Bad Names

We've heard them all before

Sissy. Fairy. Dyke. Diesel. Fag. He-she. Queer. Poof. Butch. Fem.

Pussy Boy.

These are words that are used to make us feel bad about ourselves. And no matter what people say about sticks and stones, words really can harm us. That's why they're so powerful. Because chances are, before anyone has picked up a stick or a stone, a few choice words have been hurled at us — intending to inflict pain. And while they might not leave marks on our bodies, these words can leave indelible scars on our insides. Because they're telling us that we're bad, or at the very least the person lobbing these verbal bricks at us wants us to feel bad.

But what if we don't? What if we can claim the bad words for ourselves? What if the next time someone calls you a fag, you say "thank you very much!" Because what we do with the words, what we do with the feelings is up to us. And the craziest thing is, once you've made fag one of your words, then your attacker has nothing to throw at you. 

Of course it's not going to be easy. Nobody said it would be. But it taps into something that you have, something that no one can take away from you: your power. 

Admit it, say it out loud if you have to: you like yourself. You really do. It's not conceited, or bragging, but the truth: you're the only you this world has. And every beautiful flower, every favorite song, every beloved story is there because YOU are the one experiencing it.

Do you see how much power you have? People might tell you that the world doesn't revolve around you, but Pussy Boy is here to set that record straight: it does. 

Your world revolves around you and everyone you love. And the only way to make sure that love you have can change the world is for you to spread it around. And trust me, your bullies need more love than you — or they — realize.

Now, Pussy Boy doesn't recommend you cuddle up to your bullies, kiss 'em on the cheek, or give 'em a hug. That might not end well. But because you're powerful, when you go home, when you go to your private place, instead of hating them, send some love their way.

Again, it's not always going to be easy.

The sad fact is that we will all be bullied at one time in our lives or another. It might happen in obvious ways: with someone pushing us around, or more subtle ways, when someone wants us to feel less than the powerful person we know we are.

Again, it's not the fact that you're being bullied that makes you who you are, it's what you do with it. And for many of us, that means claiming our power, finding our strength.

Pussy Boy — or Davey Myers in the book of the same name — creates a safe haven for himself when he feels the most bullied. With the help of his cat Flora (who died and went to the Kingdom of Cats) he gets a greater understanding of the world, and learns that he indeed is strong, no matter what anyone says.

And you're strong. You might not win in a fist fight (and really, who wants to be in a fist fight? Only people who have no understanding of their real power want to run around hitting other people) — but you are the only you in the universe, and knowing that, you can choose to see what is beautiful in the world.

And those names? Over the years, they'll melt away. The things they said that made you feel bad about yourself will turn around, and they'll be part of what makes you special and the best you you can be.

So: Sissy? Thank you! Fairy? Okay! Dyke? That's me! 

So here's what I want to hear: send me an email telling me about the time you were bullied and let me know how it's made you a stronger, better, more loving person. 

I know you're a winner, because I am!

Your friend,
Pussy Boy

(now and forever)