When bombs explode and we see innocents die or hurt , in our horror we see ultimately where hate takes us…to blood and destruction. We have seen dramatic images where violence has been used as a way to strike out to make a point or to pursue a cause. In the end, such acts only create victims. No issues are resolved. No cause is won.
I have seen hate and rhetoric weave itself in an even more cunning way into the fabric of our most vulnerable – our young people’s minds. It manifests itself in bullying, in heinous rhetoric over the pulpit, in vile hateful language written on placards and sometimes spewed out of those we most love. All sculpted to make one feel less worthy, less loved and and repulsive.
The scope of such assaults are almost constant in those of our young people who don’t fit in, especially those in the most vulnerable group, LGBT youth. With most experiencing verbal bullying, some turn into physical and sexual. The barrage until recently, was tolerated and ignored by those in authority. They were alone.
Some lives were ended by violence by others. Many were ended by their own suicides , the largest percentage of all youth. They believed the message given to them by society. It has been a true genocide created by the ticking bomb of bullying at all levels.
I was one of their number. I considered it. Something stopped me. There was enough love to show me I was worth it. I held on with grasping fingers.
I eventually found happiness because I found me. I accepted who I was and I am loving who I am.
I have had the opportunity to work with LGBT youth. These young people , our children, are all wonderful and beautiful. They exhibit such talent, warmth, and they love and feel with all their heart. I have learned so much from them. I have hope for the future because of them. Yes they are unique as every young person is in our world. Ultimately, they want to be who they are, and be loved for that.
We have made many inroads so that this world is better place for them. More families are accepting their children and not throwing them out. More churches are loving them and not judging them. More communities are standing by them.
There is still much work to do. We must be compassionate. We must keep doing it.
Let us end the genocide .
- Our Youth Today: Lessons about LGBT acceptance (diversityandinclusionatwork.com)
- Nigel Hardy, 13, Bully-related Suicide (ronskemp.wordpress.com)
- Why is bullying an age-old problem? (education.com)
- Understanding Cyberincident Response & Intervention (webroot.com)
- Raising Compassionate Kids (everydayfamily.com)
- Bullying Information Center | Education.com (education.com)
- Annual anti-homophobic bullying campaign launched (thedailyshift.com)
- Join Project Eve and Take a Stand Against Bullying (projecteve.com)
- Bangor man organizing anti-bullying action group (bangordailynews.com)
- Building on Foundation for LGBT Youth (abravefaith.wordpress.com)