A Serious Moment
In the past couple of months 2 stories have caught my attention. On July 9th Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old teen from Minnesota, hanged himself in his bedroom. This past week Billy Lucas, also 15, killed himself the same way, in his family’s barn. Both of these kids were gay, and couldn’t take the bullying and abuse any longer.
The bullying sounds the same – cries of “Fag” and “Queer” echo just as loudly now as they did when I was a teen. I am thankful that I had enough support in my life that I could deal with the abuse when I experienced it, and I know that there are many who dealt with much more than I did. But it seems to have gotten much, much worse.
I hesitate to use a phrase that is so overused and may have lost its meaning, but this breaks my heart. I know that I have said it before, but why is there so much hate towards gay people? It may be hard for some to hear, but this is nothing more than bigotry, even when trying to hide behind religion.
And who is to blame for this? The teachers who regularly ignore the name calling? The bullies who told Billy that he should kill himself because he was gay? The preacher who extols the “hate the sin, love the sinner” strategy of Christianity? The same one who then tells their congregation that the gays are going to burn in hell?
The answer is: All of them. And all of us. All of us who stand by and ignore what is happening. All who look away. All who silently agree with the abuse.
We need to change this. We need to help our kids. If you have a kid who is struggling, please try to help. If you think your kid may be gay, don’t ignore it and hope it will go away. Talk to them. If you work as a teacher, please be tolerant. Please don’t add to the bullying. And, if you notice bullying, stop it. Please save a life.
No one should think that they should kill themselves because of who they are attracted to. No one.