In this piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Laurie Essig opines that five (except now it's 7) youth committing suicide is not really a phenomenon, but it resonates well with society and the media because -- sadly -- it's what we expect. Sensitive, vulnerable kid gets hassled by bullies, ends it all. Story at 11.

But -- as Essig said -- what the mainstream media isn't writing about is the far larger number of LGBT kids that not only survived the month, but are thriving:

"The fact that way more than five queer teens had an amazing month, had their first love, their first encounter with the richness of queer culture—from drag to politics—is not a story we want to hear as a culture. The fact that hundreds or even thousands of queer kids stood up to a bully, injected queer consciousness into a classroom or a family dinner, and generally lived technicolor lives over the rainbow rather than locked down in some black and white Kansas is lost in the news cycle. We prefer our queers as victims. They're easier to support and much less scary that way."

I was -- like most guys here -- stunned by not only what appeared to be a rash of suicides (the string trails back into the summer, by the way) but the extremely nasty comments posted on Facebook and other venues in response. However, I am also aware that far more kids are "out" today than when I was in school (of course we were harder to pick out by lamplight!) and -- according to some teachers I know -- most of them have very little trouble fitting in.

I'm curious what others -- especially those who work with youth or in schools -- think of this perspective, because I don't have a big enough understanding of the issue to know who to believe.

Queer Youth Not a Tragedy