Protecting our Children from Themselves
In 1989, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled a study indicating that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers and such suicides likely compromised up to 30% of the overall youth suicide rate. The study was quickly sealed by the administration of George H. W. Bush. Representative William Dannemeyer (R. California) went as far as to say that Bush should:
…dismiss from public service all persons still employed who concocted this homosexual pledge of allegiance and sealed the lid on these misjudgments for good.
The report was ultimately leaked to the press in spite of the governments efforts to prevent it. The report stated:
… mental health and youth service agencies can provide acceptance and support for young homosexuals, train their personnel on gay issues, and provide appropriate gay adult role models; schools can protect gay youth from abuse from their peers and provide accurate information about homosexuality in health curricula; families should accept their child and work toward educating themselves about the development and nature of homosexuality.
Had the recommendations of the report been taken by the Bush administration, the story of LGBT equality, mental health and physical well being may have become drastically different than it is today and our children may have had a stronger chance of survival. Unfortunately, no action was taken by the administration to protect our children from their greatest danger, themselves, and as a result more children have died.
The arguments today against homosexuality seem to revolve around the protection of our children. Everywhere we turn people are saying, “You’ll harm the children.” The fact is that the unfriendly heterosexual persons have done the greatest damage to their own children. Perhaps many of them feel it is better to have a dead child than a gay child. It is my greatest hope that the upcoming Lifetime movie, Prayers for Bobby, (scheduled for release the end of January, 2009) will shed light on this tragic situation and save the life of our dearest renewable resources, our children.
In 1999, a study by the Center for Disease Control/Massachusetts revealed that 33% of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered youth had attempted suicide. This is 1/3 of all LGBT children!!! Should you be concerned? YES!
I’m a parent, what do I do if my son/daughter is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. I implore you to visit PFLAG’s website to obtain additional resources. If you are afraid of humiliation, think of your child and the stigma that is being placed upon them. Find strength for your children’s sake and make a call for help.
I am a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered youth and I feel alone, scared, hopeless, lost, confused, angry, ashamed etc. For LGBT youth in need of assistance, the following links are provided:
- OutProud: “Support, advocacy and resources for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.”
- Youth Guardian Services: “Are you a gay, bi, or trans young person between the ages of 13-25? Come find friends, fun and support on the YOUTH lists.”
- National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC): “…a national social justice organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people to strengthen the role of young people in the LGBTQ rights movement.”
- Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) – Student Organizing Department: “The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.”
- Gay-Straight Alliance: “Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, typically in a high school, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation, and work to end homophobia. Many GSAs function as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual,transgender, or questioning. “
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