It Gets Better

Enough of the froth and humor for a moment while i throw in a serious item here. In recent weeks there has been an outbreak in this country of suicides by teenagers who were bullied in their schools either because they were gay or were perceived to be. In the great majority of the cases, the schools actively resisted accepting any responsibility for protecting the kids, even in cases in which the parents pressed for help.

Of course gay teenage suicides are nothing new. Decades ago after i’d understood that i was gay but being brainwashed by the church still hated the very idea and had not committed the sin, i realized that probably what drove most teenage suicides was that the kid was gay and couldn’t face the hatred of his society…and himself. Easy enough to understand since i was so depressed and suicidal myself.

The recent rash of suicides, though, differed from those in the Good Old Days when routinely the kid would never have even told anyone about his being gay, and if he mentioned it in a suicide note the grieving parents’ first action would have been to destroy the note. Today, at least the issue is recognized.

Dan Savage, an out gay man whose fan base is overwhelmingly straight, is probably the finest sex-advice columnist in this country, and he was so moved by the suicide epidemic that he made a video titled “It Gets Better” that went viral and has sparked an outpouring of videos and statements encouraging teenagers to hang on and put up with the bullying because life will get better and better as soon as they get out of high school.

Note: That link above to “It Gets Better” rolls over to a website on which thousands of people, all gays in the beginning but now also famous straight actors and personalities plus a number of prominent Democrats up to and including the President, have added their own short videos testifying as to how life will get better.

And yes, in the past decades it has got better, enormously better, for gays; but also folks are still getting bullied. And why is that? I ask.

The elephant in the room here, that nobody, in all these videos and tv programs and blogs i’ve been seeing recently has pointed out, is that so long as the Christian churches continue to teach that gays are an evil menace to society, so long as the Christian churches continue to mount mendacious multimillion dollar anti-gay advertising campaigns, so long as the Christian churches support right-wing politicians pushing anti-gay agendas, bullies will have the perfect excuse….that they are just doing God’s will.

The only thing that gives me any hope is that in a number of cases, the grieving parents of children who’ve been driven to suicide have thought deeply about their church doctrine and come to the conclusion that their churches are full of shit, at least on this subject, and that no matter what the fucking priests and ministers say, Jesus did not want their kids to be persecuted to their deaths.

And here’s a link to a column Dan wrote a couple of days ago that addresses the elephant i mentioned above: Dan Savage. Actually in the past few days, many people are pointing out that the underlying cause of all this hate is the teachings and propaganda of the Christian churches. (And yes, i do concede that at least for the time being, three Christian denominations have stopped persecuting gays. Yes, only three out of the thousands of them. May the kindness of those three continue.)

And God forgive me, but i cropped.  First time in several years, i promise.

And God forgive me, but i cropped. First time in several years, i promise.

How about some beauty for a change. It’s at Harrison and 20th St.:

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