Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brody's Scribbles... The Very Real Cost Of Homophobia

Billy Lucas  Photo By Annie Lucas
By Brody Levesque (Washington DC) SEPT 14 | I live and work in a place where virtually everyone connected with either end of Pennsylvania Avenue and the Federal agencies inbetween lobbies hard to get their viewpoint across.  Its all a game of yell and be heard, see and be seen, and these days, the more outrageous, louder and nastier, the better.
The lobbyists and the politicians seem to forget that there are very real people affected by what goes on in the creation and implementation of public policies and laws that govern this nation.
I'm a political reporter and this is my beat, my chosen vocation covering these events, issues, and  generally all this noise. But I am also Gay, and what really distresses me is when I hear and see groups advance causes that are wrapped up and presented as being in supposed good and care for fellow mankind, end up advocating laws that end up harming their fellow citizens. 
Good examples of which are the onerous 'Don't Ask-Don't Tell' policy enacted into law and the so called Defence Of Marriage Act, both of which are little more than non-secular theology cloaked in the mantle of public policy. 
But it goes beyond that. Right now there is a vital piece of legislation that would make inroads into stopping a problem that has become damn near a pandemic in this nation's public schools-Bullying. It's tied up in committee and maneuvering because instead of doing what's right for American's children, the alleged Christians of the so-called conservative right are claiming that it promotes the homosexual agenda and thus, its evil, sinful and now languishes.
In the opening of this Op-Ed, I placed a photograph of a young teen on his favorite horse. Pretty typical fare actually... The reason I placed this particular photograph is that the young man depicted, has ended his life. Here's the reason from journalist Kara Brooks reporting for Fox59 News in Indianapolis, Indiana:
Greensburg, Ind. — He was a teenager who didn't quite fit in. His classmates said Billy Lucas was bullied for being different. The 15-year-old never told anyone he was gay but students at Greensburg High School thought he was and so they picked on him. 
"People would call him 'fag' and stuff like that, just make fun of him because he's different basically," said student Dillen Swango.
Students told Fox59 News it was common knowledge that children bullied Billy and from what they said, it was getting worse. Last Thursday, Billy's mother found him dead inside their barn. He had hung himself. Students said on that same day, some students told Billy to kill himself.
"They said stuff like 'you're like a piece of crap' and 'you don't deserve to live.' Different things like that. Talked about how he was gay or whatever," said Swango. 
 Principal Phil Chapple doesn't deny that students are bullied in the high school, but he said he didn't know Billy was one of the victims."We were not aware of that situation," said Chapple. It's clear though, on a memorial page created in Billy's honor that many people knew students bullied him. Fox59 News found comments like "everyone made fun of him"
I am angry, I am discouraged, but mostly I am fed up with the constant barrage of bullshit that religious type use to justify and feed the fires of bigotry and bias based on questionable theology at best, and at worst theology that is picked apart like a menu ala some items from column A and then some from Column B.
Here's the cost, another child has died. When I read the following entry from his mother on the memorial Facebook page created for him, I couldn't stop the tears from welling in my eyes and then running down my face:

Annie Lucas: We are keeping his horses, as long as they are breathing we will have them. And they miss him very much. None of his animals will be the same. Ever.
Nor will things ever be the same for her and her family. What happened to her son is direct incontestable evidence that the policies, the laws, the noise and din raised by the far right and those 'Christian' organisations like Family Research Council, Focus On The Family, and the host of others  contribute to the atmosphere of hatred by teaching and leading by example. Future generations of biased and bigoted children are being raised and as far as I am concerned, indoctrinated by these Christofascists.
They proclaim their Christian love... yeah, it sure looks like it doesn't it?
Oh and one final thought- Young Billy NEVER self identified as Gay, but should that really matter? 


Trab said...

I'm continually torn when it comes to these incidents. I'm depressed and yet at the same time incensed. I don't want it to ever happen again while I hope it happens to all the bigots' kids; all the bullies.

Maybe what is needed most is a wakeup call for the so-called Christians, but how do you wake up someone totally in a trance of their own making? It would take something really serious, like their own offspring being targeted. Maybe the only 'defence' is to label even more kids, willy nilly, until action is taken to stop it all from happening. Nevermind if the kids get traumatized in the process; you have to crack eggs to make cake. As long as the only eggs being cracked are those who have no power to change things, things won't change.