Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Canada, Bullies, and the Silence that Kills
These are some of the gay kids who died in the last two weeks in the United States.
Casualties of the war on homosexuality.
Homophobia is now not only affecting the day-to-day lives of homosexuals, but it is taking away their lives...Seeing no other option out of the intense and real emotions they feel trapped within, they end their lives – leaving the LGTBQ community and its supporters grasping at straws, trying to find a way to help stop the hate.
In New York last night, thousands gathered to let other gay kids know that they are not alone, and that they are loved.
Other rallies have been held all over the U.S. The media is full of stories about the problem. And a YouTube site is sending out the message that it does get better.
Meanwhile in Canada, where bullying is also a huge problem.
High schools are "the land that time forgot" in the ongoing battle to eradicate homophobia, laments University of Winnipeg education and communications Prof. Catherine Taylor.
"It's a non-issue for so many people these days. They don't recognize how bad the situation is for so many people. Kids are being tormented and terrorized, and very little is being done about it," she said.
Nothing. Rien. Nada. Even though bullies infest our schools, our sports, and our politics.
I'd like to think it's all the fault of the Harper regime, whose hatred for gay people is so intense they have never done ANYTHING to fight bullying in Canada. Never funded ONE public service announcement. Just pleasured their rabid religious base who don't care who they hurt or kill.
But sadly it's more than that. It's a generalized indifference to gay issues, all over the country. In the media. Even in the progressive blogosphere.
In the last few years I think I have written more than ninety per cent of the posts on bullying in our schools. And still I feel guilty for not doing enough. Because if you want to build a gentler, kinder, society where DO you start?
When my gentle brother Mark tried to get something going with this story.
It went nowhere. You could count the number of people who wrote about it on the fingers of one hand.
Or hear the silence, like the sound of crickets on this satirical website.
Or the silence of the bullied dead. Who nobody even tried to help.
Passively standing by will only lead to more tragic deaths of talented LGBTQ students – whether openly identifying as gay or not – and I, for one, am not willing to let that happen. Remember those who have perished this month alone. Do not forget that many more individuals like them are out there, silently suffering. Extend a word, a hand, a hug. Speak up. Act out. Let’s end homophobia.
What happened Canada? How did you become so old and callous?
Our poor country.
Our poor children...