Enough to Make Me Sick

October 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )


This is serious.

Raymond Chase.

Justin Aaberg.

This can be prevented

Billy Lucas.

Asher Brown.

Tyler Clementi.

Seth Walsh.

These are the names of young men who have killed themselves since July because they were being harassed for being gay.  And these are just the ones we know about – chances are there are many other young men and women who have done the same thing, come close or at least thought about it.  All because other ignorant kids bully them for being who they are.

I’m sure you’ve heard about this on the news this week, since at least three of these deaths have occurred over the last few days.  It’s attracting a lot of media and celebrity attention which is good, but the root of this problem needs to be addressed.  Despite what some people might think, children are not inherently evil and they have to learn how to hate their peers.  Prejudices come from somewhere and it’s supposed to be the job of the parents to teach their children the difference between right and wrong – unfortunately, some parents think it’s okay to hate others based on their sexuality.  I’ve never been able to understand how who someone is attracted to is anyone’s business other than their own, but apparently lots of people think it’s okay to pass judgment on things they don’t understand or aren’t even a part of.  The fact that 13-year old kids are committing suicide because of the ridicule and hatred they encounter in their day-to-day lives is absolutely unacceptable and it makes me sick.

Statistically, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth are FOUR TIMES more likely to take their own lives as their heterosexual peers.  If the youth in question are kicked out of their homes and/or denied family support because of their sexuality, this number jumps to NINE times higher than the rest of the population.  Obviously, these kids are not getting the support and care that they need.

I wish someone had told me when I was younger that any same-sex feelings I had were normal and not something to be ashamed of.  I managed to grow up relatively well-rounded and eventually accepted the gay in me, but I was lucky.  Many are not.  If I could say one thing to the kids out there who are struggling with accepting themselves in the face of ignorance, fear and hatred, it would be the same thing that Ellen says here.  Though she says it better than I ever could, the basic message is this: it will get better.  If anyone out there reading this is lonely, confused, frustrated or scared, please find someone to talk to.  There are many groups and organizations all over the country who specialize in helping LGBT kids through their difficult youth and Ellen’s website has some information that can help you find them.  You are not alone, and the older you get the better things become.  As Ellen said, you deserve the chance to grow up and watch that happen.

I’m not trying to go off on a political tangent but I will say that if the government repealed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Act and/or allowed gays and lesbians to wed one another, that would go a long way to proving to kids that being gay is okay.  Hell, if the Red Cross allowed gays to donate blood that would be a step in the right direction.  I can’t donate myself, because I’ve slept with a bisexual man.  While all of the policies that prevent LGBT citizens from living the same lives that their heterosexual peers enjoy are crap, the one from the Red Cross particularly irks me because it assumes that all gays do not practice safe sex.  That’s double the crap.

So what can be done?  Calling, writing or emailing your US senators and congressmen can help, but a lot of this is going to start at home.  If you hear someone using the term gay as an insult, call them out on the unnecessary hatred spewing from their mouth.  If you see a kid being bullied, say or do something to prevent it.  If you know someone who is struggling with LGBT issues (or even if you think you know someone who is), lend your support and let them know that you’re on their side.  You’d be amazed at what a little compassion can do.

And if you don’t see the problem with “separate but equal” for the gay community, if you don’t understand why using the word gay in a negative way is hurtful and basically if you disagree with what I’ve been talking about here today, you can kindly take leave from my blog space and never come back.

This is a long list of links to LGBT support sites

Here are some more resources

The We Give a Damn campaign, for anyone who supports LGBT issues (gay or straight)

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2 Comments

  1. Deon said,

    😉 – eloquent.

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