Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

It’s November and Thanksgiving again, Poppets. The article in my head was about all the things for which to be thankful and then segue into the pain the families of the teens who have recently committed suicide and how they must be struggling to find a reason to be thankful this season. That would then lead into telling you about the suicide prevention sites that have either sprung up or gained more exposure as a result and urge you to support them, as a way of supporting our teens, so that no family ever has to struggle to find reasons to be thankful at Thanksgiving.

It was great in my head.

It sucked as I tried to write it.

Seriously. What sounded eloquent in my head is coming off as trite, patronizing, and condescending as I tried to get it on paper. You deserve better than that. These families deserve better than that. Those kids sure as hell deserve better than that. Because one more empty article written for the sake of pulling on heartstrings is the last thing that needs to be written right now. But these programs, these are real, these are anything but empty. So check these out; find the one you can support; and find a way to support it.

The newest and, honestly my favorite, is called the
We Got Your Back Project. Love this project. Their mission spells out a commitment to inclusivity that many other projects may claim to have, but miss in subtle – or often glaring – ways. They acknowledge that the LGBT community actually, you know, includes Bs and Ts and not everyone is white and middle class. Daring, I know. They are new, so still just getting started. Still, the potential here is endless.

Possibly the best known program is
The Matthew Shepard Foundation, created by the parents of Matthew Shepard following his murder in a hate crime driven by his orientation. Their online community and resource center is Matthew’s Place. It gives teens a place to gather, talk, meet…from wherever they are.

The Trevor Project offers videos, articles and information for teens struggling with coming out or being out. They also offer a 24-hour/7-day a week telephone hotline (866-488-7386) for suicidal teens. They have, as well, which is a social networking site for young people ages 13-24.

All three of these sites offer suggestions for straight allies, as well. They also give suggestions on what to do if a suicidal teen comes to you for help. Vital reading for all of us.

Finally, there is the
It Gets Better Project. A You Tube page devoted to videos from older members of the LGBT community. The ones who remember what it was like to be a Queer child and teen. Videos that speak directly to today’s teens, assuring them that It Gets Better.

If you know of another resource for LGBT or questioning teens, please drop me a line at I’ll do my best to get the word out. If you know of a teenager who is hurting, reach out to them. We never know where the nugget of hope that keeps a kid alive is going to come from. If you are a teen who is hurting, check these out. Talk to an adult you trust. Call on your local resource center. Or write me. Seriously. That’s my address, up there.

It’s Thanksgiving time. I promise you, there’s reason to be thankful.

Until next month, Poppets, give thanks for what makes you happy, and take care of you.

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