I just read an article that really hits close to home. In it, the writer, Deb Price, makes a heart-felt plea to Speaker Pelosi for gay children everywhere:
Please put "Protect our gay kids" atop the House's to-do list.
This is an issue near and dear to this Seething Mom’s heart. I watched my son struggle desperately to find his place in a world in which he did not seem to fit. It was painful for him, and yet, he was one of the lucky ones. He had a loving, supportive family. Many gay children are not so lucky. In fact, according to Deb Price, a lesbian:
The picture isn't so pretty. And those of us who're gay adults have the psychic scars to prove it.
Painfully aware that much of the world considers them worthless, many gay kids struggle with a cycle of self hatred that they carry into adulthood, if they are lucky enough to survive that long.
Now why should Speaker Pelosi put gay children at the top of an already busy list of must-get-done items? Well Ms. Price has the answer:
- · Gay kids are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, engage in risky sex, have more sex partners, skip school for fear of being attacked, think of suicide or even attempt suicide.
- Schools that teach federally funded "abstinence-only" until heterosexual marriage courses make gay kids feel invisible -- or worse. Gay students at such schools reported higher levels of skipping school because they don't feel safe, being bullied and feeling unable to talk with teachers, counselors or other adults paid to help them through rocky growing-up years. And these kids were less likely to know any openly gay school official.
- Seventy-five percent of gay youth report hearing anti-gay name-calling like "faggot" or "dyke" often at school. And more than one-third (38 percent) said they'd experienced anti-gay physical harassment at school.
- Young males, ages 15 to 22, who have sex with other men are at high risk for HIV -- that's particularly true among African-Americans and Hispanics -- but 55 percent keep their orientation secret, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Those secretive boys and young men, the CDC says, are less likely than open gays or bisexuals to get tested for HIV, so they are less likely to know if they are infected. They're also likely to have female sex partners, whom they put at risk for HIV.
- The most vulnerable gay kids -- throwaways, runaways and lockaways -- report appalling levels of anti-gay abuse in foster care, homeless shelters and juvenile detention centers, the Child Welfare League of America finds.
Ms. Price ends the article suggesting that “Speaker Pelosi ought to use her forceful "mother of five" voice to speak out against these outrages and insist that our nation live up to its obligation to gay kids.”
And this “Seething Mother of three” could not agree more.