Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Truth, Justice, the American Way

Like many other people I am deeply affected by the death of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who committed suicide after another student posted videos of Tyler having sex with another man. I realize (sorry to be soooo slow) that discrimination of any sort against gay people is a civil rights, a justice issue – the same as the other great civil rights/justice issues of the 20th Century.

Why this time? Why not (ABC News, I think): “… 13-year-old Asher Brown, who told his parents he was gay, fatally shot himself last week after they said bullies pushed him too far. Two other teenagers hanged themselves after classmates had bullied them for years over their sexual orientations. 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Indiana hanged himself three weeks ago, and 13-year-old Seth Walsh from California died this week, eight days after trying to hang himself from a tree.” Why not Matthew Shepard? Why not others? I don’t know.

But I do know, here I am, with no more tolerance for religious bigots who model intolerance and hate and then lie about it with the old “hate the sin, not the sinner” shuck and jive. No more tolerance for people who justify prejudice because it’s part of their culture (Hispanic, Black, Redneck [everybody else gets a cap, why not us], whatever). No more tolerance for looks and innuendo. No more tolerance for really, face it, people’s own personal threat over something (same sex sex) that isn’t unusual, that lots of people do or have done, that animals other than the human animal do.

Being gay isn’t a lifestyle choice – it just is, the same as being hetero, BUT if it was a choice, then so what. Who is anyone to tell anyone else that a choice that doesn’t hurt anyone is wrong?

Here is a link to the It Gets Better Project - a very good thing for young people struggling with cruelty. From one of the vids:

There really is a place for us
There really is a place for you
One day you will have friends who love and support you
You will find love
You will find a community

Life gets better.

1 comment:

Aaron & Diane Mitschke said...

Thanks for posting this, Charles. I think you're absolutely right and I hope that many, many others feel the same way.