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Posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Dave!Seven years, six months, and twenty-six days ago, a young man wrote to a stranger on the internet out of desperation because there was nowhere else he could turn. All he wanted was a friendly ear to share his dream of escaping from the horrific life he had to endure. Escaping to a place where he wouldn't be bullied, teased, or beaten just because he existed.

I was that stranger.

And since then not a day goes by that I'm not reminded of how this poor kid woke up each morning trying to find the strength to make it through life just one more day.

How can I forget? Victims of bullying are killing themselves in record numbers because they can't see any other way to end the suffering.

And we as a society continue to let it happen.

Homophobic activists spare no expense in screaming to the world that gays are filthy perverts who are ruining civilization, destroying marriage, corrupting children, and causing God to plague us with hurricanes and earthquakes. They waste no opportunity to tell us that homosexuality is an evil abomination that should be driven from our community. They advocate sexuality to be nothing more than a "lifestyle" that only the most horrible people choose to embrace. They preach hatred and intolerance to the masses and feign shock when their words inspire an environment so hostile that people would rather die than be forced to live in it.

And while everyone is entitled to their opinion, I'd argue that such ruthless persecution falls outside merely "voicing one's opinion" and could more realistically be described as "inciting violence."

Not that there haven't been steps in the right direction.

Since I got the email that changed my life back in 2004, there have been a number of organizations started to help troubled LGBT youth find inspiration, hope, and help. The It Gets Better Project is a shining example of how people can combat the hatred, lies, and fear that the truly perverse elements of society use to make innocent kids think that their life isn't worth living. Happily, other such amazing projects are arriving all the time. Society is starting to use tolerance and truth to reclaim ground lost by discrimination and lies.

And today is Spirit Day when millions will be wearing purple as a sign of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. It's a way of telling them that despite everything they have to endure, there are people out there who care about them. That they matter. That they are loved. That there are people out there who are fighting for them...

PurpleSpirit.gif

   
Seven years, six months, and twenty-six days ago a young fan of my blog wrote to me because there was nowhere else he could turn. Such a heartbreaking tragedy is unforgivable. Fortunately, it's also fixable. It's just a matter of caring enough to want things to change.

Then doing your part to make it happen.

Help out when you can.

Speak up when you're able.

Create a world in which LGBT youth are celebrated and accepted for who they are.

Comments

  1. claire says:

    Thanks for your ongoing support, Dave!

  2. BosGuy says:

    What a fantastic and touching post. I’ve been trolling online reading blogs tonight since nothing on TV seems worth watching and I’m so glad I stopped by to read this.

    I’m contemplating doing a series of posts on bullying. I know its often talked about but as you point out all we need to do is show that we care. Nobody should feel alone or terrorized like some of these kids do today. It does get better – but more importantly we need to stop ignoring this issue.

    BosGuy

  3. Sybil Law says:

    Amen!
    And wait- wearing purple was today? Dammit!

  4. Christopher Stogdill says:

    I wish you’d posted this a day early so I could have been involved with this. It’s hard enough to be a straight youth coping with budding sexuality….I cannot imagine what it would be like to be LGBT in a society where fitting in is everything, or at least it seemed like everything to me at the time.

  5. Megan says:

    I didn’t know about his until it was too late. Boo.

    Have you kept in touch with the boy? How’s he doing today?

  6. Sarah says:

    You are an amazing person, Dave.

  7. Cap says:

    I just followed a trail of links through your blog and now I’ve forgotten what I was going to say.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to wear purple and I forgot about national coming out day. Damn. This makes you a better lesbian than I am :)

  8. Suebob says:

    There’s a reason you’re one of my favorite people on the internets.

  9. Justin says:

    I knew I liked you before but now I like you even more. Thanks for all you do for people like me.

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