Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Community Do I Have To Go To?

I am something of a gay activist not necessarily because of adult gay rights, but because of the effect of the gay rhetoric on our teens. The following three stories occurred in the last two weeks in different sections of the US.  They are a very sad reminder that the political game playing of secular and religious leaders are not games to some of our teens.  They create a culture of death for which there are no consequences for those who perpetrate the abuse or the adults whose responsibility it is to stop it.  For me the most disturbing aspect of these stories is we don't even know if these young men were actually gay,  but just the perception alone was enough to make their school lives hell on earth. 

A Kern middle school student was taken off life support and declared dead Tuesday afternoon, nine days after he hanged himself after being bullied, friends say, because he was gay. He was just 13.

Seth Walsh, the Tehachapi 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support.

Tehachapi police investigators interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he hanged himself and determined despite the tragic outcome of their ridicule, their actions do not constitute a crime.


Asher Brown’s worn-out tennis shoes still sit in the living room of his Cypress-area home while his student progress report — filled with straight A’s — rests on the coffee table.

The eighth-grader killed himself last week. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District.

Brown, his family said, was “bullied to death” — picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.


He was a teenager who didn’t quite fit in. His classmates said Billy Lucas was bullied for being different.

The 15-year-old never told anyone he was gay but students at Greensburg High School thought he was and so they picked on him.

“People would call him ‘fag’ and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he’s different basically,” said student Dillen Swango.

Students told Fox59 News it was common knowledge that children bullied Billy and from what they said, it was getting worse. Last Thursday, Billy’s mother found him dead inside their barn. He had hung himself.

Students said on that same day, some students told Billy to kill himself.

"They said stuff like 'you're like a piece of crap' and 'you don't deserve to live.' Different things like that. Talked about how he was gay or whatever," said Swango.


When thirteen year old boys are driven to understand the fact they are perceived to be gay means their life isn't worth living, we have a problem in society.  It's not a gay problem.  It's a societal problem.  Check this story from August 26th of this year. It's about the Annoka-Hennepin school district in Archbishop Neinstedt's state of Minnesota. The article covers the anti gay group called the Parents Action League. Like NOM and Archbishop Neinstedt, this group refuses to discuss it's funding sources or it's membership, but it is hell bent on keeping the Annoka-Hennepin school district as anti gay as possible.  This is the same school district who had three teen suicides from gay bullying last school year and had two teachers cited for discrimination against a perceived gay student.

Sometimes I wonder if the straight community really understands why so many gay kids kill themselves.  I often hear, "why didn't they get help before they did this to themselves and their parents".   Here's the reason as expressed by a recent graduate from the Annoka-Hennepin area:

"Megan, another 2010 graduate, took issue with the school’s policies. “It says that it is better for students to go to their home or their community or their church. I can’t go to any of those. I go home and my parents tell me I am cursed. I go to my church and I am rejected and condemned. I go to my community? What community do I have to go to?”


  1. For you edjucation:


  2. In 1975 I attended the funeral of a friend who had "died in his sleep" at age 19.

    Thirty years later another friend published a book explaining the mysterious death. It had been, in-fact, a suicide related to his sexual identity.

    There's nothing gay about the suffering and lost lives of those so conflicted about themselves.


  3. Jasper, this blog post had nothing to do with sexually active teens. It had to do with teens killing themselves because they are harrassed, beaten, and bullied because their tormenters accuse them of being gay. Not having gay sex, just being gay.

    The manner in which you keep trolling this blog makes me wonder if you yourelf weren't a tormenter who got his jollies picking on other kids. If that's true you should find another place to troll because you aren't dealing with kids here.

  4. Coleen,

    sorry about. I agree with you. Also, I was never a bully and I had gay friends, one of whom comitted suicide. It was very sad.

    I hate bullies.


  5. Jasper, if you are truly sorry something that seems a bit doubtful, then of course you are forgiven. Repent by SINNING NO MORE. We and of course God can always forgive but we do not forget your unbelievable comments that bare on the civil rights and religious rights of others. I wrote something earlier, a blog or two down about the NO NOTHINGS of society and our church. Perhaps you should either read or reread it.

    What I see coming from you is righteous but senseless comments that seem to be of a fixed nature. No matter how much sense another makes or good logic others use to help you, you insist on these senseless comments that are either fixed lies or fixed misconceptions (really delusions.) I hope you will introduce yourself to critical thought before you go off on more of these senseless tangents.

  6. These kinds of stories make me feel so sad...and powerless. I am outraged at our Church's leadership who trot out the lie, yes, LIE, that with homosexuals they "love the sinner but hate the sin." I see, zip, their behavior that shows love for gays. They will answer for the deaths of these youths.

  7. "No matter how much sense another makes or good logic others use to help you, you insist on these senseless comments that are either fixed lies or fixed misconceptions "


    many of my comments are getting deleted.


  8. Jasper, I delete your comments when I judge them to be all troll and no point. I will keep doing that, and you are not alone.

  9. Kevin, the love the sinner hate the sin rhetoric is completely undercut by Benedict himself. In his 1986 letter he says:

    It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastors wherever it occurs.........

    But the proper reaction to crimes committed against homosexual persons should not be to claim that the homosexual condition is not disordered. When such a claim is made and when homosexual activity is consequently condoned, or when civil legislation is introduced to protect behavior to which no one has any conceivable right, neither the Church nor society at large should be surprised when other distorted notions and practices gain ground, and irrational and violent reactions increase.

    Essentially he's saying no one should be suprised that fundamentally disordered people get beat up. That is apparently his idea of loving the sinner.

  10. Colleen, I'm just now doing a final reading of news, and seeing your posting. Thanks for covering this topic. I will link to your posting at my blog.

  11. I read the first paragraph of the quote from the Pope and thought that finally he sounds like a pastor. But then I read the next paragraph! He says if we pass laws to protect gays, we shouldn't be surprised that they are persecuted even more than before?
    That's like saying that when we passed the Civil Rights Act, we shouldn't be surprised if there were more lynchings. In fact, the violence against blacks decreased tremendously because of the protection of the law.
    Haven't our gay brothers and sisters suffered enough without these awful comments from the Pope?

  12. This is very, very depressing. If it is this bad in America, which is such an advanced society, what must it be like in closeted or homophobicl cultures in Asia or Africa?

  13. It says they are great grounds for spreading homophobia as a doorway to political action. See Uganda.

  14. I have read about the differences between a more recognized prejudice like racism and the new consciousness of prejudice against gay people. In the case of racism or anti semitism a persecuted child has other adults close by who can relate to their experience, other Jewish people or black people ect. But for gay youth there is often no other person in the immediate family who they can turn to.

    If there is another way to more completely show up homophobia for the pure evil that it is then I don't know it, incidents like this should never happen. To kids or to adults.

    "Eternal rest grant unto them o Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them..."


  15. Kallisti that's a very important point about too many gay kids not having any immediate support for the bigotry they have to endure. Homophobia can be much more lonely than other forms of 'isms'.