There are certain things that make me angry beyond all limits and reason. Homophobia is one of them. And teen suicide because of it? Oh, you have no idea. No effing idea.
It makes me so mad because people are ignorant. And they show no concern or guilt or desire for change regarding that ignorance. People, therefore, are not only ignorant but stupid and arrogant. And kids die because of that.
And the media treats the problem as a “teen suicide” problem. They forget to mention the very important, common motivation for these acts of despair to get away from a world that has no suitable place for them. They “forget”. Right. They conveniently forget that the largely homophobic world we (them, the media, included) live in causes these tragedies. It is much easier to just say that they were depressed misfits, that they were teens who could not adjust because of the teenage world’s high demands. Funny (although, not really) how one of these “demands” is to be heterosexual.
And for some reason now they start realizing and saying, “Oh, those ‘weird’ kids did not just randomly kill themselves. They had something in common! Oh, well that makes sense”. They act as if it was a big surprise that homosexual kids are far more likely (4 times, actually) to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that the most oppressed are going to be the ones more likely to have suicidal ideation and attempts.
And it really makes me want to cry or scream or kick people just to see if they somehow react and see that we are not in the Middle Ages and that we had already established that we are all human beings above all; human beings deserving of a dignified existance without having people constantly harassing us or violating our physical or emotional integrity. And it really is everyone’s (collective) fault.
And when I say everyone, it IS everyone, including those sorrounding the victims. Sometimes kids die without coming out of the closet, therefore families do not think of that (or do not like to think of that) as one posible reason for their act. Sometimes the family and close friends did know but choose to keep quiet (and has it ever occurred to anyone that that same censure around the subject might have caused the kid to kill him/herself? Seriously.)
So the ignorant parade gets out of the caves and mumbles something barely intelligible about teen suicide, blah blah blah, schools and bullying and whatnot. They ping pong the blame between several parties which refuse to say anything relevant. No one is to blame, plus, “who could possibly understand what goes on in a teenager’s head?” Bleh. You could understand if you bothered to listen.
As they mumble there can be heard no relevant insight on homophobia and its terrible effects on youth. And if there is a comment, it is one in a million. And what about the terrible abuses that non-suicidal but severely scarred homosexual teens have to endure? Not a single word. Just because they are not as bad off as to want to end their lives does not mean they have it good. To be brief, the fact that my best friend has not killed himself does not make the fact that he has been verbally and physically abused (to the point of wearing casts) acceptable to ignore. Him and millions of other kids around the globe.
But nobody pays attention, nobody talks about it, in hopes that if they do not talk about it, it will go away.
Remaining silent, for the record, will not make all homosexuals straight, nor will it make suicide rates decrease (it might actually increase them) and it definitely does not make everything okay. Remaining silent only makes things worse.
So stop remaining silent. Stop making fag jokes. Stop putting the “sissies” down. How would you like it if you were the icing of their cake full of abuses and the next day your class’ “most likely to be a drag queen” was missing? Stop justifying yourself by saying one stupid comment makes no difference, because you don’t know how many “stupid comments” that person has had to bear. Stop assuming everyone around you is heterosexual and what do you care about homophobia. Your brother or sister or friend or cousin or nephew could be a victim of it. By talking about it is that they know they can seek for help.
Stop stuttering, too. You can say it aloud: Homophobia is wrong and it actually KILLS people. Our collective stupidity KILLS people.
K. I just had to say it.