"Cowards are cruel, but the brave love mercy and delight to save." - John Gay
I am not the first or most eloquent person to address this topic this week, but it is too upsetting for me to ignore.
Yesterday, a young man took his own life after his college dorm-mates filmed him having a sexual encounter with another man, which they then posted on the internet. The day before that, another young man, this time in middle school, got his arm broken for being a male cheerleader. The news at present is chock-full of stories of gay teens committing suicide, which is the leading cause of death among gay teens.
The Family Research Council, some of my favorite people, has decided that now is the time to try and block anti-bullying efforts in schools that are trying to keep gay kids safe. They feel these measures "treat traditional values as being equivalent to racism". And if by traditional values they mean kids beating the crap out of other kids based on their sexual orientation, then I fully agree, it's a lot like racism.
Teachers, parents, and other adults have every right, and in fact a responsibility, to stop and discourage this kind of behavior. In fact, I want to put it to you other mommy friends of mine: let's stop the cycle together. Whether your kids end up gay or straight, let's teach them all to be kind and accepting of everyone. Help them be brave enough to love mercy and stand up for other kids, or themselves, and never be cowardly enough to mock and torture those they do not understand or perceive as weak.
If you want to read about the awful stories about what's happening to our kids in schools these days, read here:
Texas 8th Grader commits suicide
13-year-old bullied gay teen commits suicide
15-year-old Indiana gay teen commits suicide
11-year-old Massachusetts student commits suicide after being called gay
If you want to see some cool projects aimed at helping GLBT kids, check these out:
Gay-Straight Alliance Network
It Gets Better
And I leave you with a picture of my daughter. Hopefully, one less bully, one more ally.