Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candlelight Vigil

I was able to make it to the FSU candlelight vigil last night,
held for the recent rash of gay suicides. The Tallahassee event
was filled with some bizarre moments, including three Christian
students who asked to lay hands on me, having "FAG!" shouted
at me when my van went through an intersection, and a gang of
hecklers making anti-gay remarks during the lighting of candles
and reading the names of the killed.

Pride Student Union and The Family Tree held the ceremony,
and they did a nice job with the preparation. There were large
color posters of many of the recent suicide victims, including
* Justin Aaberg, 15
* Tyler Clementi, 18
* Seth Walsh, 13
* Asher Brown, 13
* Raymond Chase, 19
* Aiyisha Hassan, 19
* Billy Lucas, 15

(Other recent suicides attributed directly to gay hate speech
and/or harassment include:)
* Zack Harrington, 19
* Jeanine Blanchette, 21
* Chantal Dube, 17

These are only the cases we know about. The cases where the people
involved made it known why they were ending their lives. The cases
where family, friends and authorities didn't cover up the identity of the
deceased.

In addition to the fact that most anti-bullying teachings in schools don't
include understanding and 'tolerance' for gays and lesbians, the religious
group 'Focus on the Family' (assholes!) is actively seeking to exclude
gay and lesbian students. Evidently, the only good gay to them is a dead gay.

Tyler Clementi wasn't the first homosexual-related suicide THIS YEAR at
Rutgers University.

With the pumped up anti-gay campaigns from the Tea Party, Sarah Palin,
other  overzealoused GOP members, religious groups, OM, the 'Don't Ask
Don't Tell' conflict swirling around, and more, the visibility of gay and lesbian
issues is in the air more than ever. This leads to a permissiveness for kids to
act out on the intolerance and disgust they see emulated on the television and
and in the home. It also leads gay and lesbian kids to feel 'less than' and
hopeless.

My greatest fear is that anyone--gay, straight, bi, transgendered, questioning,
and even allies--give in to the idea that we are not powerful. The volatility and
extremism of the opposition can make them seem larger than life. The fact that
they claim God on their side, and righteousness, and majority...means less than
nothing. They are paper tigers.....wooden soldiers. Their words mean nothing.

It is incumbent upon all of us to find strength and purpose in opposing this
lunacy of cruelty and spiritual apartheid. No person is superior to another. We
are all of equal value. Every hurting and lonely scared person must know this.
You must remember this when things get bad; don't get sad....get angry.

No one has the right or ability to take your joy. No matter the circumstance,
you can prevail. Don't let them win. Fight. Fight back. Speak up. Claim what
is yours.  We don't have to take mistreatment from anyone.

You are not alone.

*********************************************************
It Gets Better project on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo


Free to all schools from Southern Poverty Law Center:
"Bullied" anti-gay bullying video
http://www.splcenter.org/


Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2


"That's so gay" PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEpBYKOs3ys

If you need other help, contact info, or resources in your area,
post comments below or send an e-mail through the link on this site.
There are others who have been through this and can advise you
on how to survive and thrive. There's no shame in feeling tired or
overwhelmed; the world can be ugly at times. Let those who have
forged ahead help you do the same.

Peace,
Robert

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