Chronicle blogger blames ‘It Gets Better” project for LGBT teen suicides

Kathleen McKinley

Kathleen McKinley

Kathy McKinley is a self-described “conservative activist” who blogs for the Houston Chronicle under the monicker “TexasSparkle.” In a recent post McKinley took the “It Gets Better” project to task for what she believes is their culpability in the suicides of LGBT teens:

“These kids were sold a bill of goods by people who thought they were being kind. The “It will get better” campaign just didn’t think it through. They didn’t think about the fact that kids are different from adults. They handle things differently. They react differently. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE KIDS. You can grumble all day long how unfair it is that straight teens can be straight in high school, and gay kids can’t, but life is unfair. Isn’t the price they are paying too high?? Is it so much to ask them to stand at the door of adulthood before they “come out” publically? Because it may save their life.”

McKinnley’s primary confusion about the “It Gets Better” campaign (other than its name) is the assumption that the goal is to encourage teens to come out of the closet, or encourage them to become sexually active:

“Why in the world would you give teenagers a REASON to tease you? Oh, yes, because the adults tell you to embrace who you are, the only problem? Kids that age are just discovering who they are. They really have no idea yet. The adults tell you to “come out,” when what we should be telling them is that sex is for adults, and there is plenty of time for figuring out that later.”

I would like to encourage Ms. McKinley to watch the “It Gets Better” project’s founder Dan Savages’ video. Please, Ms. McKinley, listen, and tell me if you hear Savage or his partner Terry say anything about teens coming out or having sex. I think what you’ll hear them say is that all of the things that most kids, gay and straight, dream of (falling in love, starting a family, having the support of their parents, co-workers and friends) are possible for LGBT teens. I think you’ll hear them talk about how difficult their teen years were, and about the fears they had that their parents would reject them, that they’d never find success and that they’d always be alone.

Choosing to have sex is one of the most personal decision a person will ever make. For LGBT people, choosing to come out is another. I have not watched all of the thousands of videos from people who have participated in the “It Gets Better” project. It’s possible that there are a few that tell kids to come out right away, or to become sexually active, but I doubt it.

Every video in the project that I have seen has had the same simple message: that the person making it understands how tortuously awful the experience of being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender in Junior and High School can be, but there is a wonderful world of loving, vibrant, successful, engaged LGBT adults out there and if queer teens can just hang on, just for a few years, they can join it. I doubt that any of the contributors to the project think that hanging on for a few years will be easy. I suspect that most of them remember, with excruciating clarity, contemplating ending those temporary years of terror with a permanent solution and that is why they choose to reach out.

I grew up without role models, where people like Barbara Gittings, Bayard Rustin and Harvey Milk didn’t exist . I grew up in a small town where the two men with the pink house were talked about in hushed tones that immediately fell silent when I walked into the room, because it wasn’t appropriate for children’s ears. I grew up in a world where my mother wouldn’t tell me what “gay” meant, where the evening news was turned off if it reported on the AIDS crisis, where I wasn’t given words to describe who I was, and so the only word I could find was “alone.”

I was lucky. My suicide attempt failed.

I was lucky, I survived, and went to college, and found a church that embraced and loved LGBT people. That’s where I met doctors and lawyers and business owners and teachers who were like me. That’s where I met two wonderful women who had built a life together for over 50 years. That’s where I discovered I wasn’t alone and that being gay didn’t mean that i couldn’t have all of those things I’d dreamed of.

That is what McKinley missed in her blog post. In her haste to lay blame on anything other than the overwhelming prejudice perpetuated by schools, churches and governments against LGBT people McKinley missed the fact that kids need role models. In her rush to shove queer teens back into the closet she forgot that human beings need the hope of a better world, lest they give up in despair.

McKinley got one thing right in her post. She titled it “Are Adults Also To Blame For Gay Teen Suicides? Yes.” Adults are to blame for LGBT teen suicides. When adults hide the stunning diversity of God’s creation from their children they create a vision of reality that some of those children can’t see themselves in. When adults tell LGBT teens that they should be invisible then it is all too clear who is to blame when those teens believe them, and take steps to make themselves invisible permanently.

To all the LGBT kids out there: it does get better. There are adults who care about you and want all the wonderful things you dream of to come true, but you have to hang on. If you need to keep who are secret to remain safe then do so. If you need someone to talk to please call the Trevor Project at 866-4-U-Trevor (866-488-7386).

—  admin

Arlington man sentenced to 14 months for hate crime arson at mosque

Henry Clay Glaspell

U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means this week sentenced Henry Clay Glaspell, 34, of Arlington, to 14 months in prison after Gaspell pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge in connection with an arson fire at the children’s playground at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Education Center in Arlington in July 2010, according to this report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Means ordered Glaspell, who has been free on bond, to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Nov. 21.

Glaspell also admitted that he had stolen and damaged some of the mosque’s property, that he had thrown used cat litter at the mosque’s front door and that he had shouted racial and ethnic slurs at people at the mosque on several occasions. Glaspell said his actions were motivated by hatred for people of Arabic or Middle Eastern descent.

Texas legislators passed the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, which allows enhanced penalties to be assessed to those convicted of hate crimes. But while hate crimes are frequently reported and labeled as such by law enforcement, prosecutors rarely take hate crimes charges to court for fear that it would be too hard to prove a perpetrator’s bias-based intent to a jury.

—  admin

François Sagat Is Terry Richardson’s All American Hero

I mean, I guess if you take a marker and scrawl "Don't Ask Don't Tell" on the ass of porn star and "actor" François Sagat, a Terry Richardson photoshoot (possibly NSFW) becomes activist art, rather than simply muscle worship, yes?

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Terry Lavell – Born This Way

With the same title and a similar theme to yesterday’s release by Lady Gaga, this track was written by R&B legends Ashford & Simpson for a musical based on a novel by openly gay author E. Lynn Harris, who died unexpectedly in 2009. Harris’ untimely death apparently put a hold on the musical, but promoters are recirculating the below clip to capture some of the Born This Way media frenzy. It’s a dynamite track with that classic Ashford & Simpson groove. Play it loud, it’s a Saturday!

RELATED: Vocalist Terry Lavell is presently one of the Cagelles in the Broadway revival of La Cage Aux Folles.

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Lady Gaga Appears in Terry Richardson’s Predictably Adult Ad Campaign

THE SHOT — Lady Gaga poses for Terry Richardson's lens for the fall/winter Supreme campaign.

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—  David Taffet

Insanity in the mailbag: Randall Terry running primary challenge against Obama

I thought I hadn’t received my dose of the crazy yet this week, but look at what landed in the inbox. The endorsement of “Christian” womb controller advocate Randall Terry by bigot Rabbi Yehuda Levin puts it over the top:

PRIMARY AGAINST OBAMA: RANDALL TERRY VOWS PRO-LIFE ADS ON SUPER BOWL

RANDALL TERRY – NATIONALLY KNOWN PRO-LIFE LEADER – ANNOUNCES DEMOCRAT PRIMARY RUN AGAINST PRESIDENT OBAMA.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Mr. Terry Vows to Run Pro-life Ad on Super Bowl 2012, to expose the genocide of unborn babies. Dateline: Washington D.C.

Press Conference: Thursday, January 20, 2011, 11:00 A.M.

Where: Holocaust Museum, Washington DC; in front of main entrance, near the corner of 14th and Independence.

Mr. Terry plans to run TV ads showing aborted babies during 2012 AFC and NFC Championships, during Super Bowl XLVI, and throughout the Democrat primary.

Prototypes of Ads can be seen at www.TerryForPresident.com.

Mr. Terry’s website also has specific messages to Catholics, Evangelicals, Hispanics, Independents, Pro-Lifers, and Tea Party Activists.

Mr. Terry States:

“My constituency is the millions of pro-life advocates who want to make child killing illegal from conception until birth. My base is those who know that we must show Americans the victims of abortion, in order to restore the full protection of law to unborn babies.

“America has never truly debated child killing, because America has never truly seen child killing. We will use FEC and FCC laws for federal candidates to bring America face to face with this massacre of the innocents.

“The goal of my campaign is: 1) To create a crisis of conscience for Americans regarding the slaughter of the unborn and thereby hasten the end of legalized child killing; 2) To pound on President Obama’s agenda starting with child killing, but also including our battle against socialism, our enslavement to debt, and more. Will I defeat Mr. Obama? I’m not delusional. But while I may not defeat him, I can expose the genocide Obama promotes in America and around the world.

“Our help is in the Name of the Lord.”

Rabbi Yehuda Levin of New York City States:

“I plan to support, promote and assist Randall in his run for the Presidency. We must, and we will wake up America, helping her to return to the Godly values, the civic standards, basic decency and normalcy that made America the object of God’s Grace.

“I have known Randall for nigh a quarter century. He is probably the most dynamic and innovative pro-life leader we have. I urge pro-lifers to join me in helping Randall in this campaign.”

For more information, visit http://www.terryforpresident.com/

You’ll recall that when Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, was murdered, Terry said:

He was a mass-murder. He sowed death. And then he reaped death in a horrifying way.

And…

“We must continue to call abortionists ‘murderers’ according to the teachings of the Church; we must continue to peacefully expose and protest them; and we must continue to show the bloody remains of children that died at the hands of Tiller and his kind.”

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

GOP Iowa Gov-Elect Terry Branstad Demains Public Vote On Gay Marriage

He hasn’t even taken office yet, but today GOP Iowa Governor-Elect Terry Branstad demanded that state lawmakers allow the public to vote on repealing gay marriage.

Speaking at a gathering organized by The Associated Press, Branstad noted that voters removed three Iowa Supreme Court justices after a campaign that targeted them for their support of a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. “The Supreme Court, I think, made a tragic mistake in their decision on same-sex marriage,” said Branstad. The voters of Iowa have overwhelmingly rejected three members of the Supreme Court because of it and I think we need to restore support for the judicial system, and one way to do that is to give people the opportunity to vote on restoring the one-man, one-woman marriage.”

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Is Iowa’s Incoming Gov. Terry Branstad Going to Cave To A Conservative Push to Ban Gay Marriage?

Back when Iowa's Governor-elect Terry Branstad was campaigning, he told the Cedar Rapids Gazette that he supported civil unions for gays — a remark that came only after he denounced same-sex marriage as what caused the ruin of "ancient societies," and argued only children raised by a father and a mother truly do well in life. And so, while saying he was fine "with people that want to live together and raise a child and things like that," he declared he did not want the state to hold a constitutional convention to overturn the State Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. Too bad: Conservatives are going to push him to do it.

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—  admin

Video: ‘Terry Brandstad can’t have it both ways’

Yes! Finally. An apt articulation of law, the role of the independent judiciary in determining the constitutionality of said law, and the reason why the conversation between a unanimous high court decision vs. a public vote on minority rights is not an equally merited tête-à-tête.

***

*Reminder: Brandstad sure like Chief Justice Marsha Ternus when he appointed her back in ’93:

July 29, 1993 — Associated Press

Screen Shot 2010-09-14 At 10.15.43 Am




Good As You

—  admin

Pastor Terry Jones Faces 6-Figure Fee For Becoming Media Sensation

Gainesville's Pastor Terry Jones, who abandoned plans to burn Qurans on his church property, will be fined 0,000 for the security costs the city endured. And yet the Westboro Baptist Church never gets a bill. [CNN]


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