Like many of us, Instagram star Mina Gerges hoped for a wonderful 2019, but expected more of the same. He never thought the new year would start off the way it did: his high school bully messaged him and apologized for the things he’d done. Gerges replied in the most respectful way, and shared his words of wisdom online, inspiring others. Read on to find out what the bully said and how Gerges responded.
“I Want To Apologize To You”
For most, New Year’s is a great time to decide upon new resolutions and ways to become a better person. But, we don’t plan for a major change on day one – or be at the end of someone else’s resolutions. However, Mina Gerges’, a body-positivity activist from Toronto, entire life changed because of another’s resolution.
Gerges’ has a massive following on Instagram and is a huge LGBTQ advocate who uses his platform to spread positive messages about the community. A few days before New Year’s Day, he received a message on Facebook. It took Gerges a couple of moments to realize who it was that sent it: it was the person who bullied him throughout high school.
The man, who remains anonymous, wrote in the message, “Hey man, I just want to apologize for any f***** up things I said to you or about you in high school. It weighs on me. I hope all is well. Cheers.”
“It Took A Long Journey To Love Myself”
Gerges moved with his family from the United Arab Emirates to Canada when he was in high school. This, alongside his sexual identity, put made him a target for bullies. He was younger than most people in his class, from a different country, and dressed and behaved differently. Gerges grew up in the Middle East, and struggled with his sexual identity there, as well. He first came out to his best friend when he was 16. But he still felt “different, isolated… no one to turn to,” as his parents grew up conservative.
Thankfully, these days, Gerges celebrates himself and his lifestyle, and says he’s “bulletproof”. However, it wasn’t so in high school. This is why the former bully’s message shocked Gerges so badly.
“It brought back a lot of feelings I had when I was in high school of trying so hard to belong. [I was] getting bullied for being who I am, feeling lonely for not having anyone to talk to… [it was] a long journey it took me since high school to love myself, despite what these bullies and my culture say about being gay.”
Mina Gerges Forgave His Bully
However, after the initial shock and the painful memories, Gerges said he felt happy receiving that message. “I recognized how hard it is for him to own up to the mean things he’d done and said, and it made me see that people do eventually learn to be kinder and learn that their actions and words hurt people… they eventually mature and own up to their mistakes and apologize.”
The young man also shared that his former bully told him that he wanted to apologize sooner – but didn’t know how. He also wrote to Gerges that he decided to “own up his actions”, and he hopes this would help Gerges heal.
Gerges, who had put the painful trauma behind him, forgave his ex-bully. The inspiring young man shared this incredible tale on his social media pages, and he’s got over 100,000 followers. Gerges encouraged people to apologize for to their high-school victims, as well as forgive your high school bullies. Gerges is a strong believer of looking forward, forgiving, learning from the past, and becoming stronger. Everyone can change, if they truly want to, and if we’re all willing to help out.