Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Harry Potter is My Big Gay Hero!

 Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe isn't gay (and I know I just shattered a lot of gay boys' dreams with that statement) but he is doing quite a lot lately in support of the gay community.  He's been involved with The Trevor Project for some time now and even spoke of it in a recent issue of Out magazine.  And with the recent outbreak of teen suicides among gay youth, his work with The Trevor Project seems even more important than ever, seeing as its mission is to stop just that. 

Just yesterday he spoke exclusively with MTV News, expressing his feelings about these recent tragedies:

"Learning about the suicide deaths of Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Billy Lucas and Justin Aaberg has been heartbreaking for me.  These young people were bullied and tormented by people that should have been their friends.  We have a responsibility to be better to each other, and accept each others' differences regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ability, or religion and stand up for someone when they're bullied."

Anyone who knows Brian and I, know that we are huge Harry Potter nerds.  We are obsessed with it.  And it's inspiring to know that while Harry Potter battles the evil of Lord Voldemort, Daniel Radcliffe is battling the evils of hate and discrimination.  And he's not the only one. 

Another one of our favorite people is comedienne and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.  A lesbian herself, Ellen knows personally what it's like to be bullied for one's sexual orientation.  She recently made the following statement:

"I am devastated over the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi... This needs to be a wake up call to everyone that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing.  We have an obligation to change this."

Growing up I was bullied for a lot of things.  In middle school, kids in the lunch line would tap me on the shoulder and then ask if I was girl or a boy.  They made fun of my voice, my short stature, my athletic inabilities.  I was interested in all the wrong things.  I liked singing in choir or acting in drama, and I was once shoved into a locker for it.  A few times I was thrown into trash cans.  I was given wedgies, Indian burns, titty twisters, and knuckle sandwiches.  I was called a Fairy, a Homo, a Fag, a Queer, a Girl, a Sissy...  even my given name led to nicknames such as Jack MeHoff.

Brian came out early in life, age 12 to be exact, and growing up was even harder for him.  His parents forced him to attend therapy sessions through LDS Social Services to help cure him of his homosexual feelings.  After a few years they gave up on the therapy, and he lived out his teenage years as an openly gay teen.  While he says that he didn't really care about the bullying, the one thing that hurt him most was being kicked out of his youth theater group Acting Up because a parent had an issue about his homosexuality.

Recently, someone close to Brian texted that he was in town and Brian asked if he had time to come and visit.  Turned out the young man was with his mother, and she did not like the idea at all.  His next text read, "She said 'Why would I bring you down here?  So you can hang out with someone who is living that life?' and she said it with so much hate.  How am I ever going to come out?"

I worry about this young man.  And I wish I could do more for the GLBT youth of America, who need to know that life is worth living and that their happiness is worth fighting for.  If any young person is reading this who needs help, call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-4-U-TREVOR where you can speak to someone at any time.

And thank goodness we have Harry Potter on our side!


Mishqueen said...

I like that Ellen address ALL teenage bullying, not just gay bullying. Any bullying and cruelty, for any reason, should not be tolerated by society. When I was growing up, it was almost considered cute by the establishment (you know, "kids will be kids").

I'm so sorry you were treated that way! I had no idea. I was not teased for being gay, and yet I had a very similar experience. Don't know if it matters, but you were always quite male to me (and still are). Embrace whatever '-inity' you feel like!

Joaquin the Chihuahua said...

I wasn't even out then, as you know. That was all because people THOUGHT I was gay... or just that I was "different."

What I hope kids know is that things get a lot better as an adult.

Mishqueen said...

Well, I do know you weren't out. Nonetheless, I never thought you were feminine or girlie. That would have surprised me that others did think that. I still don't see you that way. You know, on the all-seeing internet. *chuckle*


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