Dad Gets Serious For a Moment

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I started blogging about anime for several reasons. Because I like it, gave me something to do, community, and to be a resource for other parents who might look at a show and ask: “What is that show about that my kid is watching?” But that is not what inspired me.

I got inspired after attending Anime Midwest last July. It was there that I felt like I really got it.The community. I watched my , then 10 year old, son ask 20 year old Fairytale cosplayers a for their pictures and the cosplayers were always happy to oblige and were really cool to him.  I spoke to other attendees about their favorite shows. My older son made friends with a few other kids his age which he hung out with throughout the con.

And then there was Greg Ayres’s panel: “Why Your Fandom Sucks”. I had missed his previous one: “It Gets Better”, so myself and both of my boys made sure to attend this one. The stories Greg told were funny, if not downright disturbing at times. But more than that, there was a message: You enjoy what you enjoy, others enjoy what they enjoy. Celebrate that and don’t be a jerk. Pretty simple message. It was the idea of keeping the  anime fan community as a supportive place, that appealed to me.

Many who have read my blog may have guessed that my older son is gay. He is out and has the support of his friends and family. I wish more kids had this. As someone who trained as a family therapist (I haven’t practiced in over 10 years) and worked with teens I see the need for kids to have a place just to be okay with themselves as important.

The internet, while being a great place to bring people together, can also be treacherous for many teens. The anonymity of the internet allows for greater abuse. People feel great power behind a keyboard. They can say whatever they feel  like, no matter how hurtful or cruel. As an adult in my 40s I can see people who abuse others online for what they are: weak, afraid, bullies,trying to make  others feel bad because they don’t feel good about themselves.

Please. Please if you are having a hard time in life: don’t listen to the negative voices of the net. Talk to a parent. Talk to a friend. If you can’t do that: find a resource online or in your community to help you. Because while there are horrible people online and in real life, there are wonderful and supportive people as well and those are the voices you should seek out.

Keep your fandom clear of bullies. Enjoy what you enjoy. Love who you love. Life is too short and precious to take hateful voices to your heart.

Some resources

ReachOut.comUSA

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

It Gets Better Project

Now off of my soapbox….Carry on and watch more anime!

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If you have other resources to help others please feel free to add them in the comments. I just ask that they are secular in nature, open to helping everyone regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual/ romantic orientation.

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9 thoughts on “Dad Gets Serious For a Moment

  1. Arria Cross April 26, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    Great post! I like that you watch anime from a parental perspective. Reading your blog makes me realize that it’s a bit different from watching as a young, single viewer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • madreceiver April 27, 2015 / 12:27 am

      Thanks! While I may be a fan I always have to consider whether my younger son will be able to watch it, because he will ask. 🙂

      Like

      • Arria Cross April 27, 2015 / 3:26 pm

        That’s great! I watched anime with my dad, too, when I was a little kid. Now all he watches are old was documentaries in black and white. I miss the old days. Anyway, keep on blogging. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Matthew April 27, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Nice picture of Akio, I can already hear his English Dub voice speaking in this post. Bullying is such huge problem. Just like Arria Cross said, it’s really interesting to see through the eyes of parent and their interest of anime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • madreceiver April 28, 2015 / 12:41 am

      Thank you. 🙂 If not for my boys, I would not be into anime as much as I am….well, it was my fault they got into it in the first place anyways.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. miharusshi April 27, 2015 / 6:34 pm

    Great job with this post, sir! You kept it short and simple. I’m cringing at the same problems I encounter online (hope I can be outgoing offline, too). This one especially struck me:

    Because while there are horrible people online and in real life, there are wonderful and supportive people as well and those are the voices you should seek out.

    And this is why I really feel comfortable with blogs that show warmth in their posts–they have this feel that the bloggers behind them are actually conversing with the readers. Those posts that I admire, they invite so much feedback, or even constructive criticism that is told in a kind way. (This is rather a roundabout way of telling you that this is one of those blogs)

    Also, congratulations for being a great dad! I’m really glad that your son is out now and is accepted by your family. I agree that more kids should have the home they deserve to belong to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. madreceiver April 28, 2015 / 12:37 am

    Thank you. I feel like if you put a voice out there at least try to be a positive one…you don’t have to try to change the world or be an activist, just be kind. It is far too easy online for people to be rude and abusive in ways that they’d never be in person for fear of social or physical reprisals. This is the upside and downside of the internet: More people can communicate, but since they are not doing it in person it leaves room for social graces to go out the window. I mostly just want people to remember to find the voices that raise them up rather than tear them down. Thanks again for the kind words. 🙂

    Like

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