to my parents, lost all my weight, and I decided that I was better than what those bullies said. I still struggle a little with insecurities, but it has gotten so much better for me. I’m happy now for the first time in my life. I just hope I can help others like me know that it does get better. There is always a place for you.
If you’re reading this and want to talk, message me: James Turner on FaceBook or Jimmy.Turner[at]ColorItPride.com. I love you for who you are, and I don’t even know you. We are all family in my eyes. And by the way, the three main bullies of my past have all apologized and we are now friends.
About the author: James Turner is the founder and president of Color It Pride: http://coloritpride.com/