Is There Such Thing as TOO MUCH Emphasis on Teen Suicide?
Incredible question, right? Yet, I was recently told just that. Actually, on one of the social networking pages that I was running, I was booted by the original owner of the page because I was putting too much emphasis on LGBT teen suicides. TOO MUCH EMPHASIS!?
Research shows, clearly, that LGBT youth attempt suicide up to 4 times as often as their hetero counterparts. We witness all-too-often another LGBT teen suicide in the news. That says that there isn’t ENOUGH emphasis being put on the matter.
(as a side note, I was told by the owner of the page that “I’m all for gay-related issues…I have lots of gay friends.” That’s akin, in my mind, to the old catch phrase “hey, I’m not racist. I’ve got a black friend.”)
Just in the past month, we’ve seen in the news how certain politicians are attempting to pass bills that would make life even more difficult for LGBT students. Stacey Campfield, (R) Tennessee, is determined to get his “Don’t Say Gay” bill passed in a district that already has an anti-bullying law in place that excludes discrimination because of sexual orientation. The teen, and primarily LGBT teen suicide rate in Michele Bachmann’s district got so bad, a national publication thankfully ran a must-read article about it. There are jurisdictions in this country that are still attempting to pass bills that would sanction the bullying of LGBT teens by adding the language that would permit the bullying if it’s done for “religious, philosophical, or political beliefs.” That’s amazing in this day and age. And, I can’t put enough emphasis on the issue of LGBT teen bullying and suicides.
To be fair and see things through her eyes, the owner of the page I was running points out that there’s many different forms of bullying: bullying in the workplace and domestic violence. That’s very true. There IS an issue of bullying in the workplace. And, domestic violence is very much a serious issue. Bullying on all levels needs to be addressed. We have a tendency to be a very mean-spirited people. My only point, which I stand by, was that mixing all of them together in one place would be awkward, at best. A community for ending domestic violence? I’m on board. Bullying in the workplace? Sign me up. Teen, and especially LGBT teen bullying and suicide. I will die on the front line of that battle. What rattled me, and rattles me still, was being told that I was putting too much emphasis on the issue. There’s no such thing as the Easter Bunny; there’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy; there’s no such thing as too much emphasis on LGBT bullying and suicides.