Before YouTube was, well, YouTube, one of the most infamous videos online cost this man his dignity. But where his he now?
You might not immediately recognize Ghyslain Raza by name, but you almost definitely know him by reputation. Ten years ago, one of Raza's classmates released a video of him pretending a golf ball retriever was a lightsaber. The video of his unfortunately geeky ballet garnered tens of millions of views and left Raza in the inenviable position of becoming one of the first victims of cyber-bullying on a worldwide scale.
Raza recalls, "It was violent. People were telling me to commit suicide." What seems all too familiar now was virtually unheard of in 2003. As many have learned, Raza was left with very few options. With fellow students climbing up on tables just to take a shot at him, Raza was forced to change schools.
But that "dark time" he recently opened up about was one that had its dawn. At 24, Raza is now a law school graduate from McGill. But more than that, he's an outspoken source of hope for all the kids facing cyber-bullying now. Says Raza, "You’ll survive. You’ll get through it. And you’re not alone. You are surrounded by people who love you."
Given the rash of teen suicides due directly to the growing trend of cyber-bullying, Raza's voice is more necessary than ever. And we're tremendously grateful to hear that he's willing to stand up, however vulnerable, and say that being "the Star Wars Kid" or anything like that doesn't mean your life is over.