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Archive for April 21st, 2009

*Miss California

I do not want to talk about beauty pageants. I want to say I’m surprised they still happen but I’m not… I don’t care about them, I don’t pay attention to them and I think they are a stupid waste of time; I think they are demeaning and sexist and again… usually don’t pay attention.

But.

Because I listen to the radio and hang around on teh internets, I know there was a pageant and a contestant who did not win, and feels she lost “her” crown because of being honest about her feelings about same sex marriage.

Whatever.

Another 11 year old boy killed himself this week. Another one.

He was bullied at school.

It seems he also was accused of being gay. (Whether or not either of these boys identified as gay is not the point, the point is that the focus, or at least a focus of the bullying is a gay identity or suspicion of being gay is worthy of harassment.)

No one did anything to stop the bullying.

After all, they were just being honest about how they felt, weren’t they?

Weren’t they?

***

What I hear people talking about is whether or not a person can say how they feel about an issue.

What I don’t hear people talking about (in MSM) is the distinction between about the way people “personally feel” about an issue and how public policy gets shaped around the way people “personally feel” and as a result, other people’s real life circumstances are affected. It’s not just that people have a “feeling” about someone’s “preference” or “lifestyle” (and if I never hear those words again in this context, it’s okay by me). It’s that people don’t think, or don’t care that negative feelings get translated into policies and laws that dictate whether or not a person has health insurance, gets tax benefits, is able to inherit from or leave an inheritance to someone they love, raise children, visit a hospitalized spouse, be a member of a faith community, etc etc etc.

Or be safe from bullies – young and old.

Or feel as if life is worth living.

No offense to anybody out there.

ETA other voices:

It is not enough to simply say ‘be kind,’ put up a “No Bullies Welcome Here” poster or encourage the golden rule, like Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover’s school did. We have to acknowledge and take action to address the fact that students are targeted because they defy gender norms. We have to stop acting as if it is generic meanness that causes so much pain, and confront the fact that all too often, it is very specifically anti-gay hostility that is the root of the problem.

http://elleabd.blogspot.com/2009/04/again.html

http://suburblezmom.blogspot.com/2009/04/another-boy-kills-himself.html

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/04/21/another-11-year-old-boy-commits-suicide-after-homophobic-bullying/

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