A gay man got an apology from his school bully 20 years later
School bullying can be horrible, especially for LGBT youth
School days can be horrible for victims of bullying, and especially for people who are thought of as “different”, like LGBT students.
Many gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender kids suffer greatly at the hands of school bullies, but this heartbreaking story shows that it’s never too late to say sorry.
ChadMichael Morrisette didn’t just have one bully – he had a whole football team
As a boy, ChadMichael Morrisette wasn’t just bullied by one or two people, but the entire football team of his West Alaska school, just for being who he is.
“I was bullied for being gay,” he said.
“I was bullied for being little.
“I was bullied for every reason someone is bullied. It was awful.”
He forgot about those awful days – but then he got a Facebook message he never expected
He moved away to West Hollywood when he was 15 and pushed the bullying out of his mind.
But it all came flooding back when one of his bullies got in touch out of the blue when he was 34.
One of his school bullies, named Louis Amundson, tracked him down using Facebook and sent him an unexpected message.
And, despite the years of torment, ChadMichael forgave his former bully with a graciousness and generosity that acts as an inspiration to absolutely everyone.
To err is human, to forgive divine
After his apology was accepted, the former bully opened up to Today and Inside Edition about what inspired him to reach out and make amends.
After the remarkable exchange, the pair went one further – agreeing to meet up in person back at the school in Eagle River, Alaska where the bullying took place.
So how did a homophobic bully make up with the gay man he picked on as a child?
“I took the easy route, picking on the kid everyone else was picking on,” he said.
“Before the conversation with my daughter, I really never gave it any thought because it was so long ago,” he admitted.
“But watching my daughter growing up makes me think more of my childhood and that conversation is what sparked the memory, I guess.
“It actually took me a couple weeks to build up the nerve to reach out, but I am glad I did.”
He added:”I hope it shows that people can change, that life can change.
“Being bullied is not an excuse to bully someone else, and you can’t change the past. You can only control your actions today,”
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And how does the former victim feel now that his bully has apologised?
ChadMichael told Yahoo: “There was something magical happening between dad and daughter, that she brought the apology out.
“And that he was honest with her that, yes, he bullied – good for him. I’m quite proud of him.”
“It takes courage to ask for forgiveness, and even if you don’t get it, the fact that you asked redeems you.
“I encourage more people to ask for forgiveness. Own up to what you did. A simple ‘I’m sorry’ can change everything… It’s never too late.”