Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11th is National Coming Out Day

It's difficult to imagine a more difficult experience & predicament than to be a gay or lesbian teenager.  A few years ago,  an evangelical church in Elizabeth  NJ was contracted to provide non-sectarian after school activities. A  pastor at this church is on the Board of Ed. I had no problem with the guy serving on the BoE, but I did not like those after school activities, which had a distinctly evangelical feel & which I knew that, like the church,  would not be welcoming or helpful to gay teenagers.

Isolated from family, friends, church.

The issue, the problem isn't, as NY Gov candidate Carl Paladino would have it (saith he to some Orthodox Jews), the appropriateness of taking children to a New York City Gay Pride parade, which are notable for their exhibitionism. But you also get outrageous fashion at the Coney Island Mermaid Parade - & from women, yet!  You might get a standing O from New York Orthodox  by preaching against  interfaith marriage, or even marriage with members of the competing synagogue around the corner.

A Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide last month after he was secretly taped & outed online by his roommate.  Given respect, privacy, time, & space,  Tyler  would've connected with a supportive circle of gay & gay-friendly students by the end of his frosh year, & come out safely & sanely on his own terms & own time.  Coming out in high school, or coming at all in certain areas of America, can be dangerous. Sadly, urban Black & Hispanic kids are the most at risk. Wherever they turn - church, gangs, school, family, they face condemnation if not direct physical threat.

Labels: ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?