An openly gay Surrey RCMP officer who created the website bullyingendshere.ca is set to speak to 1,500 Langley students on Friday (today) at the Langley Events Centre.
Tad Milmine has been a police officer for three years, following a dream he has had since a child. But he remembers being bullied himself. Last year, after reading about an Ontario boy who killed himself because he was bullied for being gay, Milmine felt moved to action.
He created the website (www.bullyingendshere.ca) to tell his story and the boy Jamie’s story, and hopefully help struggling youth.
Last spring, he started speaking at schools in B.C. and Ontario and from the response he received, knew his unique perspective could make a difference.
Between 10 and 15 per cent of the young people who have seen him reach out afterward looking for help or support.
Milmine will speak a day after the one year anniversary of Amanda Todd’s suicide. Todd killed herself after being severely bullied online.
Milmine makes it clear that the only reason he mentions he is gay is to demonstrate he understands what it’s like to feel like an outcast.
“I want to make sure these kids know that they do have someone.
“I know what it’s like to be different and unique, and I also know what it’s like to grow up and live my dream.”
But he also tells listeners that if they had a negative thought when he announced he was gay, they need to ask themselves why.
“I tell them I’m still the same person and if you call 911, no matter how much you hate me or dislike me or don’t understand me, Ia’m still going to be at your door asking how I can help you,” he says.
Milmine does his presentations on his days off and on his own dime.
Files from Surrey Leader reporter Sheila Reynolds