What is wrong with inspiring hope?
I'm not talking about political hope, the kind that Obama ran on.
I'm talking about the kind of hope that someone in despair needs.
Despair leads to depression and depression leads to suicide. I know. I've had family members take their own lives. I've had a friend on facebook that threatened to kill himself while I was chatting with him just after his family discovered he was gay. I have other friends who are afraid to tell their family the truth, afraid of the rejection and tired of the torment and hatred they receive at school.
There are positive examples of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender individuals all around us, but when you are being bullied and you are dealing with being told the God you want to worship does not love you and that you are worthless you cannot connect to the successful gays you see around you. They are there, and you are here and there is no way to bridge the chasm that separates you.
I know. I've been there. I had one dark, dark summer while a student at Auburn University. No one knows about it. You won't learn more about it, it's not important. But there was no support system in the 1970's, I can tell you that. I chose to build a buffer around my darkness, to hide who I was. That was what saved me. I hid behind that buffer for decades.
But it does get better.
Dan Savage started a campaign called It Gets Better. Hundreds of individuals, some with celebrity status, others just plain folk, have created videos telling their story, their struggle, and confirming that in spite of the bullying and spiritual terrorism that may be driving you down right now, it does get better.
Listen to Matt.
Of the video's I've seen, I liked this one.
Anyway, "Christian" leaders are denouncing this hope that we are trying to give people. Matt Barber, Liberty Counsel attorney, has said that the efforts are "political exploitation" and that "Christians" are praying that we "fail fantastically." Praying that we fail in giving hope. Classy.
And in a classic case of blame shifting, World Net Daily ran a column titled "Is 'Gay' Agenda to Blame for Teen suicides?"
Other than that mention of the confused Christianist right, I won't dwell on that. I only mention it to warn any questioning young people that just because someone has the Christian label does not mean they speak for God.
Think about it. Would God create you a certain way, and then abandon you? That would not be much of a God, would it?
And to parents who suspect your child may be gay: this child is the person you gave birth to, the boy or girl that dwelt in your belly. You produced this gay child. You loved him or her as she grew inside you. Remember when you first held him? Remember how you comforted her when she fell and scraped her knee? This child is that same child you held so close. He or she needs to be held close now. He or she needs to have you accept the child you created.
Once again I will embed the trailer to "Prayers for Bobby," a movie that depicts the true story of Bobby Griffith, who took his life by jumping from a bridge into traffic after his mother rejected him because of her misguided Christian beliefs. Please watch this movie. Here it is on Netflix
If you, or someone around you is struggling please call or have them call The Trevor Project 866-488-7386
The Trevor Project saves lives.
Oh, and my facebook friend that was struggling so is now out and at peace with his family. It does get better.