Gay is (more than) OK

I’m naïve.

I’ve never been picked on. I don’t know what it’s like to be bullied. I can’t fathom the amount of self-hatred a person has to possess in order to torment another person so mercilessly, so vigilantly, that suicide is the only way to make it stop.

But that’s what parents are teaching their children. That’s what schools are letting students get away with. That’s what other kids are cheering on.

Four kids (kids!) killed themselves in one month because of bullying. Because they were gay. Because they choose to be themselves, to love, and to invest time and emotions in a relationship that others didn’t approve of. Billy Lucas lived in my home state. In the same country I lived and worked in for years.

This is a crisis. A tragedy. An epidemic. It needs to stop.

It will get better. The more we talk about how unacceptable bullying of any kind is, the less acceptable it will become.

Gay is OK

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6 thoughts on “Gay is (more than) OK

  1. I love that your wrote this and posted it and called out bullies and parents as responsible parties. You also mention schools, which are so important and were so much bullying takes place. As a (former) teacher and someone still involved with education, I ask everyone to consider that (most) schools are only as empowered to act as the parents allow. I worked in a high school that would attempt to hold students accountable, but always be overturned by parents and community members. If we want schools to teach character and adult behavior in addition to academics, we have to allow them to do so and demand that it be done.

    Parents and community members, I ask you this: Support your local schools in becoming hate free zones. Empower the school to make decisions (and punishments, when necessary) to teach acceptance. If your school is currently not pulling it’s weight in this regard, start demanding that it does! And, if your school is working to stop hateful behavior, support them.

    1. Julie – Schools are so much different from 20 years ago (and 20 years before that). As long as the punishment was fair (which in retrospect, it always was) my parents defaulted to the teacher if I misbehaved in school. More and more, parents are defending bad behavior because they don’t want to the schools disciplining their children (or anyone, for that matter) and then those same people wonder why the educational system is being compromised.

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