Just coming up to opening night, the cast worked on a video for the “It Gets Better” campaign to support gay/lesbian/transgendered youth and encourage teens to know they are not alone and suicide is not the only answer. It’s really had me thinking about many things surrounding this idea. I’m so horrified but I understand the impetus. But the idea that these young people feel that that is only solution, that there is not someone in their lives they can turn to, makes me sooooo crazy and angry. One of the questions I have is where are these kids’ parents? I say this acknowledging that sometimes great parents can’t even stop their children from having suicidal thoughts. So I don’t want anyone to think I’m saying that bad parenting is all that leads to teen suicide. But having said that, you hear about so many teens, gay or otherwise, who for one reason or another had a horrible time with parents who don’t support their choices or their true identity. Where is the unconditional love? The fact that any parent would use their love as a weapon is the most heinous of all crimes against nature. As soon as this being you’ve created comes into this world, the only thing that you can guarantee him or her is your undying love. That doesn’t mean you’ll always like each other or believe in each other’s rightness. Just love. Love that says,”you can come to me with anything and we’ll work through it.” Not, “as long as you make the choices I approve of, I will love and support you.” I am convinced more and more every day that that is an evil that is responsible for most of the horrors of this world. Seriously, it begins at home in those early years. I wonder how many creators of evil through the ages had shitty parents.
When these young people commit suicide because they are outed or feel they can’t live in this world as a homosexual or transgendered person, where is there family? Why do they feel that they can’t go to them for help? Why have they not been raised to know that whatever and whoever they are is wonderful and okay and blessed? I’m not talking about being an axe murderer or a child molester.
Oh, now that brings me to that point. People who equate homosexuality with axe murderers and child molesters. That brings up two issues to me. 1. Are you a fucking idiot????!!!!! If you actually think that people who murder other people or scar other people physically and/or emotionally are the same as two constenting adults who, in the privacy of they’re own home, chose to have sexual relations or love each other and make a life together are the same thing, you don’t deserve to have children and pass on your stupidity. You are moron. Not only is that thought process asinine, it’s completely irrational. 2. Even if your child was an axe murderer or child molester, of course you may hate the sickness that propels them to act on those impulses but there would still be love for the person who was that little girl or boy who sat on your lap and said, “I love you, daddy”. I cannot and will not ever understand a parent who finds out their child is gay and says, “I will not love you anymore’. As far as I’m concerned, if your child kills himself or herself after that, you are a murderer, pure and simple. And I’m such a supporter and believer in “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” but in this day and age where we know so much, there is nothing that makes that okay. This is your child.
I’m so blessed to have parents who have always believed in me and supported me. They encouraged me to be anything I wanted and have always made it clear that their love was boundless. Don’t get me wrong, I had my own demons that are separate from them and have had some dark thoughts. That’s why I want to reiterate that I’m not saying every child who has suicidal thoughts or commits suicide has parents who are at fault. Not at all. Human beings are complicated. But a lot of it starts there. I think it’s because my mom and dad were so loving that I was able to realize there was hope.
I also had an inner . . . what? . . . fortitude from somewhere that wasn’t from my parents. Something deep inside me knew that life is full of balances and if I could just get through this gross growing up stuff, things would turn around. I knew I was meant for something else. Not everyone has that, I realize and it can be tough. Kids are bastards, let’s face it. They can be mean and spiteful and hateful. Again, if there is no parent watching and making sure they aren’t being dickheads and bullies, it’s Lord of the Flies in 10 minutes. We are humans, we push boundaries. Imagine if we pushed boundaries towards the divine instead of the destructive.
Wow, nice unintentional segueway, Thom. What does push boundaries in a good way . . . nay, (yes, I used nay – and properly, I might add) a great way, is art. Art opens eyes, minds, hearts. Bringing us back full circle, we finished our video and its now on YouTube and I wanted to share it with you. It’s our cast telling stories or making statements of support to any and all young people (older people too) who may be feeling like there is no where to turn and no chance of a life beautifully lived. I didn’t tell any stories, I just made statement. Every time I thought of what to say, I was so filled with rage, I knew I couldn’t start. That’s why I had to write this so I could get it out of me. Parents – love your children, hold them, embrace them, teach them to love themselves. Children – trust in the goodness of the universe and celebrate the beauty of your uniqueness. If you can hold on (and you CAN), you will go out into the world and find people who will revel in the extraordinary person that is you. It Gets Better.