Sunday, 22 January 2012

You have to make it better

English: Gender symbols for homosexuality (les...Image via Wikipedia
Every day it seems as though news of another LGBT murder or suicide hits the headlines. I wonder how many don't make it. I don't know which are worse, the horrific murders-by-beating, or the fact that several of the youngsters who succumbed to suicide recently had made "It Gets Better" videos.

The good news is: yes, it does get better. The bad news is: this doesn't happen overnight. The hardest news is sometimes: it's maybe going to be tough for you, but you can at least make it easier for those who'll come after. That is why I've chosen to do what I'm doing. Not just accepting and announcing my own transgenderism so that youngsters won't feel they have to either pass perfectly or hide away, but also by going out, mostly into schools, and promoting tolerance through understanding.

It's a part of the activities - or agenda, if you're one of those - of my local association. Educational establishments ask us to provide this service. We do workshops, with small groups (not more than 20), do a quick anonymous survey to find out how comfortable they are with the idea of someone they know being gay, then have a discussion based on their own ideas of what homosexuality is or isn't.

Sorry, Eugene and the other dick-fearing scaremongers, but teaching youngsters how to do it or encouraging them to try it is not on the agenda. That would be unethical. I know you only have a hazy notion of what ethical means, so here are some examples: if you're spamming; telling lies; or encouraging hatred of, and discrimination against, other people, that is not ethical.

If it makes you happy (so you can get all Outraged and Indignant), at the end we show a short film. It has a happy ending which involves two boys discreetly holding hands and kissing, after everyone - including themselves - has come to terms with their being gay. It's rather sweet.

Things to bear in mind: in a class of 20, statistically at least one is likely to be gay and several more will know, or suspect the existence, of a gay person in their entourage. Gay teenagers are around 13 times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexuals. In my country, this is considered a public health problem, not something for the pseudo-religious to rejoice over.
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