September 28, 2010

It Gets Better

My blogger friend David is on hiatus, but he posted this video to the "It Gets Better Project" on YouTube. His message is a strong one.

If you have a story or words of encouragement to young LGBT people out there, please consider making a video of your own. This project will save lives.

September 26, 2010

Dear IRS

An actual letter sent by a wonderful friend of mine (whose name I've obscured), who's just had enough. Click to embiggen.

He enclosed a check for $5.00. I love this man.

Update: I gained permission from the author to post it on Bilerico. It's up.

September 22, 2010

Today On Bilerico: Dan Savage Tells Bullied Kids "It Gets Better"

Dan heard the tragic story of Billy Lucas from a reader and decided to do something to stop any more young suicides that result from bullying. He has started a YouTube channel to offer videos from adult LGBT people who tell the kids "it gets better." You can read about it here.

September 13, 2010

My Heart Is Breaking

A fifteen-year-old boy in Greensburg, Indiana killed himself last week because he was being bullied for being gay. The sub-header read that he was bullied for "being different," but the story quotes fellow students as saying he was teased mercilessly for being gay. There is no indication whether it was true or not, but it doesn't matter. After years of this kind of treatment, another student told him to go kill himself. And he did.

It was common knowledge among the student population that this was happening. Why did no one step up? What sort of culture has to exist to allow that kind of cruelty? Is it possible that not one adult knew? Having been in public education (as a student and a teacher), I have to think the evidence was there.

I remember seeing a young girl being teased when I was a student teacher. I asked my mentor teacher to please send her on an errand that would take some time. When she was gone, I ripped into the class. They had never seen me angry before, but there was no question how I felt about her treatment. I told them I could not wait for them to grow up and that this behavior would stop now. And you know what? It did stop. They were stunned at my tirade and took it to heart. She was never teased in my presence again. I don't know if it stopped altogether, but I did what I could.

We all must do what we can. We have to stop this behavior when we see it, no matter the age of the perpetrator. We have the power. We must have the conviction to use it.

Update: the Bilerico publisher asked me to write a post about Billy. It's here.

September 7, 2010

Today On Bilerico: Toward Life

I learned from PostSecret that this is National Suicide Prevention Week, and it reminded me of the post I wrote last summer. I think enough time has passed that I can tell it to the world. I posted a lightly edited version today on Bilerico. New readers can find it here.

September 6, 2010

Verbatim: Emoticons

Abe has discovered the chart of yellow emoticons on his new BlackBerry. He loves sending the kids messages with them. He texted Sheba a good night note, and then I got a text from her.

Sheba: PLEASE tell Dad not to send me emoticons of vaginas anymore.

Me: WHAT does that look like?!

Sheba: ({}) WHO is teaching him these things?!

Me: He insists that it is a big hug on his emoticon chart. :D

Sheba: Hahaha So what were the boobs when he sent me those?

Me: Ben also asked why he was sending him boobs, but I can't remember the emoticon it represented. He'd better not be sending these to his colleagues.

Sheba: Seriously! Hah! These are the boobs he sent: (.Y.)

Me: I think it was something like open arms.

Sheba: Weeeeird.

Me: Thanks for the biggest laugh I've had in a while.

Sheba: Haha. I just had a friend tell me it shows up as a hug on her phone too and she confused a few friends.

Me: If she figures out what the boobs are, let me know. Good night, sweet girl.

Sheba: Haha. Ok. Night night.

I'm willing to bet there's a small group of programmers out there somewhere laughing at their in joke.

September 3, 2010

Overheard: Classic Rock

Ben and I were riding in the car, listening to one of our favorite classic rock stations. The Eagles came on.

Me: "Can't they play ANYTHING else? It's always the same stuff."

Ben: "They don't make new classic rock, Mom."

Me: "Oh. Yeah."