Thursday, December 18, 2008

Post #11

I’d like to talk about homosexuality and religion, and how it affects teens in America. Many teenagers are going through a time in their lives where they’re trying to find who they are. And much of who they are is shaped on the kind of life lessons and values they have learned from those that had brought them up. Teens that are homosexual and have been brought up in a very religious household seem to have a harder time coming out and coming to terms with their own sexuality.

Many religious fundamentalists believe that it is a “sin” to be homosexual. If adolescents grow up being told that having homosexual feelings is evil, then I can understand why they would want to keep their feelings under wraps. Unfortunately for many students, they grow up in an environment where they don’t feel safe talking about their feelings and urges because they believe they’ll be cast out.

Post #10

I absolutely LOVE this video clip. This clip is from the “Cartman Sucks” episode of the 11th season of South Park. In this episode, Butters is assumed to be “bi-curious” and is sent to a religious camp that will “fix him.” This is the speech Butters gives at the end of this episode to talk his “accountabilibuddy” down for killing himself for being attracted to other men.

Not only is Butters himself supposed to be an adolescent, but tons of high school students watch this show. I find it refreshing that they can talk about such a serious topic and give it a positive spin and show support for the gay community. Of course, the whole episode is about adversity. I would have liked to have seen a little more sensitivity posed for the suicides of those who do feel trapped like Bradley does at the end here.

Post #9

A new high school is being proposed in Chicago that will be for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students. Not all gay public figures are up to voting “for” for the new school, however. One article I have read regarding the school is here:

I can see the value of both sides of the argument. It made me think about how I would feel if my community were voting on whether or not to open a school like this. On one hand, I would want to have a place in my community where the GLBT students felt safe and valued. But I wish they could feel that way in a regular public school as well. Maybe a separate school isn’t the answer? I mean, I wish there were a way to implement the acceptance of those with alternative lifestyles IN the schools that already exist. I wish we could turn the bullying and abuse around.

But who am I to shoot down an idea that could just be another option for some GLBT students? Shouldn’t they have a right to choose whether or not they go to an all-gay school or not? But then, you know there are going to be those who will want to build heterosexual only schools. But wouldn’t that be considered discrimination?

All in all, I’d probably vote ‘yes’ to such a proposal. Who am I to deny the kids the right to a safe environment? My biggest concern then would be if having all of those students in one place would make the school a target for a violent attack against them by some ignorant people out there somewhere. That, unfortunately, is a real concern. I certainly wouldn’t want to have the kids put in danger.

Post #8

In this article ( we read that a young man in England takes his own life after being jeered at and encouraged to jump by hateful on-lookers. He was openly gay. He was only 17 years old.

This story makes me sick. How can people be so blinded by ignorance and prejudice? If a young man is standing on the edge about to jump to his death, how can you be so heartless and cruel to actually yell at him to do it? I am amazed that this has happened and am upset that those who were encouraging this young man to kill himself were not found and punished. I understand the officers were busy trying to get Shaun off the ledge, but he may have gotten down if those who were goading him were removed from the scene.

Homosexual teen suicides are said to be 30% of all teen suicides. That is appalling. The fact that so many adolescents feel there is nowhere else to turn but to death, is one thing that CANNOT be tolerated.

I remember when I was in high school we had a hotline that teens could call if they felt suicidal or to report someone who they thought might be suicidal, but are things like that really enough? This article makes me wonder about all of the things in that young man’ life that should have and probably easily could have been different, allowing him to live a happy life instead one of inner turmoil.

Everyone wants to feel accepted and valued, especially when you’re a teenager. If we can all be accepting of people as they are the world would be a more secure place to live. I just wish someone had been able to tell this young man how important he was before he took his own life.

Post #7

I appreciate the fact that this student made an attempt to show the different outlooks regarding homosexuality in her high school, but some of it seems very set up. She would be more credible if she had more interviews with more peers. But I did see a reoccurring theme of acceptance. Well, at least tolerance.

The thing that caught my attention with this video is that many of the students justified their tolerance with the “fact” that God forgives all sins. What gets my goat with this is that, by saying this, they are still implying that they consider being homosexual a sin: something that need to be forgiven by God. So, instead of really accepting homosexuals, they tolerate them thinking that they will one day repent for their “sin” and God will forgive them.

I would have liked to have heard from someone who sees NO fault in being homosexual. The video would have been improved by having more perspectives. It would have more merit even with someone who was completely against homosexuality for their own reasons. But does this video not show progress? Is tolerance not the first step toward acceptance?

Another pet peeve that I have with this video is the fact that a few of the students say things like, “I don’t really care. I think people should be able to do what they want. But I’m not into that.” Once again, they’re showing tolerance, but not acceptance. By distancing themselves from homosexuality itself, they’re still “normal” but they are being portrayed as “open minded” and “accepting” because they say homosexuality is fine for other people.

Post #6

I came across the site today and I was excited to learn about the organization. I had seen a few of their t-shirts around campus during my Freshman year here at WSU and had joined their facebook group, but didn’t really know much about them.

I enjoy the fact that they’re so upbeat about the whole thing and encourage those who visit the site to get involved locally with their community’s youth. I love the idea that you can do fundraisers by selling the shirts. It would be awesome if a school had a club or group for homosexuals and/or bisexuals that could raise money by selling these shirts.

I think what interests me most about this site is the fact that they have chosen to convey their messages on shirts. Not on bumper stickers, not on buttons, or posters for your room. Something as every-day as a t-shirt conveys the message that it’s something to be comfortable with.

This site makes me want to start my own T-shirt project back home. Maybe once I graduate and get settled I’ll be able to organize something like this. If I could make an impact on my community like the people on this site talk about I’d really feel a sense of accomplishment. Plus, spreading acceptance is something I’ve always advocated.

I wish they had something like this for us to be involved in when I was in high school. I think that the fact that there aren’t many opportunities for students to get involved in the GLBTA cause when they’re young like that is a real detriment to the community. If students in high schools knew more about opportunities like the Fine By Me campaign, and others much like it, I truly believe there would be more education and involvement of young people today.

Post #5

I’m choosing to do a blog today that is a bit more upbeat. My last few blogs have had a kind of downer tone to them and I just want to post today about how I feel and some of my experiences with the topic.

While I was in high school, I only knew one or two openly gay or bisexual people, both of whom were women. I really believe that men have a harder time coming out than women do because of the social expectations that they be “manly”, which includes the criteria of being sexually attracted to women. I, for one, understand that I can never really understand what it is like to be homosexual and deal with coming out to friends and family, but I have seen friends recently who have started the process and I can see the struggle.

It breaks my heart that so many young people are still so prejudiced against alternative lifestyles. But I found hope in my last visit to my old high school which I made a post about on October 5th. Not only did I get to conduct that interview, but I got to observe some more. There is a young man in my old English teacher’s class who is openly gay. He is quite flamboyant and wears his colors proudly. Half of the class groans whenever he opens his mouth, which I actually find amusing. I asked my teacher about him. She told me that she has never had any trouble or has ever overheard anyone bullying or picking on him for being gay. But he does get his fair share for talking non-stop and being loud.

I am happy about this observation because that tells me that his being gay is such a non-issue to these teens that they are not including that aspect of this personality into what irks them. I know it may sound strange, but it makes me smile. Yes, they are still annoyed by him, but it’s because he’s obnoxious, not because he’s gay.