“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breath free.”

This is an extract from the poem that lies at the proud feet of America’s Statue of Liberty that, when first built, served as a beacon to travellers and immigrants as they neared their soon-to-be home. It served as a symbolic gateway to a new life; a free life, where a person was able to pursue his or her dreams, with honesty and integrity, and above all, without fear of persecution or undue judgement.

In this new era however, a unseen country has arisen in the wake of the digital age; a new domain for men and women, children and adults, to express themselves, to open themselves, to find themselves; and like Narnia or Hogwarts or countless other realms of fantasy and imagination, this parallel universe is accessed via a magical portal.

Well, I still think iPads and android phones are pretty magical, anyway.

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This is a story about a boy named Alexander Green.

Alexander really wanted to be a goth. Lots of boys at his school were goth kids and he thought they were very cool. He would often try to hang out with them, but they told him to go away because of his apparent love of conformity and rules. They told him that he didn’t understand. Ironically, Alexander didn’t understand what it was that he was being accused of not understanding.

One day, Alexander decided to become a goth.

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There are a lot of misunderstandings regarding self-harm, many of which have lead to ostracising behaviour and unoisy prejudices. I try not to write too often about anything personal on this blog, but I was confronted with a reminder of this topic at work today, when a young girl came and spoke to me, and I could see the old, familiar white lines across her wrists and forearms.

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