G played for a few years on a gay rugby team. He didn’t have to pretend he was gay or anything – they were all inclusive – it was just open and public about the fact many of its members were gay. As a result of his years on the team, many of the team members are also my friends in real life so we are all pretty well connected on Facebook.
Daily, it seems, one of them will post an article talking about the latest gay teen who has committed suicide because of the harassment or bullying they have endured. Or, like last night, the news about the 9 gang members in New York who were charged with attacking, torturing and sodomizing two gay teens and a gay adult. This came, according to one article, on the heels of a beating near a gay club that is considered a symbol of the gay rights movement. Which comes the heels of the multitude of youth suicides.
I read something recently that implied it was the gay community making a big deal out of an issues – making it appear a larger issue than it is by bring into light an issue that has always existed. There is no epidemic; there is just an attempt at using media attention to further an agenda.
What amazed me about that statement – by all of the people who are closing their blinds to an issue instead of being appalled – is that regardless of your beliefs, this is an issues that needs to be addressed. This isn’t about gay marriage. This isn’t about whether or not being gay is right or wrong. This is about how we treat people in this world – how we treat people different than we are. And what we are teaching our children in terms of understanding and accepting there are people who are different than they are.
These pockets of intolerance – these silently endured and often stealthy attempts to bully people into what is considered by a group to be “normal” – is unacceptable, yet it continues to happen.
And yes, it has always happened.
And yes, it may be the same sized problem as it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago.
But neither of those things mean it is right that it continues to happen.
And it means we need to change our thinking – change our kids’ thinking if necessary – watch for signs – and stop kids from killing themselves for any reason.
You don’t need to come out as gay today if you are not. But come out in support of the gay community struggling with these death.
Come out in support of those struggling with their own coming out.
Come out in support of love and tolerance, instead of bullying and hate.
Come out from behind those curtains and make it known this is NOT acceptable in this day and age.
Make it known that this has to stop.