It Doesn’t Get Worse Than That

This past week was filled with messages like the one in the video below. Even Obama sent a message out. I know this is a touchy subject with some of my family and maybe even some of my friends, but I’m going to blog about it anyway.

First let me say I don’t believe homosexuality is a choice. And personally, I don’t care if you’re gay or not. It’s just another lifestyle to me and who am I to judge anyway? But being afraid of who you are should never, ever make you feel less important than anyone else.

I try not to make homosexuality an issue because I firmly believe if you make it an issue, it becomes… an issue. Oh sure, I’ve talked about sexuality in general to my kids and homosexuality has come up in conversation a time or two. I answer all their questions and give them generalized opinions and/or facts from all sides, and do so to the best of my ability, just like I do with any other topic. From there, I encourage them to form their own opinion and hope and pray it’s the same as mine. Then we eat or go see a movie or arrive at the Walmart. [Side note: It’s amazing the kinds of conversations we can have with our kids while out driving around town]

It Gets Better: Google Employees

All that being said, it kind of ticks me off that there’s been all this focus on gay teen suicides lately. Someone commits suicide because he or she is gay? How about someone committed suicide because he or she felt depressed… ostracized… different… like a misfit… or an outcast? How about that?

I fail to see the difference between being suicidal because you’re bullied, overweight, disabled, abused, [fill in the blank] or being suicidal because you’re gay. I don’t think the feelings are any less devastating for a person who’s being bullied, than that of a teenager who happens to be gay.

All this focus on gay teen suicide leaves me wondering about that poor kid who’s being bullied at school because he’s [fill in the blank] but is not gay. Is he thinking “Apparently, gays are even more important than I am.”? Some reports indicate that one-third of teenagers who commit suicide are gay. That means that two-thirds of teenagers who commit suicide are not gay. Why the focus on gay teen suicides?

I mean think about for a second… someone felt so bad that they wanted to check-out. It doesn’t get worse than that, right? How about we focus our attention on teen suicides as a whole?

[Image Via]

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4 thoughts on “It Doesn’t Get Worse Than That

  1. Thank you so much for the responses. You all bring up some good points.

    I firmly believe it all comes down to teaching our kids to be respectful to ALL people… period. I don’t tell my kids to be respectful of anyone that is gay. Instead, I tell them to be respectful of ALL people. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children how to accept and respect everyone, no matter their physical features, religion, color, sexual orientation, or disability.

    I also believe it’s our job as parents, to make sure our kids get the love and attention they need and deserve so they have the confidence to be their own person – whatever that is to them.

    I’m so glad you guys read my blog. You guys are so awesome! 🙂

  2. I have seen my share of suicide victims and have had it touch my life personally in many ways. I do not know any gay teens who have committed suicide, so I do not know about that. I also do not think sexuality is an issue, mostly because it is someone’s personal private business. I have been in a dark place and know the hole you can put yourself into and how much it takes to pull yourself back out of it. Loneliness and having no one to talk to can happen to anyone at any age. Sometimes listening instead of talking is the most important thing you can do for anyone.

  3. Annie, this is a GREAT post! How we treat people should have nothing to do with their “sexual orientation”. EVERY person is a child of God and, as such, deserves to be treated with dignity. This applies also to prisoners, aliens (illegal or legal), or whatever may be “WRONG” about the way they are living. I may not agree with their lifestyle and I do what I can to discourage it when asked, BUT, I always treat people with dignity even when I heartily disagree with their lifestyle — whatever it is — because that is how I want to be treated. Many people disagree with my choice of religion. That is their right and privilege, but I still want them to respect the fact that it is MY CHOICE. I know many gay people who are sweet and wonderful people. I have dealt with depression all my life for the same reasons Ken was talking about, but through it all, I learned that we MUST get our sense of self-worth from within ourselves. For me, that was finding the religion that met with my personal values and standards. It also came from two loving parents who made mistakes, but still showed their love in the only ways they knew how. We did not always agree, but they always instilled in me that core of the idea that I was worthy of kindness in the way I was treated and in the way I treated others. Thank you for a very thoughtful article. It just made me admire you even more than I already did.

  4. I agree. In Oregon there have been a lot of Teen suicides in the past few years and MOST of them were NOT gay, but because they committed suicide they were marked as gay.
    Teens have a lot to deal with. Some of them have not been taught how to deal with the everyday problems because we as Parents are told that we have to “Make them feel good about themselves.” When I was a teen I felt good about myself when I did something on my own. If I did something wrong I got punished. When I did something right SOMETIMES I got praise, but not always.
    Depression has many faces and many more causes, but it doesn’t have to have one ending. Pay attention to what your teens are saying and doing and don’t just say “Oh it will be ok.” Make them accountable and GUIDE them like a good parent is supposed to do. Don’t just let them go and say “It’s just a phase”.

    I guess I should hush though. I may upset someone. lol

    Ken

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