I used to get a lot of hate mail and death threats, so when I got my latest hate note in response to this guest post of all things, I just shrugged it off, clicked the “spam” button and went on with my life.
But then I saw somebody on Twitter post something about how trolling was like bullying. And, in fact, when I re-read this latest note, it did read a lot like something I’d have gotten in middle school. It was like somebody on the playground yelling at me because I got good grades and did well in class, when the only thing he had to hammer back at me with was, “Well, you’re a stupid fat doo-doo head!”
Whenever I mention the hate mail, people get really shocked. Like, wow, people threatened to rape you? They called you dirty names and said they’d find you and kill you because you said that women should be allowed to vote? Seriously? They called you ugly and unfuckable like that was some kind of insult?
Indeed, dear reader, they did. And they do.
In fact, this latest one was pretty tame and dull in comparison. I also got a lot of abuse like this is grade school. And the only thing that kept me from killing myself, to be dead honest, was the fact that I had really great parents who told me that things Got Better. Oh yes, my parents were on the It Gets Better bandwagon very early on. And things got monumentally better after middle school and high school. Life is pretty epically awesome now, and has been for some time.
But that doesn’t mean that some people aren’t still stuck in middle school. It doesn’t mean that everybody graduates from being a bully and learns compassion and self-esteem. And you know what? I’m kind of tired of just rolling over and hitting “delete” when I get hate mail. If you’re going to be an asshole, everybody should know about it.
So here’s my latest “fan” letter, in all it’s 12-year-old school yard glory:
date: Mon, June 25, 2012 at 2:30 AM
subject: Quick question
I very much appreciate Mr. Gant’s kind words, and look forward to blurbing his book someday.