While watching the ever politically driven Pat on the 700 Club, I heard some weird stuff said about homosexuality. I”m sorry, Pat’s words stung pretty badly, not because I am that way, but because of the un-Christlike way that Pat proposes and doesn’t realize that gays should or are being treated. Below is a website with facts and statistics about basics of being a homosexual teenager in the United States, given a sample in New York City.
In this link, you will find that a whopping … oh yeah? … 10% of all the population is gay or lesbian or transgendered, and that makes up over 30,000 New York students in the entire student body of that city and state. Here’s some sobering statistics.
The LGBT youth are 26% likely to be thrown out of their homes and families for coming out.
LGBT youth are more likely to be homeless, and oftentimes overrepresent the foster care and juvenile detention system.
LGBT teenagers are 8.5 times more likely to commit suicide or attempt suicide or even talk about it than normal teens with lower levels of family rejection.
Here’s a good thing though: with a comprehensive bullying prevention plan in school, more reports of bullying are likely to be handed in to teachers. Most students who would report this, sadly, are LGBT youth.
Let’s hear another sobering statistic: 1/5 of all young people who are bullied in school are bullied due to sexual orientation. This is unacceptable, given the numbers of gay and other kinds of people.
What can we do to help this sobering reminder that the Supreme Court’s ruling is law? Does Pat know that it’s painful to be bullied in school because of such discrimination as the illegality of marriage? While our religious freedoms are important, I do not see how it is logical to ban gay marriage in this country.
Let’s use a case study. Meet Jason. He’s 15 years old, a basketball player, six feet tall, pretty big for his age. HE loves playing basketball, but found out somehow that he was gay. The first questions bugging him were, “Is that natural? Oh my God, it’s not! Oh no!” He also had to ask himself whether it was appropriate to tell his evangelical Christian parents, who in their small town in a Southern state with a religious family church really would accept Jason the way he was.
Well, let’s pretend that Jason has met Cole. Cole is sixteen, and he feels different, weird. They are both gay youth from different states. Jason lives in the South, and Cole lives somewhere far away.
The first thing Jason notices is how he reacts when a particularly good looking young man passes by. His parents clearly brought him up with the idea he’d have a lady in his life and have many children, or one, or two. But Jason feels really shaken up because his uncle, Charles, said one day at dinner that “Having a relationship with someone of the same gender is evil.” His mom, dad, and cousins, all of them around a dining room table, slowly said, “That’s just plain weird.” So Jason feels isolated and lonely, and when this happens, he starts thinking about suicide.
He doesn’t want to tell his parents, but the coach takes him aside and says “Jason, I’m kicking you off the basketball team. I’ve been hearing rumors you are gay.” This was his lifeline, and Jason, having lost that, retreats deeply within himself. He wants to die, and it’s hard to concentrate with the people calling him bad names in school, making him feel like he’s a “girly gay guy.” But then, he goes to his laptop, googles an LGBT youth support crisis line. HE calls them and says, “I want help.” The sobering statistics about suicide are logical because with Jason’s isolation and differences, he feels vulnerable and alone.
The next thing he does, clearly he googles “LGBT Teenage Email lists.” He plugs into one, and then surfs about till he finds his local LGBT support center for teens in another state. Jason is 26% likely to be thrown out of his family’s home, so he contacts the state crisis line for supports.
The next thing he knows, he meets Cole, and they exchange phone numbers. Jason has to confess he’s gay, but Cole and himself are best buddies now. Cole is by now seventeen, doing better in school, and invites Jason to stay over a few days and go to a mentoring and support meeting with LGBT youth in his school. Jason jumps at the opportunity. So, with no hesitation, he packs his bags.
Cole, at fifteen, was ostracized from his basketball team and called mean names as well, and he is much shorter than Jason, about five feet and five inches. When Cole and Jason meet, suppose it confirms Jason’s suspicions that he’s gay. The boys become partners, and three years later, they do better in school, college, and beyond. With each other and some other friends as supports, both male and female teachers see changes in both boys. With the comprehensive support of Cole’s family, both the boys end up married by 25 and they’re planning an adoption.
The aftershocks of Jason’s and Cole’s coming out can be serious. Suppose Jason was disabled and gay. Jason could have cerebral palsy and be gay too, and such youth have double the risks. Abuse, delinquency, homelessness, etc plague the doubly different youth we’re looking at. Suppose they were both able to move to Vermont, one of the first states to singlehandedly allow gay marriage. Here is the scenario:
Cole and Jason walk into a cake bakery shop, Weddings and Other Occasions LLC. They find a young clerk and baker sitting together, and the two men, arm in arm, with blissful smiles in their hearts and on their faces, walk into the store. The man says, “How may I serve you both?” The 25-year-olds say plainly, “We’re getting a wedding cake.” The man asks, “Who’s the bride?” They say they’re in love, and the clerk and baker say, “We’re sorry, we can’t serve you. Marriage is between a man and a woman.” Remembering the sobering facts and statistics about the young who are LGBT, Cole and Jason walk away from the shop. Let’s imagine they filed a lawsuit to get the discriminatory policy reversed, and won.
So they get married, and they get a cake, flowers, all the essentials. Jason and Cole marry, but not in the church seting. Both end up in a courtroom getting their vows and license.
This case study represents a real case that actually occurred in Colorado. A gay couple sued the Masterpiece Cake Shop, and they overreacted, the shop people did, by not selling wedding cakes to anyone because of one gay couple. If our case couple walks into a pizza parlor for a date, and the Christian clerk says, “We don’t serve your kind here,” it is not like Jesus. Jesus ate meals with people who were, God forbid, the worst of the worst. He dined with tax collectors, was revered by a prostitute and other women, and he loved children. Jesus had us think in his Word about how significant and treasured children should be. If Jesus could look at how the sobering facts and conclusive studies of LGBTQ youth and adults play out in the way we think about people who are different, he’d be appalled. I can imagine Jesus would probably come to the men’s defense and say, “I will eat a meal with these people.” He would have his reservations, but not enough to discriminate. HE wouldn’t spit on those people who find out they’re different.
As a woman who has gay friends, and as someone who is also blind, I know how hard it is to be different. Also, data on the way about me in a privately or custom fit Facebook note. All Facebookers are welcome to read this, and I will say this: I was formally diagnosed with too many things by too many people. One psychologist said that his diagnosis was avoidant personality. Another said Asperger’s, a boys only form of ASD, Autism spectrum disorder. Asperger’s is rare in girls, but it does happen. Our social contexts teach girls to be submissive, timid, and quiet, and boys are more than encouraged to be daring and dream big. This is also unacceptable. I also think the most coveted treasure of a child to most people in America is a boy who can play football or a girl who can cheerlead.
Need I remind you all that I have blind athlete friends, disabled friends who can play sports. There are several people who do goalball, a completely blind sport. My boyfriend is a tae kwon do man. There’s a blind man and his wife who do Judo in Denver, and the Denver Judo club and U.S. Association of Blind Athletes has an amazing assortment of blind people doing various things including Judo, wrestling, MMA (mixed martial arts), and other sports. One friend of mine was a paralympic swimmer for a long time. Now, he skis down the mountains, and he skied in Colorado.
Why should we limit ourselves to a certain ideal? BEing different, whether attracted to different kinds of normal or not, is not a bad thing. As long as your difference doesn’t hurt others, it’s fine.
I always told my lady friends who were in the category of LGBTQ that I was straight, and that I was checking out what the issue really was. My conclusion is that the government shouldn’t get into the bedrooms of couples everywhere, whether or not the Church sanctions them. Some churches welcome gays and lesbians, and that’s fine. But my boyfriend and I tend to think more Conservatively, but we can strike a balance. Jesus still would eat with these people, I wasn’t afraid. Some of my friends who were LGBTQ had great stimulating viewpoints, and others I met who were allies in this became like lifelong memories for me.
I hope you all read this with an open mind. Visit the site I put above, and you will be shocked, but I’m not surprised about the numbers, the 8 times likelier to consider suicide as an example.