National Coming Out for Equality Day, something I've only learned about recently. Momocrats (who's article I borrowed from for this post - thank you!) and many other blogs are posting resources and compiling lists of posts about bullying and what we can do to help. I am so sickened by the recent suicides of teens who were harassed and bullied and felt they had no other options. I cannot even imagine what goes through someones head when the torment someone else, video tape them, make fun. I hope they feel horrible when they cause a death, and I personally want them punished, but more so educated, to learn that what they did was wrong.
There was a guest post recently from a woman who was "respectfully" complaining about the fact her child's teacher was a lesbian. With all due respect, I have no respect for this woman, but I also have issues with the commenters who "don't know how they stand" on the issues of gay marriage, or having a lesbian as a teacher. They don't know? I want to know why they care that two people who they clearly have never given a second thought get married. I wonder why they think a female teacher talking about a partner or a wife will damage their children. And if they don't think that, I want them to take a stand, to convince their friends it's important, it's critical, to stand up against prejudice and bigots. Call out those who want to treat part of the population differently than the rest, or condone teasing a child about their sexuality.
Dan Savage has started the"It Gets Better" project. It's a place for supporters, many of whom had been bullied as children for being gay, lesbian or transgendered, that it does get better. Head over there, watch the touching videos and take the PLEDGE.
I want to do my part too, and I think the change must happen with our kids. For those adults who live in our modern society and feel they can pick and choose from a book how to live their life and dictate it to others, forget it, not sure how to change their minds. My kids know where babies come from, they know that sometimes people fall in love with someone of the opposite sex, and sometimes of the same sex. We have indicated we'd prefer if they didn't marry their own brother, no matter how much they love each other. And as of last night, they learned that you don't actually need to be married to have a baby.
I know many people don't want their kids to learn about homosexuality in school and that is their choice. But you don't don't have to know what gay means to stop using it as an insult. That is our family's small step, since our kids aren't old enough to vote. My son asked why kids say that...my husband blames it on older siblings. He actually kicked a player off his soccer team for continually using that term. I don't want my kids to get sucked into a discussion or argument about what gay means, or to start a fight. I just told them they need to say something every time they hear it, politely, calmly, and daily if necessary.
Let's hope, as many have predicted, that our children find this discussion silly in 40 years.