Friday, September 23, 2011

More Jamey



Via NYT

It's sad that it takes someone's death to draw them to your attention. I love watching this kid speak: he has a way of talking that would expose him as gay - at least to me - that I find extremely enjoyable. Most of the guys I've dated have the same way of talking: it isn't overly effeminate, but slightly. I'm sad that this guy is gone; that it truly got that bad.

The article claims that he was bisexual, which also makes me feel for him, because as a teen, I was on the bi-now-gay-later plan, and I wonder if we shared that in common.

Also, check out this interview with Dan Savage on why he started the It Gets Better Project.

15 comments:

Tim said...

I, too, am upset by this kid's death.

I want to make it clear, however, that there are hundreds of gay kids committing suicide across this nation who are not cute. Who don't have sexy voices.

These are the pimply, fat, obnoxious gay kids. The ones who ugly faces, or pear-shaped bodies, or heavy glasses, or frankly unattractive personalities.

They, too, are dead.

But they aren't getting any attention, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's homophobic parents, who are still trying to cover up their child's "sick" sexuality. Sometimes it's because no one knew about their sexuality (except their tormentors). Sometimes it's because they can't be poster-children for the "It Gets Better" campaign... you know, the feel-good effort that doesn't do anything for those poor slobs actually in schools, and which diverts money, time, volunteer effort, and more away from anti-bullying legislation or school board meetings where anti-bullying codes of conduct are debated and passed.

I'm not being critical of you.

I'm concerned that the LGBTQ movement wants cute poster boys to get our legislative goals to succeed.

The truth is, we need to fight on our own terms. And that means that every LGBTQ kid out there -- cute or not, skinny or fat, nice or obnoxious -- is of worth and of value.

Writer said...

I agree, and I took part of your comment and made it a blog post with Patty Griffin's song Tony.

Sadly, as long as we have GOP/Fundamentalist wackjobs in the world, the legislation that we need won't be passes because they'll see it as "affirming" a "lifestyle" not saving lives. :(

Tim said...

That's not true!!!!

Those wackjobs may temporarily oppose us. But if LGBTQ people get together, do the hard work of talking to the public face-to-face, do the hard work of legislative lobbying, we can win.

We just have to do four things:

1) Educating the public face-to-face about why this is important. (I've never met a piece of literature that's won a campaign.)

2) Remind the public face-to-face about the counter-arguments the haters will raise, and why those counter-arguments are wrong.

3) Get the public, and our own supporters, to make public statements of support. The more public the support, the better. (Private expressions of support are meaningless. A button is better. A yard sign better yet. A name on a petition even better!)

4) Get out the vote.

If we do that, we will win. It is a plan for victory. Follow it, and you win. Every time!

Kyle said...

JP, we are in a difficult position. Our young(GLBTQ) are dying and we have little ability to find them and help them. We don't have much say in the way they are cared for, educated, protected, or nurtured. They need to know that we care about them, that we need them, and that we love all of them just the way they are. Until we can have more dialogue with them and give them support we will continue to loose them. I think that is why The Trevor Project, local support groups, and local hotlines are so important. Right now they are the only ways we can reach out to our progeny.

Tim said...

Kyle, what you said is KEY KEY KEY.

It's the local nature of these groups and outreach. It's not some national campaign, which parents and pastors can portray as some sort of "third party" swooping in from the den of sin, San Francisco.

Outreach has to be local. Has to be face to face. Has to be with people from a kid's own community or area.

Writer said...

Tim, I agree with you. I used to argue with a friend about this all the time. He was so into making gay people "feel" better about themselves first. And I was all about feeling better by doing the work that needed to be done first. :)

Writer said...

Kyle, what I don't understand is why the heightened awareness of the gay teen suicides why there are still gay teen suicides? Why seeing this continually talked about in mainstream news outlets, our progeny isn't having the lightbulb moment of "Oh, this is happening a lot. I'm not alone."?

:(

Writer said...

Tim, as a teen, I drove 2 hours to get to the local youth gay group (Love you, IYG!) so I think it's important for gay (rural) teens to know that they can find things online. And that's one thing I've noticed, none of the teens who've died are so cut off that they can't find things online. Even if it isn't local, it's still close by.

Kyle said...

JP, unfortunately, even though they hear about others, that isn't enough. They are still feel absolutely alone, still feel on their own, with no daily support system. I can't blame them for not feeling hopeful.

One top of that, they have to deal with the sexual pressure/danger of being a GLBTQ teen, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and elder GLBTQ and allies who do nothing when they see or hear something that could help that person. Sets us up with a very bad emotional foundation and severe trust issues.

More local support groups and hotlines might help, but in the end I think the only cure for the suicide epidemic is general acceptance of us(and ourselves) and legal protection for our people.

Tim said...

"Online" doesn't cut it. These are intense feelings of abandonment. These are kids who're being beaten daily. They need a physical person to talk to, get feelings from, be hugged by.

There's this really icky dynamic at work in the gay community, too. Because gay men are so often accused of being pedophiles, many gay men will look at a teenage gay kid and say, "Stay away from that pedo bait!" If you try to reach out to someone, you're accused -- by other gay men -- of wanting to "rape the baby" or something similarly offensive.

I don't know if this is serious, or meant in fun, or both, or what. But the dynamic is that any young gay male is denigrated, frowned on, accused of being "unmanly," and even tormented by the very gay community to which that teenager is looking for mentorship, affirmation, love, and acceptance.

Such attitudes widen the generation gap, create pressure on gay youth to conform to an ideal their bodies can't conform to, and buy into the homophobia of the culture at large.

Writer said...

Tim, then I feel we should do our best to start some sort of mentoring program...sort of like the African American community has. We should take care of our own.

Maybe Jesse Helmes was right: we need an island. :(

Tim said...

No island!!!!!!!!!!!

This land is OURS, not theirs! We start pushing back. Every epithet they yell, we yell back. Every time they hate, we kiss and shove it in their face. If they bully, we spit back.

The original gay rights movement called itself an army.

It's time for the army to form again. We are literally under attack, being destroyed one by one. Our weakest members, whom we called to come out of the closet, answered. We left them out in the cold. No longer. Now we protect, now we fight back, now we reform the army and take back our school, our town, take back the day.

I have a plan to win. We will win.

Writer said...

OKAY OKAY. I'm just trying to keep myself from joining The Weather Underground and blowing up Michelle Bachmann's husband x-gay clinic. !!

Tim said...

Naw, we need to keep the Bachmanns around for comic relief.

Writer said...

True dat. :)