10/12/2010

A Guest Post

Yesterday, my "little" brother sent the following out as an e-mail.  After I read it, I asked him if I could re-post it here as a guest post.  He graciously agreed, so here it is:

Today is National Coming Out Day, 2010. While I've obviously been out for quite a while, so there's not much more I can do, I wanted to take this opportunity to call to your attention SEVEN suicides across the country in the past month, all from teenagers, and most the result of schoolyard bullying.

The most recent was a 19-year-old man who took his life a week after attending a city council meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, in which the taunts he heard at school were being repeated, and applauded, by grown adults.

A Facebook page devoted to the suicides has been overrun with comments from people applauding the suicides.

Needless to say, I find this behavior appalling. But more to the point: it's not only for gay people to stand up and call out this behavior as unacceptable. Too many lies have been spread about gay people, including myself, in the name of "morality," and I am asking you to take a stand. There are many things you can do – you choose which you feel is most comfortable for you:

1) Stop perpetuating the lies. If you don't know what my life is like, or the life of any other gay person you know, ask. We can tell you how our lives are the same, and how they are different. Don't talk about things that you don't know are true – and don't trust the word of some person who is distrustful of gay people. Ask those of us who aren't ashamed of ourselves for being who we are.

2) Watch a few videos from the "It Gets Better" channel on YouTube, which is a response to these suicides. http://www.youtube.com/user/itgetsbetterproject

3) Participate in Spirit Day, October 20, by wearing purple:
"On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9nbyy1G7S1qbh9xuo1_500.jpg
RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)"

4) Forward this, not just to those who you know will receive it well, but also to those you know or suspect need to have their eyes open.  Post it, or repost it. Blog it, or reblog it. Please.

The New York Times reported (May 18, 1999) about a study that found gay "students were 3.41 times as likely to report a suicide attempt within the previous year as were heterosexual students. The number rose significantly when only young men were considered." My personal belief is that this is not because we "know" something is wrong with us, as some people suggest. Rather, it's due to harassment, both overt (school bullying) and subtle (being taught, often not in so many words, that being gay is not normal or, worse, evil).

Homophobia kills, and silence equals death. I will not be silent anymore. Will you?

He also  sent another link.  http://makeitbetterproject.org/  This is a project of high school kids.
Thanks, EEK, for allowing me to post this.  I'll be wearing purple on 20 Oct., will you?

**Note:  My original post had the comments turned off.  At my husband's insistence request, they have been turned on. 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. The suicides are grievous - on behalf of any person who claims to be a Christ-follower I apologize for such horrible harsh and insensitive judgment/treatment. It seems many "christians" forget that they are following a guy that looks and acts NOTHING like them.

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  2. Here's one more link for you, Mary -- written by the US Episcopal church's first openly gay bishop: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bishop-gene-robinson/how-religion-is-killing-o_b_764568.html

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  3. great post thanks

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  4. I'm SO glad you decided to post this. It's words written like this that need to be repeated, over and over and over again.

    Thank-you to your brother for speaking out and to you for giving him a voice!

    ReplyDelete

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