It's not easy being a teenager. This is especially true for young people struggling with their sexuality and the bullying that sometimes that comes along with it. And, given the string of tragic [article id="1649057"]bullying-related suicides[/article] in the past few weeks, it's not surprising that so many public figures are speaking out.
"My advice to anyone that's going through a really painful time right now because of gay bullying is to find a healthy escape," [article id="1649101"]Perez Hilton told MTV News[/article]. "For me, when I was young, that was music. If I were a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old and school was just really unpleasant for me, I can guarantee you I'd be listening to Lady Gaga's music a lot, and especially because she's such an inspiring person for young gay people."
Another key piece of advice from the blogger would be to speak to someone and find a support system. "I would encourage kids in school that are being bullied to definitely talk to someone — a guidance counselor, their parents, their relatives — talk to anyone they can, someone older who can help them work through their issues. And if young gay kids or anyone who's being bullied or is questioning things doesn't feel comfortable talking to someone they know, I would strongly encourage them to speak to experts anonymously," he continued, citing programs such as the Trevor Project. "I can't encourage that enough. Talking to someone is so much better than keeping things bottled in."
At the end of the day, Perez wants to make one thing clear: Suicide is not a way to deal with bullying. "What's interesting is ... everybody can relate to these young boys that committed suicide, because we are all freaks," he explained. "We are all different, even those of us that may seem more normal and conformed.
"When I was young, I was probably bullied and made fun of just as much for being fat as I was for being gay," he continued. "It, unfortunately, is something that just happens a lot, but I think the important thing to be mindful of when you're young and going through these things is that it really is just temporary. The future is brighter. It will get better."
MTV's ongoing "A Thin Line" project also [article id="1627487"]provides stories and resources[/article] for anyone who believes they are being cyberbullied or who is looking for ways to stop harassment by digital means.