“Who was he, then, that we gather to mourn him? Who I am? A four-eyed, flat-chested, brat, chick. Brain, hebe, stuck-up Xavier’s snob freak!
“Don’t like the words? I could use nicer, I’ve heard worse. Who here hasn’t? So ofter, so casually, that maybe we’ve forgotten the power they have to hurt.
“Nigger, spick, wop, sloppe, faggot, mutie— the list is so long and cruel. They’re labels, put downs. And they hurt.
“But usually we laugh it off or hit back— with words of our own, or fists— or we suffer in silence. No big deal— this is the rough edge of reality, right? Why make a fuss? Trouble was, when someone labeled Larry Bodine a “mutie” they hit home— because he was.
“His power created beauty. That’s it. He did with light and color what Mozart did with music. And he wanted nothing more than to be accepted by his peers, and possibly even liked— And isn’t that what anyone of us really want? To have friends. People who care for us? Not to be alone? If we’re lucky we have someone to turn to.
“Larry didn’t. He thought, if people knew the truth, they’d stop seeing him and see only the label, the brand, his personal “scarlet letter”.
“So he hid the truth and lived in fear of being discovered. He even joined in when others put mutants down.
“What matter the cost of his soul if it made his life a little better.
“That’s the tragedy, that’s our shame.
“Think of what you said. Think it being said about you. It’s easy to make fun, really easy to be cruel. Try sometime being on the receiving end. If we’re to learn something of Larry’s death, it should be this…
“You want to know who I am? I’m Katherine Pryde. That’s the only thing that matters.
“The rest are just labels.”
New Mutants #45
Having been a victim of bullying just as Larry, I could never not love Chris Claremont.
This is so accurate that it hurts…
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