This post is a part of the ongoing series of posts for LGBT History Month.
In response to all of the attention given to the recent suicides my friend asks:
“Every day I have been reading your blog commentary, your facebook page, obediently watching your links to youtube videos that inevitably make me cry. So. Tell me. I already read, am aware, watch…you have my full attention. What can I do. Now. So as to not be silent as a non-gay supporter of the openly or not-so-openly gay community, is what I mean. I don’t want to let you down, for pete’s sake, but I’m drawing a blank here.”
You may think it a rather cheeseball answer, but when I say what I am going to say, just please hear me out. Over the past year I have spent a good deal of time working on my depression. A few things that I have picked up in this work seem to be the things that ring in my ear as a possible answer to your queery. (and also, these were Sweeties responses as well) So first:
I think perhaps sometimes there is nothing to “do” per se, but rather there is a way of being. Try being a human being, instead of the natural and cultural instinct of being a human doing. Yes, I know there are plenty of things that you can do (donate money to the Trevor Project, have a sit down talk with your kids to make sure they know where you and your family stand on this sort of thing, write a letter to your kids school district asking what kind of policies they have in place about bullying and anti-discrimination, and on and on…) but really, I think if more people just spent some time and energy consciously be-ing, wow, what a world we would live in.
Another thought: challenge yourself to deal with your sense of otherness in every opportunity you get—most of us aren’t ready to do the right thing in the moment. Whether we are talking about race, fat people, german fashionistas, or people with freakishly large feet—everyone, every-one wants to be treated with dignity. Confront your deepest ‘isms and find a way to talk about them with friends and family. Practice, take you and your kids to the local food shelf and talk to people. Go to dinner in that part of town you think you don’t belong. Raise awareness in your own circles—be a witness to not having it all figured out. (You teach me this the best my friend—I love you for it.)
Finally, raise your kids without bias of any kind. ‘Nuff said.
What about you readers and friends, what would you say to my friend? Please weigh in with your wisdom / links / ideas.