Oct 01, 2010 2:50 AM GMT
THE LETTER BELOW WAS WRITTEN by a Radical Faerie (Jonathan W, Brooklyn, NY) and really captures the heart of the matter it seems.
Please SEND IT as a comment to the White House at:
And LET THEM HEAR US SAY:
*** Mr. President PLEASE SPEAK OUT LOUDLY about homophobia, school bullying and equal civil rights for LGBTQ people -- no more suicide letters. ***
To President Obama,
All of us are horrified by the tragedy of Tyler Clementi, the young man who committed suicide after his sexual encounter with another man was posted on the internet. We share anger and disgust at the 2 students accused of this despicable act.
But if our outrage stops there, we will be doing a grave disservice to the millions of young gay men and women in this country who live with shame and fear everyday and who have a 4 times greater risk of suicide than their straight counterparts.
Most people would be embarrassed and angered at having their private sexual acts secretly recorded and posted on the internet, but it seems unlikely that Mr. Clementi would have been driven to suicide if this had been a heterosexual encounter. A young heterosexual man would not likely experience the shame and fear that Mr. Clementi must have felt.
Yes, the 2 students accused of this crime must be held accountable for their actions, but as a society we must all share responsibility for creating an environment that drives young gay people to suicide.
This country has come a long way toward acceptance of gay people in the last few decades, but we still have a long way to go. Young gay people still face bullying and abuse at home and at school; many experience ostracism by family and friends; discrimination in school, work, housing and social services; and isolation from supportive communities of peers, as well as anti-gay violence in public and private. It's no wonder that the shame and fear of 'coming out' can be fatal.
In the cyber world we now live in, there will undoubtedly be more cases of invasions of privacy on the internet. They can be punished, but not prevented. It is up to all of us in this society to make sure that young gay people feel safe, secure and accepted, so that shame and fear never again result in death.
PLEASE SPEAK OUT.