Despair and Hope

October 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

The LGBT community has been saying for years that LGBT teens are at higher risk for suicide than other teens, and there have been numerous studies to support this claim. I do not recall another time where gay teen suicide has been so prevalent. This September, there have been seven suicides by gay teen boys, each story a tragedy for their families and communities.

Asher Brown, 13, Cyprus, TX

Seth Walsh, 13, Tehachapi, CA

Justin Aaberg, 15, Anoka, MN

Billy Lucas, 15, Greensburg, IN

Cody Barker, 17, Shiocton, WI

Tyler Clementi, 18, Ridgewood, NJ

Raymond Chase, 19, Monticello, NY

In spite of the hateful efforts of “Traditional Values Coalition” to spread misinformation about LGBT suicide rates, these recent suicides speak for themselves about the reality of the pain these teens feel as they are discovering their own sexuality in the midst of cruel bullying. It is heartbreaking for everyone.

In response to the fact of LGBT suicide statistics and these tragic stories, Dan Savage has launched the It Gets Better YouTube site and the Make It Better campaign to support it.

LGBT youth should not have to suffer bullying that leads to attempts of suicide. They should know that they are not alone and that they have resources to help them through. We can make it better, and we have a responsibility to do so.

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