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 Post subject: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:47 pm 
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i am trying not to take this so hard.

i am taking this really hard.

on the bright(ish) side, there was quite a bit of purple today at the (quite conservative, religious) college where i work. on the down side, i suspect that there was a lot of 'bullying is bad! god will save you from the gay' going on as well. i am trying to be optimistic but have not been successful yet.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:30 am 
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another.

http://www.autostraddle.com/17-year-old ... ide-63640/


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:01 am 
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This is really heartbreaking. I wish I could have helped these kids.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:25 am 
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I've been watching lots of Trevor Project/It Gets Better videos too. I'm confident we're in the midst of change.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 4:05 am 
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I'm also hoping that things begin to change - it's been really rough hearing about all these kids. The scariest part is that I bet this has been happening right under our noses for quite some time now, and it just hasn't been deemed media-worthy. It also seems to be overwhelmingly focused on white kids, from what I've seen.
Most of the queer kids I know have/had mental health issues. All of the trans kids I know have mental health issues that are ongoing - I think most of them have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. I'm glad that this is finally beginning to get the attention it deserves.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:59 am 
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There was another one two days ago. Now this. And now I'm crying into my oatmeal. Is there anything to be done in the face of this dehumanization? There are no words.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:15 am 
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I wonder if there is an actual increase in LGBTQ bully related suicides lately? Or just that the media is posting all of them and that we are holding steady at the heartbreaking but consistent rate?

I also worry that if it IS an increase it could be due, in part, to the increased media coverage, because people have noticed that suicides can come in waves for young people especially (at least I heard a story about it before, but I don't remember where). Anyway, I worry that some already depressed kids that have thought about it but haven't really felt "strong" enough to do it will get that last push with all the media.

I guess I just feel that sometimes one suicide can feed another- my best friend in 9th grade killed herself less than a week after a body was discovered in a field around the school. I just don't think its entirely coincidental. She had been suicidal and depressed for years, but I always felt like someone's "success" is what really inspired her to follow through. Of course I'll never know for sure, but still.

Either way I do wish bullying would stop and that these kids could get the love and support they need from their friends, family and their schools (the schools that aren't doing enough).

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:13 am 
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lycophyte wrote:
I wonder if there is an actual increase in LGBTQ bully related suicides lately? Or just that the media is posting all of them and that we are holding steady at the heartbreaking but consistent rate?

I also worry that if it IS an increase it could be due, in part, to the increased media coverage, because people have noticed that suicides can come in waves for young people especially (at least I heard a story about it before, but I don't remember where). Anyway, I worry that some already depressed kids that have thought about it but haven't really felt "strong" enough to do it will get that last push with all the media.

I guess I just feel that sometimes one suicide can feed another- my best friend in 9th grade killed herself less than a week after a body was discovered in a field around the school. I just don't think its entirely coincidental. She had been suicidal and depressed for years, but I always felt like someone's "success" is what really inspired her to follow through. Of course I'll never know for sure, but still.

Either way I do wish bullying would stop and that these kids could get the love and support they need from their friends, family and their schools (the schools that aren't doing enough).


I want to think that it's just the media posting about all of them, but I'm afraid that the media coverage might result in an increase, too. When I was in Bristol, England, a tour guide told us that several people used to jump off of their bridge each year (they've since made it impossible to do so). Every time someone jumped, there would be a spike in the number of jumps during the next few weeks/months.

When I heard of the most recent suicide, I felt such sadness and frustration that the outpouring of support from all over the nation still wasn't enough to help him. Maybe it didn't reach him, or maybe it just wasn't enough to outweigh whatever he faced in his community. We'll never know, like you said.

I'm sorry about your friend, lycophyte. That's awful and so terribly sad.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:12 pm 
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I am sorry about your friend lycophyte. I lost a friend this way as well. I have been avoiding the news as the recent articles on this are so heartbreaking.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:13 pm 
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I agree it is the media coverage, last year I remember reading about four LGBT bullying related suicides in the course of five months but it was all through links somebody posted in their blog to the local newspapers of the "teens'" (2 were under 10) hometowns. Those were only the ones that came to my attention, so I'm sure there were more. I think the media is just jumping on this to make it a hot topic issue.

While I also think that maybe the media coverage may encourage other depressed teens, I also think it can raise awareness to the parents so they can talk to their children about the issue. Also to the teachers that see it going on. When I was in eighth grade some boys would mercilessly mock a gay student, and many times with a teacher standing right in front of them who would just stop and listen to them, but the teacher never did or said anything to the boys and it continued till the gay student dropped out of school. As a gay youth it horrified me.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 2:22 pm 
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i don't feel this is an epidemic. queer suicide has always existed. with the advances in technology there's just a considerable amount of people who are finally speaking up and telling people how screwed up this is. my heart aches for everyone that has been hurting because of this.

i really, really, really loved this article:
http://kateharding.info/2010/10/06/on-g ... -assholes/

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:28 pm 
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I agree with those who have said it is nothing new. What's new is that we're hearing about it so much. I wish there was more that we could do.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:23 pm 
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Queer on.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:39 am 
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Veglicious wrote:
I've been watching lots of Trevor Project/It Gets Better videos too. I'm confident we're in the midst of change.


Obama did one yesterday! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzcAR6yQhF8&feature=sub I did one as well a few weeks ago and the comments you get are so lovely. Love this project. So important.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:58 am 
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lycophyte wrote:

I guess I just feel that sometimes one suicide can feed another- my best friend in 9th grade killed herself less than a week after a body was discovered in a field around the school. I just don't think its entirely coincidental. She had been suicidal and depressed for years, but I always felt like someone's "success" is what really inspired her to follow through. Of course I'll never know for sure, but still.



Yeah, actually teen suicide rates in general spike when they're being covered in the news and statistically*, they really do come in waves. I don't think they have one concrete answer for it, but it seems like either that it makes people really aware of their own mortality for the first time and their control over it when they see it happening to others or that they see someone else taking a way out and realize that they can take it too. It becomes real when you see it happening to your friends or people like you.


*http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198609113151106

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:41 pm 
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A small, positive thing that has come from all of this awfulness is that it has created a national dialogue, and I think (I hope, anyway) that it's becoming unacceptable to be "opposed" to homosexuality, because it's becoming evident to so many people that there are real consequences, and it's not just a political issue.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:12 pm 
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abbierae wrote:
A small, positive thing that has come from all of this awfulness is that it has created a national dialogue, and I think (I hope, anyway) that it's becoming unacceptable to be "opposed" to homosexuality, because it's becoming evident to so many people that there are real consequences, and it's not just a political issue.

I agree. I think glbt kids have been at higher risk of suicide for some time. I was deeply closeted in high school and didn't have any contact with other gay kids until we got internet access in my junior or senior year.
When I started going to youth groups in the late 90s (I think it's a sign of progress that youth groups in the late 90s were comprised mostly of college students in their early 20s - from what I understand the demographic for queer youth groups is much younger now) I heard a lot of horror stories of suicide attempts, fifteen year olds being sent to corrective boot camps by their religious parents, dead friends, and runaways who were never heard from again.
My own experiences with bullying mostly ended in Junior High when I decided that the answer to being ostracized and called "queer" everyday (something that started at the end of sixth grade) was to become invisible and turn into that weird loner.
I'm happy about the dialogue, even if the stories themselves are often heartbreaking.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:17 pm 
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yeah, i agree that the dialogue is a good thing. it's just difficult to hear (especially since i tend to be really jaded by my history/a lot of the people i interact with on a daily basis).


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:28 am 
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I keep thinking about my aunt and uncle in Indiana, who I think are genuinely good people in many ways, but who don't approve of the gay "lifestyle" for whatever reason. They don't get it, their church tells them it's bad, they don't actually know anyone that's gay, etc. I think this is getting the attention of people like them. They have a heart, they're not stupid, and they've got to be making some connections between their "polite" homophobia and the suicides on the news.

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:55 am 
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We were talking about this at work a few weeks ago, and my boss was trying to convince me that being gay (or lgbtq or thought of as such) isn't a factor is bullying and suicide. I think my mouth literally fell open and hit the floor. She then went on to say how, when another young boy took his own life because he was bullied for being small/skinny, that it was so much more tragic. She might as well have said it was because he didn't *choose* to be small for his age...

I'm starting this think she's a bit of a homophobe and thinks sexual orientation is a choice.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:31 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
i really, really, really loved this article:
http://kateharding.info/2010/10/06/on-g ... rassholes/


Great article - I hadn't seen that yet.

Kate Harding wrote:
If you’re still confused, asking yourself some simple questions might help to clarify things.

Q. If Tyler Clementi were still alive, would Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei still be forking crassholes?

A. Yes! Because they filmed people having sex without their consent and then invited their friends to watch.

Q. If Tyler Clementi were straight, would Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei still be forking crassholes?

A. Yes! Because they filmed people having sex without their consent and then invited their friends to watch.


Perfect.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 8:55 am 
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Here's a Canadian it gets better video, I really like these

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5p-AT18d ... ata_player

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:26 am 
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radish sandwich wrote:
jewbacca wrote:
i really, really, really loved this article:
http://kateharding.info/2010/10/06/on-g ... rassholes/


Great article - I hadn't seen that yet.

Kate Harding wrote:
If you’re still confused, asking yourself some simple questions might help to clarify things.

Q. If Tyler Clementi were still alive, would Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei still be forking crassholes?

A. Yes! Because they filmed people quietly playing chess without their consent and then invited their friends to watch.

Q. If Tyler Clementi were straight, would Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei still be forking crassholes?

A. Yes! Because they filmed people quietly playing chess without their consent and then invited their friends to watch.


Perfect.

This was really confusing me until I realized it's a new filter!

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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:01 pm 
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((whichsarah)) I feel ya. Lots of love going your way.

It's been getting me down, too. At least queer adults are finally catching on to the fact that it still forking sucks to be a queer youth (even as it also can be really forking awesome, just like it could be for us)

I feel like over the years I've heard a lot of, "oh, god, I can't even imagine being able to be out in high school/take my girlfriend to prom/have a GSA. Wow, it's just so much better now." from queer adult friends who have no real contact with youth.

No, actually it just sucks in a new and different way. Queer kids are more visible now. That doesn't make them safer, often the opposite.

I have really mixed feelings about the it gets better project, too. I don't know how much having successful, happy gay adults reach out really helps. I know in general that when teenagers are feeling really oppressed and miserable because they're teenagers, telling them adults have it better does not help. I know that's not what anyone is trying to say, but it makes me wonder if we're really talking to kids now, or to our own younger selves. I don't want to diss a good intention, and at least it cuts through isolation, but I'm happy that this project popped up, too. http://makeitbetterproject.org/

I don't even know how much I believe we are making progress, or even ever have, or just that homophobia mutates and takes different forms in different eras, and the ways you are allowed to be queer do, too. I sometimes think the idea that we're making so much progress erases our past joys and our current pain. But I guess the positive spin on that is the hate is always there but so is the love, the community, the activism, the discovery of self and others. There've always been haters and there've always been happy, healthy queer people. We can love and take care of each other, we just have to step up and do it.

Or as panda said, queer on.


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 Post subject: Re: the lgbtq suicide epidemic
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:04 pm 
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