Yeah, it’s the big front page story right now, and it doesn’t have anything to do with Sarah Palin or reality shows or Dancing with the freaking Stars. It’s about the fact that gay teenagers are killing themselves because they can’t take the horrible pressure anymore. And they’re getting it from:
Their elected officials
Their fellow students
It’s reached critical mass, people. I mean, kids under sixteen are hanging themselves. HANGING themselves. I can’t imagine the feeling of despair that would lead to such an act.
MANY people in the above quarters can be named, most especially those in high places: Pope Benedict XVI with his medieval take on reality, seemingly able to overlook the fact that he is acting about as un-Christ like as one possibly could. Boyd Packer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints– and that’s another laugh– came out mere days after Tyler Clementi’s suicide with a diatribe against gay people. How tactful was that, Mr. Packer? Is that sort of behavior going to get you through the Temple veil and onto your own planet at your glorified death, where you will be able to procreate throughout eternity with your countless wives? (It’s the biggest part of your dogma, sir.) And don’t forget the rest of the leaders of organized religion, who pander fear to their flocks so as to fill their collection baskets. Horrible, disgusting people.
And elected officials? Don’t get me started. To my eternal chagrin, I am living during a time of history when much of the political body of the United States has been hijacked by the insane religious types who think that SELECTIVE sections of the Old Testament should be used to govern the people. SELECTIVE. If they ever tried to apply the complete letter of the law, women would be scourged for wearing red and the rest of us would be sent to concentration camps for enjoying clams on the half shell. And the horrifying latest: a gay teenager at the Norman, Oklahoma city council session deciding whether or not to declare October as Gay History Month in town kills himself after witnessing many of his fellow citizens basically saying that he and his ilk didn’t deserve to live in America in pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Way to go! Nice Christians, eh? (Yet the measure passed… )
The “bullies” we hear so much about– have they been taught that this is WRONG? Where are the parents? What have had to teach their kids about basic decency? In many cases, apparently NOTHING. So many of these parents are intent on acting like eighteen-year-olds themselves… so I’m not surprised. I’m sorry, but everyone seems to want to pas the bully blame onto the schools. But kids go FROM home TO school. They should be better prepared in how to treat their fellow men! But yes, schools should be held 100% responsible when action is NOT taken, even after one complaint.
(And not that she was gay, but that poor dead girl in Ohio who was STILL made fun of in her coffin by the girls who bullied her to death– I hope, somehow, she will be able to watch as the lot of them are horse-whipped in the town square.)
And what of parents who decide to throw their gay children out into the streets? It happens, over and over. Rather than love their children, they succumb to some crackpot religious or political theory, and their kids end up lost in so many ways: lost, helpless, on drugs, perhaps even dead. THIS is parenting? These parents need to be 100% culpable– this is child abuse at its most heinous. Parents like this need to be hauled in and made accountable.
And the rest of us… how many of us just watch? I’m thankful for those of us who love unconditionally: the people, gay and straight, who build the help centers and march in the parades and reach out and try to LEARN. These people are COOL. Those little fundamentalist congregations marching against their OWN children? Not cool. Major religions swimming in their own decadence, yet loudly proclaiming who is or isn’t going to heaven or hell? Not cool. There’s so much NOT cool… yet there’s a lot that IS cool. There is hope.
Personally, I’ve tried. I don’t hand myself medals, but I’ve helped the gay community in many ways over the years. But besides helping to establish a community center in Orlando, and donating a lot of volunteer man hours, I’m proudest that I was able to help two young men with issues as they were teenagers. And it wasn’t anything extraordinary that I did– but I listened, and I coached when asked, and I tried to comfort. And I need to do more. I applaud Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign, because that is exactly the line I used years ago with these young people. And did you see Fort Worth councilman Joel Burns’ plea? You should not miss this:
Gay teens need more role models like him. I am grateful for people like Joel’s parents, who loved him unconditionally. I’m grateful to my Mom and family, and I’m sure my Dad would have been just as cool had we ever talked about it. (That’s another story.) I just wish– I wish– that there were a lot more people to be grateful to, and that these people voted and drove the haters and the religious crazies from office.
Innocent kids are dying, and I’m angrier than I’ve ever been. I am truly sick and tired of the “gay issues” mire that has engulfed the people of this country, when the real crimes are being committed by the very people who profess to be in charge of our spiritual and political welfare.
Things HAVE TO CHANGE. It’s time. No more. Enough with the dead kids, and enough with the rest of us standing idly by in shock when it happens. It’s time to hold people accountable for the deaths that are caused due to abuses by the churches, the politicians, the bullies, and the parents.
Enough is enough. Now, what do we have to do to stop this?