"Why not come over to the site of joy, happiness, love, and laughter?" is how the comedian ANT invites us into his world. It's a world that ANT had to work very hard to create, but now that he has, he wants everyone to choose kindness over cruelty and light-hearted jokes over mean-spirited insults.

ANT is a stand-up comedian who has appeared on multiple seasons of the NBC show Last Comic Standing. But just because it's his job to make people laugh now doesn't mean that his past is at all a laughing matter. Throughout his adolescence, school bullies picked on ANT because he was open about his homosexuality.

"I was tortured in school," he recounts in one onstage bit. "I would be stuffed in garbage bags. I was thrown into a garbage bin... So I always thought that there was something wrong with me."

Fortunately, ANT found catharsis and an outlet for his feelings in the world of comedy. And he hasn't forgotten his past. During his recent tour, called Bullied, Bashed but Not Broken, ANT shared much of his experience with bullying—and explained how he overcame the threat that the resulting pain could consume him. "If you're not laughing at life, at some point, you're being consumed by hate, despair, fear," he explains.

We're grateful to people like ANT, who turn their struggles into opportunities to help others. We choose laughter, too!

To read more about how humor can help cope with tragedy, click here.

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