Bullied child with a disability. Gay college football star. Mixed ethnic teen.
All of the personas as well as others appeared on Emmaus High School’s auditorium stage last Friday where Michael Fowlin — known as Dr. Mykee — spoke to more than 1,200 9th and 10th students in a moving talk on acceptance and stereotypes.
Fowlin gave two 90-minute talks as part of the school’s No Place for Hate kickoff celebration to start the academic year. The NPFH chapter has sponsored several visits from Fowlin in recent years. Fowlin is a well-known motivational speaker who uses humor and storytelling to create various roles to openly discuss bullying, race, depression, and suicide.
A clinical psychologist, Fowlin shared details of his own life in the show, which he entitled “You Don’t Know Me ‘Til You Know Me.”
“What you see is not always what you are seeing” about someone,” Fowlin said. “We are all wearing masks.”
Peers may be wearing expensive clothing from Hollister or Vineyard Vines and getting out of their parents’ Mercedes SUV, but those things are really masks covering up of who those people really are, Fowlin said.
Each of his personas revealed stereotypes of which many people make judgements, he said, but that is natural. It is up to us to stop that, he said.
Photos by Rachel Reed.