The film offers our youth nothing but a painful look at what they already see and feel almost daily. It poignantly highlights to young people how invisible their lives can be to adults, and just how unsupportive and inattentive adults can be.
I fear instead that those demographics not reflected in the film -- basically everyone except simple small-town folks -- will leave the theater troubled by what they've seen but ultimately detached from the issue.
The gender binary and its relationship to bullying may be an elusive and challenging concept for many, because it requires us to self-reflect, examine our own expectations, and perhaps even change some of them. No one wants to feel he or she is part of the problem. But we are, all of us.
Controversy aside, Bully is powerful enough from the point of view that it touches a very important social issue that has grown to the point where it's also an educational one and well as a community one.
For many Americans, the only LGBT people they know are those they meet on their favorite TV shows, while at the movies, or when sitting down to read the Sunday paper. It's those same images that they take with them to the ballot box come voting time.
If we expect middle and high school students to have the courage, integrity and strength to take on bullying, we must empower them with the respect to handle the language that honestly depicts their world.
Rather than gaining press for the awards it has received, Bully is gathering attention for its R rating from the MPAA -- due to its use of six expletives. I, and many others, would like to use more than six expletives as a reaction to this.