Tuesday, October 05, 2010

When religious conservatives preach that to be gay is to be disordered and not in the image of God...

At least 5 times in the last 2 months, there have been national stories of teenagers committing suicide. They have become national stories because the kids were bullied, targeted, and harassed because they were gay or perceived as gay, and because for the most part, the parents, friends and communities of those children have spoken out after their deaths to say, "We complained about the bullying but no one did anything to stop it."

Not that one should be picked out as worse than the others, but the most recent was a Freshman at Rutgers University who was secretly recorded by his roommate and another classmate having an intimate encounter with another man boy. Tyler Clementi was 18 years old when he changed his status on Facebook to read: "Jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Sorry." His body was fished out of the water a few days later.

Justin Aaberg
, 15, of Anoka, Minnasota, hung himself July 9th

Billy Lucas, 15, of Greensburg, Indiana hung himself in his parents' barn on Sept 9th.

Seth Walsh, 13, from Tehachapi, California, hanged himself from a tree on September 19th and died 8 days later.

Asher Brown, 13, of Cypress, Texas, shot himself in the head on September 23.It is hard to look at these faces and hear these stories and not get sick with regret and dark with rage that we live in a society that tells (especially boy) gay kids that they are not worthy of love and life. In fact, the message in a lot of anti-gay rhetoric is "you don't exist... God did not create you, you are deciding to be immoral- you can be fixed".

To tell someone they can be fixed is to tell them they are broken.

Ask nearly any adult gay man (many to most of the women too) and they will tell you the harassment they faced, the physical danger they were in growing up in school systems across this country was almost too much to manage. Now even though there is more support for gay equality and more awareness and "tolerance" there is this overt backlash and religious movement to proclaim that civil rights for gay citizens are somehow in opposition to the religious rights of zealots. That gay civil rights somehow means the end of religious freedom.

While the LDS and the RCC are pouring millions of dollars into trying to prevent civil marriage in the US and around the world, they are not only perpetuating the bullshit very-fucking-scientifically-negated notion that being gay is a choice, they are seriously over-reaching by extrapolating out that this (determined by conservative clergy, who very often are closeted and sexually repressed) "lifestyle choice" should not get legal "validation" or protection...

'Cause like, yeah... if I choose to eat shellfish, or get a divorce, or not marry the brother of my dead husband, or eat meat on fridays, or have sex during my period (all lifestyle choices that are frowned on by g-o-d in the bible) then I should expect it's okay for my neighbors to beat me to death when they get too upset about my immorality. Oh, and I should expect there to be a referendum on election day where everyone gets to vote on whether or not I am immoral and have a right to exist in my actual form.

Here is how "religious" people are getting led down a dark ally by their leaders that will some day be appropriately equated with the cross-burnings and terrorist activities of the KKK: A cycle of proselytizing against gay identity requires suicide of gay individuals to 1) continue to demonstrate (in the face of practically eroded evidence) that to be gay means to be mentally and spiritually unstable; and 2) since most religions see suicide as the final sin- there is no way a person that killed her/his self could have been spiritually worthy...

See how that works? Chicken, egg, chicken, egg... got it?
Let me try one more time:
  • God hates it/you (as determined by me)
  • If God hates it/you, we can't exactly expect others to be okay with it/you
  • If those others beat you up or harass you... well, see what I mean about you/it being messed up? millions of God-loving people can't be wrong...
  • What you think you are can't be real because God is not okay with you/it
  • If you kill yourself, you must have somehow known this to be true
  • oh, and also- those people telling you that it's okay to be gay are confusing you and they are also part of the thing God hates and most of the reason you probably killed yourself is because they confused you...
  • No one who thinks that "being gay is okay" should teach you, or talk to you, or be alone with you, or be in a position to influence you because 1) God would not want that, 2) Those people are immoral, unstable, and dangerous 3) They are out to recruit you (since you were NOT created gay, the only way into "gay" is through RECRUITMENT!)
  • PS- I'm not intolerant, God is...
see visual aid from Box Turtle Bulletin:

So HERE's the letter that I'm writing to my kids, and the advice that I'm giving to all parents within my reach...

If you enjoyed this rant, you might also enjoy something similar from Dan Savage. If you have never heard of Dan Savage, he is a potty-mouthed gay, sex advice columnist that came up with the greatest idea I have heard in a long time. A YouTube channel called: IT GETS BETTER. This is a way to try to stop kids from killing themselves... a way that any kid with the internet has access to a bunch of videos from LGBTQ adults that can tell them from experience that the best years of your life happen after high school.

The videos are amazing. Here is the video that Dan and his husband started it all with (it is worth 8 minutes of your life- pass it on):

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