I’m working on a longer essay about the recent teen gay suicides but meanwhile, here’s some more headlines and information about things that are coming in. Read them. Ponder what you can do.
- October 1st: 19-Year-Old Gay College Student Raymond Chase Commits Suicide. “Raymond Chase was a person who liked Harry Potter and Rugrats and was a member of the popular facebook group “I cant spell “bananas” without singing hollaback girl.” He’s not number five in a week of suicides, he’s a unique special person with friends and family who are devastated by his loss. He’s a gay college kid who sure seems happy but not that day, or maybe he’d never been, and something happened or something had always happened and he couldn’t do it. His facebook bio is short and simple: “I like to laugh, I like to have fun, and I’m gay.””
I count number 6, actually, but many articles I see are reporting 5. Beautiful writing from Autostraddle, definitely read this one.
- September 27th: Ohio’s Tyler Wilson, 11, Gets Arm Broken By Classmate For Being a Cheerleader: “Tyler Wilson, an 11-year-old sixth grader in Findlay, Ohio had his arm broken Aug. 31 by a footballer-playing classmate at Glenwood Middle School after he and another boy began fighting with Tyler and calling him a sissy. How come? Because he joined a cheerleading squad.” The two boys responsible are now facing assault charges.
- On Velvetpark: Judy Shepard: We Must All Protect Youth from Suicide: “Our young people deserve better than to go to schools where they are treated this way. We have to make schools a safe place for our youth to prepare for their futures, not be confronted with threats, intimidation or routine disrespect. … Quite simply, we are calling one more time for all Americans to stand up and speak out against taunting, invasion of privacy, violence and discrimination against these youth by their peers, and asking everyone in a position of authority in their schools and communities to step forward and provide safe spaces and support services for LGBT youth or those who are simply targeted for discrimination because others assume they are gay. There can never be enough love and acceptance for these young people as they seek to live openly as their true selves and find their role in society.”
- September 30th: On The Stranger’s Slog: Why Are So Many Gay Kids Killing Themselves? Maybe it has something to do with shit like this: “La Crosse police are investigating accusations the reigning Riverfest commodore shoved a 14-year-old girl carrying a gay pride flag just before Saturday’s Maple Leaf parade.”
- what are you doing right now to make the world safer for gay/queer/trans youth? if the answer is nothing, change that today.—dora
September 30th: Ellen’s statement about it on her show: “Things will get easier. Minds will change. And you should be alive to see it.”
Anderson Cooper smacks down the assistant Attorney General of Michigan for harassing and stalking the openly gay president of the the University of Michigan: “I looked up the definition of ‘cyber bully,’ and that fits what you’re doing. Do you consider yourself a cyber bully?” “Do you consider yourself a bigot? Merriam-Webster defines bigot as … ” “Are you aware that your boss thinks you’re immature?” Wow, sometimes I just adore Cooper. It’s so clear that the other guy has no ability for logic or consistency or integrity in his speech or life … what a sad, sad way to live. At least this is a little bit uplifting.
More soon. Lots of thoughts rolling around in my head about what we can do, what I can do, what needs to happen, what must change. Meanwhile, I’m in Portland for Butch Voices, and trying to keep my shit together.