Here we go again, this time with schools not only ignoring bullying but worse, punishing the bullied. Once again, the target is a BRONY.
Fortunately, this My Little Pony fanboy spoke up rather than ending up seriously injured. But the schools response was appalling. “Leave the My Little Pony backpack at home” was the gist of the response.
Excuse me? All the other kids can choose their own backpack character but Grayson Bruce can’t? If you pick a ‘girly’ them you are asking to be bullied? More than one commenter on the numerous articles and posts says this is like telling a girl she was asking to be raped. I agree. In the same way, girls are bullied for liking boy stuff, and toy companies and retailers show they are complicit by marketing only to one or the other. Contrary to popular belief, their are girl heroes in Star Wars (Ahsoka, Padme, Leia) and Marvel Avengers related movies (Black Widow, Pepper Potts, Peggy Carter) and My Little Pony has boy ponies and other boy heroes (Spike the dragon, Big McIntosh – Applejack’s brother, Shining Armor – Twilight Sparkle’s brother, Flash Sentry, Dr Hooves – now become a sort of My Little Pony ‘Dr. Who’ mix) That’s not a solution. That’s a cowardly dodge!
If boys have any advantage at all it’s that the Brony community is highly supportive. I don’t recall that from all the other fandoms, where sometimes boys act like girls are an intrusion. I’ve not seen girls getting defensive about the girls liking My Little Pony. Then again, with the invention of the internet, it’s easier to get in touch with and find other fans.
But what we really need is for the other fans in that specific area to stand up for each other, no matter what the fandom. Because together, they will outnumber the bullies. And different fandoms should put aside their rivalries to defend each other’s choices. For instance, Star Trek and Star Wars fans may be rivals, but they have something in common: a passion for something, and the moral of many of these fandoms include respect for others. Courage to stand up to bullies is part of that respect. Whether you love My Little Pony or Transformers or Sophia the First or Voltron, it should’t matter whether you are a boy or girl. What matters is you are a fan. And you are special, no matter who you are!
Support For Grayson! by CARTOONFANATIC3 on deviantART
I came into the story of Michael Morone late, since I was late checking my email. But it quickly got my attention.
I have a few random, thoughts swirling in my head after I read about his suicide attempt after being bullied over being a Brony (Male My Little Pony fan)
I’m female. When I was a kid, I played with both My Little Pony and Star Wars. I was bullied, but not particularly over them. I disliked boys, because several were bullying me. Now that I see reports of what goes on at some of the comic conventions and the ‘white boys club’ mentality, I wonder if some small minded ones were jealous. Maybe they thought I was intruding on their turf. Girls didn’t see why I disliked them, nor why I stayed with My Little Pony and Star Wars (and horses in general) while they were growing into makeup and fashions. I don’t know, perhaps I just saw, and still see, that there are more important things than how you look. More to the point, I notice there is still a big gap in mentality. Some people just can’t see past the ‘kid’ label they have on things. Why do adults watch a kid show or collect teddy bears or dolls? Well guess what naysaying adults. Some of us do. There is a whole industry supporting it. You don’t have too, but you have no right to deny the rest of us either.
That poor kid must have felt very alone. Did he really have no friends, no support? For in this age of the internet, it seems to me it should be easier to connect to other ‘Bronies’. Did no one know how bad it was? Did no one, even someone unrelated to the ponies say, ‘let me help you find the others?’ It would not surprise me if they didn’t, for no one helped me. Finding so many like minded souls on the internet wouldn’t come for many years.
Another thought is more disturbing. This kid is already being used to chase agendas. Seriously. just from the search terms that cropped up on the internet I can tell. Saying things like a gay boy attempted suicide and homophobic bullying caused it. Nowhere does it actually say the boy is gay in any of the stories I’ve read. It just says he loves My Little Ponies! So there you go. Not even conscious to answer questions and already labeled. Whether he is or not is his own business, in my opinion. But I find the automatic label disturbing because it does imply just because he loves My Little Pony he must be gay, in spite of the broad male fan base. God forbid someone go against the marketing only to female strategy (just as Star Wars is marketed to males.)
On the flip side, as much as I dislike bullies, I have to note that no one writing these articles is a mind reader. The slurs and taunts the bullies used appear nowhere in the articles. Maybe it had nothing to do with homophobia and was just jealously. Perhaps they had nothing they were so passionate about and envied his having that joy over something. They don’t have it, therefore they will tarnish it. It isn’t just fear that causes bullying. The worst of it is, apparently it hasn’t stopped. At least, I haven’t been able to find the web site supposedly set up for him and his Facebook page has vanished. I’m assuming negative comments from people who have too little heart and too much time on their hands caused it to be taken down.
I hope and pray this boy wakes up, healthy and well, no matter what the odds. If an outpouring of love can help, I’m sure he’s covered. For every bully there is a My Little Pony lover to counter, whether a ‘pegasister’ (female eqivalent of brony) or the brony. My Little Pony fans are a generous lot of all ages and the outpouring of MLP art, funds and tattoos in his name should tell him he’s not alone. Wherever there is a My Little Pony lover, he’s got a friend.
It started with a couple of Bible verses (listed here in KJV):
Isaiah 6 : The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
and 65 : The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.
The idea that nothing would hurt or destroy on God’s holy mountain was such a peaceful, appealing idea. It still is. I love animals, and apparently the whole predator and prey system will be changed on his mountain. As a member of a species that seems to be hurtful even to its own, I find it such a hopeful promise that someday, that even the animals won’t be like that. And if the animals won’t be, than maybe we won’t either.
No more bashing politicians. No more mocking over insignificant differences. No more fighting and killing over money, land, or race.
Right now, we must leave the wild animals wild or they will be killed, perhaps for poor reasons like sport, by accident like being in the wrong place and hit by a car or understandable reasons like food.
But some day, maybe we too, can cuddle up with that previously wild animal. The bears really will be teddy bears. The wolfs will be as friendly as dogs. A lion may be a bigger wilder but still gentle cat. And we can be friends, not enemies or competition for resources.
That’s my idea of heaven. Where lost loved ones are reunited and new friends of all species are made, and previous ills are just a nightmare that fades away in daylight.
When considering the tragedy of murdered children, it occurs to me there are other murdered children, unnamed, that must not be forgotten.
The Last Arrivals at Christmas: According to Matthew 2: 1-18:
We tend to lump Mary, Jesus and Joseph in Bethlehem with no roof in the inn, shepherds, and wise men all together at Christmas. In reality the wise men arrived later. And they naturally, following the star, stopped first where you would expect to find a new King. They stopped in the palace. Now old Herod, he didn’t have to act surprised but he did hide his alarm and play nice and help find where this prophesied King was to arrive. He sent the wise men on their way.
Now whether it was just the dream that warned them, or whether they heard things about Herod en route to the babe, but they really were wise enough to see he didn’t want them to tell them where that baby was so he could worship. He wanted to kill that innocent child. So, being wise, they blew out of there on their four footed ride’s in the opposite direction.
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men
Did God warn anyone else?
Did anyone else heed the warning? Or wake up and think “Oh, bad dream” and roll over and go back to sleep? What about the soldiers given the order? Did they hesitate, reminded of their own children or siblings? Did any find themselves alone, with a brief moment of decision when they uncovered a mother cowering with a baby boy and take the opportunity to make a shush motion and hide them again? How did these men live with themselves afterward? What hatred this must’ve instilled in the survivor’s and their older children – scarred for life by such evil.
Sadly, Herod needed no rapid fire weapons to pull off the atrocity, he only needed soldiers and a position of power.
Some who argue the Bible is false will say that if this truly happened more evidence would’ve been uncovered. But apparently, evidence that Herod was wicked enough to perform these kind of things was common. It’s only news if it rarely happens.
This is where appreciating grief comes in.
It is definitely true to say history is full of children sold into slavery, murdered and sacrificed to idols. Such things do slip under the radar today. But when they rise to our attention, we tend to act, floundering at times and unsure what to do, but we don’t ignore it. We rage. We cry. We wonder why. So perhaps we should appreciate our grief. For once upon a time it was only the mother’s of Rama who wept for the children. Now we all do. We no longer consider it normal, or the cost of normal kingdoms and rulers, of soldiers and politics. We no longer consider acceptable or unchangeable and hide under the bed and hope we are overlooked.
After a horrific tragedy and mass shooting, lots of people start battling it out about gun control. In point of fact, it’s safe to say what little the Founding Father’s put into the Constitution and Bill of Rights, was based on weapons without modern capability of fast reloads and massive destruction of auto fire. They couldn’t imagine a database of criminals who would misuse the weapons, so how could they plan whether to sell a gun based on it’s information? It’s also safe to say they weren’t perfect or there would’ve been no civil war later to end slavery, it would’ve happened right then.
I don’t claim to know what will make us safer. Better gun control for automatic weapons, keeping them out of criminals hands, better mental health care. But I know we must care, that the Herod’s of the world should shudder. For no longer do we stand by and accept the norm. One thing we should do is remember that while gun control is an issue debated in our borders, there our other children in the world’s danger zones too. And we shouldn’t let issues like political red tape or economy prevent us for caring. For once upon a time, Jesus was one of those children too. So was Einstein, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Madame Curie, Charles Dickens, Billy Graham,…..a world of unknown potential waiting to be uncovered. It shouldn’t be stopped by bullet, sword or a rock to the head.
As for where was God?
He was in the Principle challenging the gunman and every other adult in that school who defended and hid the children. He was with every policeman and fireman who runs into the line of fire, whether little or figurative to defend them. He was with children around the world, urging their protection. He was with every soldier who hesitates at the sight of a child and tries to defend his troops and his country without harming the innocent.
In other words…. He’s probably asking where are we. Because you don’t need to be a preacher or a pastor, just a believer whose read about Jesus, to know that he called on us to do the defending. He gave us power to care and pray and act. And I believe the power has already succeeded in changing us partway. Because now, instead of just crying for the few children in our family or neighborhood we find it in our hearts to cry for them all.
A Story Inspired by Reality. This is how I imagine it….
On Earth parents are weeping. Angels hover close by, offering comfort. They don’t show their wings or glow. They don’t offer empty words of “This was God’s will” or “If prayer were in schools…” No, they just say, “I’m so sorry. I don’t understand either.” And they offer to help in small ways, for there are no big ones to offer. To do the dishes, watch the other kids while sad arrangements must be made. They bring food to the grief stricken and offer hugs as families contemplate what to do…oh what to do…..with the already bought gifts whose children will never receive them. The Christmas lights seem to dim and they stare at the baby in it’s tiny mini manger and ask why?
Somewhere in heaven, God is weeping. Angels hustle to open the gates as children are ushered in by other angels. One angel stands even sadder than the others. “I could not dissuade him. Why do they misuse the gift of freedom so?”
Children are led straight to God who wraps them in strong arms and says “It’s all right now. You are safe forever.” He dries their tears but doesn’t hide his own. “You are here earlier than we hoped. As long as you are early will you help us decorate?”
The children peer around in awe at the beauty of heaven. They are led to a room with the greatest Christmas tree of all.
“Would you like to help decorate it?”
One child asks in awe “There are no Christmas trees in the Bible. Do you like them too?”
“Well of course. I invented trees and lights. I think putting them together is wonderful. This is the father of all those trees.”
So the children begin putting balls on the tree, and carved ornaments. When they are too short, an angel lifts them up.
“I was told you don’t like carved images.” Another child suddenly piped up, looking at God.
“Well, it depends on what it’s for. It’s silly to bend down and worship it. But I love stories. I like telling stories, it helps people learn. And these images tell stories. Look close.”
The child gasped. Others did as well. They could now see the ornaments told the stories of their lives.
“I can see Mom and my brothers hanging ornaments in this one!” One boy held up a bright red ornament amazed by the odd reflection.
“This has my Dad holding my sister at the beach!”
“This one is a roller coaster….the first one I rode…and I’m in it!”
“Look, it’s my dog and he’s looking right out of this blue ball at me, like he’s carved inside! It looks like he can see me!”
God smiled. “All good things are remembered. And all the bad will be like grains of sand in comparison.”
“This one is moving!” One child looked close. For they weren’t moving like a store bought, battery operated ornament, or TV, but like life in miniature. “Hey! It’ s my family! Right now! They are crying…oh” Another ball of glass popped out of the ornament, a string…..and the child looked up and saw it becoming a string and a garland.
The others found the same. “Look, they are surrounded by angels.”
They hung the garlands. “But…it’s so sad. It’s their tears.”
“For every sad tear today, they will have many tears of joy again.” God assured them. “The hurt will poison them if it stays inside, so it comes out through tears instead. So I draw it out, if they will let me, and turn it into beauty.”
The smallest child went up solemnly and climbed in God’s lap, holding one of the ornaments. Looked up at the tall, tall tree, and back at God.
“Will our families remember us? We don’t have ornaments like this on Earth.”
“They will. Right now they hurt terribly. But one day, they will look at your favorite teddy bear ornament and say “oh how he loved this one.” God looked at another. “Or at that favorite snow globe, or doll, or action figure and say “He or she played with it all the time. And they will smile, for they will miss you, but they will be oh, so glad that they had known you.”
And with that. they all went back to decorating the tree. And God smiled. Here in heaven at least all was well. Someday, He promised, someday it would be on Earth as well.