What will it take to end hatred based on sexual orientation?
Last year, Rolling Stone published One Town’s War on Gay Teens. It’s a thorough and lengthy article delving into the depths that one town pushed itself into by denying homosexuals any voice. Nine children there died at their own hands in a short period of time after enduring hatred and bullying based on their stated or perceived homosexuality.
I endured harassment, bullying, and emotional and physical abuse as a child and adolescent growing up in a similar climate. My home, my schools, and my church taught me that being gay made me unlovable by anyone, unsalvagable when broken, and irredeemable in God’s eyes.
Since I grew up in the middle of the hatred, I can’t imagine a world without it. My familial, educational, and religious upbringing all conspired to indoctrinate my soul with it.
How do we get rid of that hatred?
I grew up in a segregated Southern town, and school busing started when I was in the second grade. I am a product of desegregation and forced school busing. I know that it worked on assuaging racial hatred in my generation to a great degree. Racism is not dead, but the country changed enough to elect an African-American president.
Desegregation worked at relieving much oppression against African-Americans.
How do we attempt the same help for the LGBTQ community?
How do we stop the hate?
How do we stop the suicides?
How do we instill hope where fear reigns?