Gay lesbian teenagers, LGBT teenagers are lied to about what it is to be a gay or lesbian or bi or trans. They’re misinformed. They’re not just bullied at school by their peers. They’re bullied at home by their parents all too often and all too often then dragged off to churches on Sunday for more bullying from the pulpit.
So it’s important for gay and lesbian adults to reach out to these kids and share our stories, so that they can picture futures for themselves that are happy, that are worth sticking around for.
When a 13 year-old kills himself because he is gay what he is saying is "I can’t picture a future for myself with enough joy in it to compensate for the pain I'm in now." So gay and lesbian and bi and trans adults need to share our stories with these kids so that they can picture those futures, not one future.
That is why there are thousands of videos up on the website It Gets Better from all different kinds of gay and lesbian, bi and trans people who picture a future for themselves that is happy, where they’re reconciled to the families even if their families are homophobic now and will compensate for the pain that they’re in now.
Historically up to this moment gay and lesbian adults didn’t feel comfortable talking to LGBT teenagers about our realities because we didn’t want to be accused of being pedophiles, accused of recruiting, and it wasn’t really until YouTube came along that we could talk to them directly, reach them in their own homes without being accused of recruiting or trying to touch them in inappropriate ways. We’re just trying to touch their hearts.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock