Monday, November 8, 2010

Brody's Scribbles... How Are These Kids So Primed To Self Destruct?

By Tim Trent (Dartmouth, England) NOV 8 | News has just come in of another kid in the USA who has killed himself because of bullying over his sexual orientation. Brandon Bitner, a pretty ordinary 14 year old kid, walked 13 miles to a busy highway intersection and threw himself in front of a truck.
Stark as that is, LGBTQNation reports that his school had only just held an anti-bullying assembly, unrelated to any specific case. That has to have given Brandon someone to turn to.
So why, why die?
Not wishing to be in any way self congratulatory, there has been Spirit Day on 20th October where we wore purple, there's The Trevor Project in the USA with other outreach folk globally, there's the It Gets Better Project, The Make It Better Project, there's Obama's video, there's a whole slew of stuff saying DO NOT KILL YOURSELF.
Now, only Brandon knows why he went to all this effort to die. I know it was incredibly braveincredibly selfish - think of the driver, think of those who love, loved him! - and incredibly stupid, because, for him, life will never get better.
With this huge global outpouring of people trying hard to show kids like Brandon Bitner that life will get better, with people showing them where to turn when they feel low, why has another kid chosen to die? How was he programmed to do it?
And how do we re-programme them to live?
If you are a parent and love your child, have you said to them this simple thing: "Some people fall for girls, some for boys. If you come home with a girlfriend or a boyfriend, we will love you just the same, and we hope we will like them. But the most important thing for us is that you are happy." Remove the power of the bullies by showing your child, grandchild, nephew, niece how much you love them.
The life you save may be your own child's!
While this article is about Brandon, it isn't, too. It's about starting to stop these kids from dying. Now, if you think I sound somewhat hard edged in writing this, too damn right I am. I'm angry as hell that religious bigots and others are driving these kids into the embrace of the front of a truck.
A truck! That one comes close to home. I almost chose that, too, when I was only three years older than Brandon....