I had let it go for years, but the onslaught of deaths around me finally being publicized made me speak up to you, my friend. I know you will take your time reading this, but understand that this isn’t a message that comes from a place of bitterness and malice. I know that you are afraid, and I understand.
I was fearful too, but having fear doesn’t justify anything. Fear is just a lack of knowledge. The second you understand something is the second you stop fearing it. Through understanding, you find room to grow and begin to share love and kindness.
Once upon a time, before I knew what bisexuality was, I struggled with the thought of having to choose whether or not I would live my life as a lesbian or fake only like guys. It was silly. I had heard of the sexual orientation in high school, but I didn’t really believe it existed until I was forced to open up and discover more about myself in college.
I dove deep into the queer community, educated myself, and have since dedicated a lot of my time and experiences with writing towards activism. I looked at every side, spoke to other people with varying backgrounds, and then came to a more compassionate conclusion. It doesn’t change the fact that I was a complete ass in high school and that I was once very ignorant, but I can do my part now to help facilitate knowledge and introduce others to concepts that are new to them.
“Fighting Homophobia with Discrimination” is a title that definitely sounds like ‘fighting fire with fire’ and everyone getting burned because of it. But does discrimination get a pass if it’s trying to diminish views that limit the civil rights of the LGBT community?
My answer is no. I may get some heat for this, but first let’s talk about the situation.
According to the Los Angeles Times, The Don’t Say Gay Senator, who wanted to push a ban on the discussion of homosexuality in elementary and middle schools, Stacey Campfield was refused service at a restaurant in Knoxville Tennessee for his homophobic views. Many people are applauding the restaurant for its decision to refuse service to a man who has claimed, and I repeat, “that the HIV epidemic began when a gay airline employee had sex with a monkey.”
This guy is obviously a totally belligerent and ignorant a**hole who doesn’t need to be in any form of office or hold any sort of power or authority what so ever, and I agree that he’s a total douche-bag. But kicking the guy out of the Bistro at the Bijou restaurant doesn’t do anything but promote more hate and discrimination for everyone. Continue reading “Fighting Homophobia with Discrimination”→
A young man walks by himself alongside a pathway on a large bridge. He looks over the railing separating him from the ledge that’s outstretched over a frigid river. He can hear the water as it quickly thrashes around below his feet. A cold chill brushes past his exposed face reminding him that a tear had rolled down the side of his cheek. The young man then slowly lifts his leg, one and then the other, over the railing. He stands on the edge of the ridge and pauses for a second as he tries to clear the frustration from his mind. Then he jumps.
This is the story of one gay teen who had suffered enough bullying to push him over the edge.
Recently, several teenagers from California to Rhode Island committed suicide a little while ago, including New Jersey college student Tyler Clementi, who jumped off a bridge into the Hudson River.
According to a story from ABC News, Tyler was the victim of bullying and the invasion of his privacy after, prosecutors say, his roommate and a friend secretly streamed his sexual encounter with a man on the Web. He was hurt and made fun of like so many other gay and lesbian teens spanning the world are right now. And it’s time that something should be said.
According to SAVE, suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15-24 years old. Adolescents that were rejected by their families for being gay were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, according to a Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey. But the sad fact of the matter is that the majority of these suicide attempts could have been prevented.
A heartfelt attempt at tolerance and understanding could have saved Tyler Clementi. His life was shattered the second his private affair went public. He was a human being who suffered from gay bashing with a cyber twist. And it shouldn’t matter if you believe that homosexuality is a sin or not because these are people that we are dealing with. We live alongside the same pathway in the world with these souls. And I just hope we can all understand this fact before we push another person over the edge.