Intolerance kills gay youth!

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    Jan 21, 2009 2:54 AM GMT
    And a little tolerance can lower suicide risk in gay youth:

    I know it is kind of common sense to gay people, but all the right wing zealots might as well know that while they profess to be protecting the children, they may actually have the blood of young gay suicide victims on their hands:

    There is audio on the link below also:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98782569Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate..
    [...]
    They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.
    Even toned down rejection can help apparently!
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    Jan 21, 2009 3:14 AM GMT
    Would anyone know if there are certain areas of the US where gay youth commit suicide more so than others? Or is it pretty equally balanced? Either way this is really sad. There's a lot of gay people out there who have NO one to talk about and can't come out of the closet.
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    Jan 21, 2009 3:25 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidWould anyone know if there are certain areas of the US where gay youth commit suicide more so than others? Or is it pretty equally balanced? Either way this is really sad. There's a lot of gay people out there who have NO one to talk about and can't come out of the closet.
    I'm not sure, the focus was more on the power of tolerance/intolerance .. maybe I can look up the study ..
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    Jan 21, 2009 3:28 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit saidAnd a little tolerance can lower suicide risk in gay youth

    Thanks for posting this. When I volunteer on the phones at a GLBT center here, among the things we have to deal with are suicide calls. And I wonder to myself, why should any GLBT person, young or old, want to kill themselves over their orientation?

    But this is what we face, and it happens more times than I want to think. And I know my question is rhetorical, because I listen to these calls, and I feel what they're suffering. But still I ask myself: why? What in our society causes this, and why should we allow it?

    I've also talked to parents, of sons & daughters who were threatening suicide, who begged me could I find them and save them, because the parents were hundreds or thousands of miles away. And I did the best I could, but not without a price to myself when I failed. So that I hate this problem, that it exists at all, that anyone would contemplate suicide because they're gay.

    My hatred of anti-gay forces in our society is greater than I can express. I've been in the "front lines" as it were, and it tears me apart. And the homeless gay minors, rejected & abandoned by their own parents, is another area I can hardly even talk about. We see them so much here in South Florida, where the year-round warm weather attracts them. If the anti-gay elements in the US had a single neck, I would strangle it.
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    Jan 21, 2009 3:47 AM GMT


    We watched a program on this recently - a couple of guys visited one of the guy's families and they had a 'family conference'. The family exhibited a tense tolerance teetering on hostility of the fact that their son was gay and that he had a partner, and that he had 'come home' with him.

    Their son became completely choked up and left the room. While he was gone his partner faced the parents and the extended family and told them that their son, at 15, used to spend a lot of time in the bathroom. His Mom quips in in a slightly derisive tone that she knew, hinting at sordid goings-on. The son's lover tells them all that what their son had been doing was standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a razor poised over his wrist for sometimes half an hour. There was a deep frozen shock; you could see slow reactions happening as it dawned on them all what could have happened.

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    Jan 21, 2009 3:51 AM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidBut this is what we face, and it happens more times than I want to think. And I know my question is rhetorical, because I listen to these calls, and I feel what they're suffering. But still I ask myself: why? What in our society causes this, and why should we allow it?
    And to think people like Rick Warren and other evangelicals are so puzzled why the negative response from gays when they say debasing things about gays. They are the ones who should swallow the bitter pill of their hate, not innocent young people who are so down and out.
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    Jan 21, 2009 4:13 AM GMT
    jakebenson saidWould anyone know if there are certain areas of the US where gay youth commit suicide more so than others? Or is it pretty equally balanced? Either way this is really sad. There's a lot of gay people out there who have NO one to talk about and can't come out of the closet.


    I don't have the research in front of me, but GLBT youth commits suicide more than their het peers nationwide in every state and city. I am assuming that you were asking if more accepting/tolerant places would have decreased rates, but even with open atmospheres we still top the charts.
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    Jan 21, 2009 4:31 AM GMT
    animanimus said prayers for bobby saturday january 24th at 9 pm (eastern time)
    Thank you for posting that! I saw the preview before but had forgotten it will be showing so soon
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    Jan 21, 2009 5:41 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie said
    jakebenson saidWould anyone know if there are certain areas of the US where gay youth commit suicide more so than others? Or is it pretty equally balanced? Either way this is really sad. There's a lot of gay people out there who have NO one to talk about and can't come out of the closet.


    I don't have the research in front of me, but GLBT youth commits suicide more than their het peers nationwide in every state and city. I am assuming that you were asking if more accepting/tolerant places would have decreased rates, but even with open atmospheres we still top the charts.


    Yes sorry I was not too clear. I was wondering if there are certain regions or cities with certain populations, mentalities, or any other notable characteristic correlated with higher suicide rates among homosexuals that we could further look into.
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    Jan 21, 2009 6:03 AM GMT
    I really want to watch that movie, Prayers for Bobby, because I almost did what he did. But I don't think I could stomach it right now. It looks really good though.
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    Jan 21, 2009 6:07 AM GMT
    TheIStrat saidI really want to watch that movie, Prayers for Bobby, because I almost did what he did. But I don't think I could stomach it right now. It looks really good though.
    Well we are certainly glad you did not do it. I am sure there are many lives that are richer with you here!
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    Jan 21, 2009 6:12 AM GMT
    ActiveAndFit said
    TheIStrat saidI really want to watch that movie, Prayers for Bobby, because I almost did what he did. But I don't think I could stomach it right now. It looks really good though.
    Well we are certainly glad you did not do it. I am sure there are many lives that are richer with you here!


    Me too. It still hurts like hell though
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    Jan 21, 2009 12:52 PM GMT
    Having attempted suicide twice as a teenager I am well acquainted with what this means.
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    Jan 21, 2009 1:14 PM GMT
    At 18, I was also thinking very seriously of suicide, but never attempted it. Guess being too much of a coward is a good thing sometimes, eh? icon_razz.gif It stemmed from the belief that I will never be accepted and will always live the life of an outcast (as well as finding out that the friend I fell secretly in love with for 6 years was undeniably straight). Even though already atheist, I think the primary reason I didn't go through with it was rationalizing that if I was gay and thus made to suffer through life with the prospect of hell, why would I kill myself when it would only get me to hell faster? I know... pretty dumb, LOL, but it did help me shift my attitude to be a bit more optimistic.

    I did have a classmate in College (when I had already shifted to Programming) who killed himself. He was gay, and although the reasons for his suicide might have been rejection from a guy he liked, the attitude of his family (he wasn't out to them, but it was pretty obvious, and I think his Dad seldom speaks with him anymore) would have contributed. He never struck me as suicidal, and he was always treated well in our school. There was very little homophobia there, our school director being probably gay himself, not to mention the school owner who has a gay brother and two openly gay teachers. But I imagine the attitudes would be much different in his hometown, which was quite remote.
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    Jan 21, 2009 2:31 PM GMT
    I'm glad all of you guys who tried or contemplated were not successful. RJ would be worse off for not having you, and so would the world we live in.

    I am only acquainted with Ursamajor through his postings, but it is clear he is an intelligent and sensitive person that has at the very least made my life a little better. I can honestly say he has expanded my knowledge base and entertained me with his wit.

    I have been fortunate enough to have been able to correspond with Sedative in addition to his posts, and he is clearly someone who has only begun to make many valuable contributions to society. Extremely intelligent, sensitive and funny as hell, I really look forward to his unique perspectives.

    I wish there was a way to show individuals with suicidal tendencies how much they have to offer the people around them. Perhaps if they understood their true value to themselves and the world around them it would help to prevent this.

    Vespa, I have been looking for another volunteer opportunity and I would like to investigate the GLBT phone lines as well. Any information you can provide on how to be successful with individuals on the phones would be great.

    Oh and by the way, right wing zealots suck!
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    Jan 21, 2009 4:48 PM GMT
    I know people kill themselves for many reasons as in the case of many people I know who have done it or tried, but the message here is that the risk can be lowered through tolerance. The message I think should primarily go to those religious people and religious families who think that they are protecting or helping children by not letting them be who they are. I would like to confront those so called "pastors" with each and every gay youth suicide attributed to intolerance.

    Secondarily there is a message to gay people to practice tolerance towards each other - we get enough intolerance from non-gays without troubling each other.
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    Jan 21, 2009 5:08 PM GMT
    I never actually got to the point where I attempted suicide. But when I was a sophomore at James Madison University in 2006 (I was 20), I realized that I was never going to be straight and would never fit in to my religious community, and spiraled into a ridiculous depression. I decided I was going to kill myself around this time 3 years ago. Started planning how I would do it (I settled on pills), and what I would write in the note (I wanted to let people know I'd rather be dead than a fag).

    I don't really know what happened, and I don't tell this story often, but it was like a lightning bolt hit me one night. I think I had what alcoholics call a moment of clarity. I just thought, "You have been fighting these urges all your life in order to be the good Christian kid you were raised to be. And look at what it's done for you. You're isolated, depressed, and getting ready to kill yourself. This isn't worth it."

    So I decided that I would come out and just try out the gay thing, and if that didn't do the trick, then ok, fine I'd end it all. I remember crying and crying for a couple hours in my dormroom that night. But when I woke up the next morning, I was peaceful for the first time since I was 15. I'm glad I made that decision. I walked away from Christianity too, and I'm still pretty pissed at the Church for driving me to almost off myself. But My life is a lot better now. Got a bf and friends and family that love me

    One of my life goals is to bike across america. I'm thinking of doing it to raise money for the Trevor Project, to help kids who are going what I went through. I think that would be nice
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    Jan 22, 2009 3:32 AM GMT
    TheIStrat saidSo I decided that I would come out and just try out the gay thing, and if that didn't do the trick, then ok, fine I'd end it all. I remember crying and crying for a couple hours in my dormroom that night. But when I woke up the next morning, I was peaceful for the first time since I was 15. I'm glad I made that decision. I walked away from Christianity too, and I'm still pretty pissed at the Church for driving me to almost off myself. But My life is a lot better now. Got a bf and friends and family that love me

    One of my life goals is to bike across america. I'm thinking of doing it to raise money for the Trevor Project, to help kids who are going what I went through. I think that would be nice
    Thank you for sharing all that. I bet similar stories can be told thousands of times over. And you life goal is very noble. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
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    Jan 22, 2009 3:49 AM GMT
    TheIStrat saidI never actually got to the point where I attempted suicide. But when I was a sophomore at James Madison University in 2006 (I was 20), I realized that I was never going to be straight and would never fit in to my religious community, and spiraled into a ridiculous depression. I decided I was going to kill myself around this time 3 years ago. Started planning how I would do it (I settled on pills), and what I would write in the note (I wanted to let people know I'd rather be dead than a fag).

    I don't really know what happened, and I don't tell this story often, but it was like a lightning bolt hit me one night. I think I had what alcoholics call a moment of clarity. I just thought, "You have been fighting these urges all your life in order to be the good Christian kid you were raised to be. And look at what it's done for you. You're isolated, depressed, and getting ready to kill yourself. This isn't worth it."

    So I decided that I would come out and just try out the gay thing, and if that didn't do the trick, then ok, fine I'd end it all. I remember crying and crying for a couple hours in my dormroom that night. But when I woke up the next morning, I was peaceful for the first time since I was 15. I'm glad I made that decision. I walked away from Christianity too, and I'm still pretty pissed at the Church for driving me to almost off myself. But My life is a lot better now. Got a bf and friends and family that love me

    One of my life goals is to bike across america. I'm thinking of doing it to raise money for the Trevor Project, to help kids who are going what I went through. I think that would be nice

    Well said. You've probably by now understood that is a VERY common scenario. I probably prayed every day from the time I was 16-22 not to be gay, and dove into the church groups myself (also went to JMU, as a side note). I'm also glad you mentioned the Trevor Project--I was going to do that. Folks like Red Vespa are important for local callers, but TP is the most widely known nationally and they have a lot of best practices for dealing with those issues. Can't hurt to post their link here--just in case: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
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    Jan 27, 2009 3:06 AM GMT
    I saw Prayers for Bobby mentioned above on Sunday. I highly recommend it. It has another showing Tuesday (1/27) at 9 pm et/pt on Lifetime