In the last month there have been at least 10 suicides of young people who were gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or somehow *queer-identified. These are the suicides that we know about and that involved kids with a queer identity. I am sure there have been many more whether they occurred last month or some other month. Many queer folks have struggled with their sexuality and have faced depression or attempted suicide but thankfully have lived to tell the tale. GLBT youth face a whole host of woes, difficulties and dangers due to their orientation and identity and our society, schools, churches and christians are failing them.
*I am using the word “queer” to include a diverse group of folks that include gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, and trans people and those with other sexual or gender orientations and identities that differ from a binary male and female heterosexual norm. This is my first attempt writing about these issues so I apologize in advance for offending anyone by how I label or discuss things. Feel free to let me know if you take issue with anything I am saying here.
In case you weren’t familiar with the plethora of recent, tragic suicides, here is a nice background post from blogger Progressive Scholar about them. http://progressivescholar.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/lgbt-suicides/
The way the church deals with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and other queer folk has greatly affected and hastened my exit from church life. We have a HUGE problem in this country and in our churches that we fail to love and accept people who do not fit into the heterosexual norm.
When my first child was born, I felt such a love and acceptance for my child that I knew I would love my child no matter what her orientation, genetic make-up, inclinations, choices or actions would turn out to be. My child will always be my child and my love for each of my children is ABSOLUTELY UNCONDITIONAL.