Friday, October 8, 2010

Be the adult you want to see kids become...

I try my best to keep up with news from back home. Most of the politics and whatever Huffington Post and CNN International version deems important enough to read about. I always read the world news of whatever newspaper I can get in English and if I can get my hand on an International Tribune…well, then I’m thrilled.

I stopped reading the U.S. version of CNN over a year ago. Not that I don’t want news about the U.S., but because more times than not I think it focuses on ridiculous things. I remember a girl from the US traveling to Europe last year totaling freaking out about the swine flu. I was like “Really? That’s now buried on like page 9 of the Tribune.” I just think U.S. news can be a little sensationalized. Not to mention I just don’t really think Lindsey-freaking-Lohan’s jail time should be a headline. We live in a big world, people- no matter how small you try to make yours.

That said, I have paid attention to this rash of reporting on gay teen suicides. I emphasize the increase in reporting instead of the actual suicides because I don’t really think there are more going on than before. I would guess there are probably even less than in years past, but I am appreciative that we live in a time where reporting about them and making them headlines is being done by the media. Sometimes they actually get the headlines right.

It breaks my heart to know these young lives were cut short because of the ridiculous climate of hate that is going on in my country. It embarrasses me to no end that Americans think they are so progressive when in fact we are light years behind the rest of the civilized world when it comes to equality and fairness.

I don’t think the blame for the loss of these children lies just with the bullies that taunted them. Remember they were just kids too. I think we can spread the blame around equally to the politicians squawking on about denying rights to LGBT citizens, religious leaders preaching hate from the pulpit, parents nurturing bigotry and allowing it to be a part of their homes and certain TV personalities on certain channels (begins with an F and ends with OX) drilling divisive messages of intolerance into anyone who is ignorant enough to listen.

I don’t have much hope for the aforementioned people, so the responsibility to change this lies with those of us equipped with a heart and at least half a brain. If you want to share your story you can make a video for the It Get’s Better channel on Youtube.

It’s an amazing project. This is my favorite video so far…

(“If your parents send you to summer camp-find the arts and crafts cabin and go there immediately! You will excel!” Ha! I love these guys!)

No time or desire to make a video? Then you can still make a difference by just making the pledge to always be a compassionate and tolerant role model for any youth (gay, straight or in-between) in your life. Not to mention a role model for those adults who haven’t quite gotten it figured out yet.

I don’t think there can be a bigger help for struggling teens than to see out loud and proud, happy and successful LGBT adults living open and honest lives or straight adults embracing their LGBT friends and family openly and honestly into their lives. Remember the youth of today are those who will be picking out our nursing homes in the future.

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