Archive for October 21st, 2010

October 21, 2010

Obama finally speaks out

A day after Spirit Day and two days after Hillary Clinton broke ranks and spoke out. Now if he could only figure out that the message his DOJ is sending to kids by fighting Don’t ask Don’t Tell  is destructive.

October 21, 2010

The ex-human movement

Spirit Day has helped to draw attention to bullying and more specifically LGBTQ bullying but it doesn’t end with just a day. The problem persists and while the attention of the world media has been drawn to the cause it cannot be allowed to just end there.

Every day in a myriad of ways kids growing up knowing that there is something different about them are subjected to taunting and ridicule that too often leads them to give up hope. The pressure on them comes from words of hatred they hear constantly online, in the media and often in their own homes. This drives many a kid to think he or she is  an aberrant freak of nature – an unpleasant thing that just happened and that is inimical to the functioning of society. Kids don’t always know there is a bigger picture and that not everyone thinks the same way. They often just hear the loudest message  and internalize it.

As they try to deal with all the other pressures of a young life this nagging assault on their being can be a significant presence . They often have to spend so much energy hiding their feelings and their essence that it prevents them from realizing all they can be. It affects how they socialize, how they develop their romantic attachments and their self esteem. How wonderful it would be if LGBT kids could just be allowed to blossom and be themselves. Every young LGBT life lost is a possible Alan Turing, Oscar Wilde or E M Forster that the world will never be enriched by.

Here in Trinidad & Tobago where I work and live lately there is both latent and overt homophobia. It is not as bad as it is in other parts of the English Caribbean such as Jamaica but it is a reality. A kid growing up here is constantly aware of the hate. They are probably aware of the fact that if they are caught in any physical act there are laws that can put them in jail. They constantly hear from their churches ( and it is almost a universal message in this multi-religious society) that they are evil and going to hell. Imagine what that does?

Things have been better here in little ways for LGBT people and I suppose that filters down to young people. Now I see that a group  called ( no CAPS for them) his way out ministries is going to be here to spread the message that they can be converted to being straight. Apparently, this deluded group of bigots will be on the island  to tell parents of gay kids and kids that they can change. I am sure they can be ‘changed’ from being heterosexual too. To the extent that they can be turned into fucked up heterosexuals. Like young LGBT kids need another message telling them that there is something wrong with them. I suspect the message of every major psychiatric organization that says being LGBT is not a problem will be unheard here – except for me. And that assortment includes the WHO.

At least I see one good development . The group CAISO plans to protest him. This will be a first for this country. It requires a lot of bravery on the part of the protesters but I suspect they will pull it off. I know at least one friend who will be putting his money and his feet behind them.

The time has come for every LGBT person who has survived the hatred and stupidity to not think “well that is their problem now”. Every LGBT kid who gives in to the hatred and commits suicide is an indictment of every older person who doesn’t speak out – who doesn’t become a role model.

T&T can become a shining beacon to the rest of  the Caribbean that difference can be accepted. Not tolerated – I hate that word. It just takes all the LGBT voices to speak as one for politicians to realize that they have to pay attention.

Speak out!  Do you want to be on your death-bed knowing you sat quietly and let LGBT kids die because you didn’t say a word to make the world a little more welcoming?

If you want to add me feel free to do so at  @globewriter on Twitter and at www, ( just say LGBT in your message). Let’s expand the global conversation.