Today I wrote an article for my column with the same title as this post. It is about a young gay black man that just killed himself by the name of Jay'Corey Jones. I won't go to much into it but if you want to check out the article, just click the link and you can read it in your spare time. http://www.examiner.com/article/is-this-what-we-paid-for?cid=db_articles
I wanted to write about the anger I felt toward this whole tragedy. There are many different reasons to be angry from one end of this topic to the other but there is something specific that stirred in me after hearing about this young man's death.
Struggle is struggle in my perspective. It does no matter what people are going through the pain. Prejudice is prejudice, a hate crime is a hate crime and death is death. So, as a black man, I am given the gift of understanding the power of knowing my history, of unity and of racial identity. These are concepts that must be transferred to the gay community. With so many black people that have died by the hands of racist and prejudice people, so that I could be the black man I want to be today, there is no way in hell I could kill myself if a bully was calling me any racial slur; I don't care about the consistency, frequency or my age. I just could not do it.
It needs to be the same way with the young gay people of today. In the 80's to right now, there were people who had there heads smashed in with baseball bats, lives taken and blood shed so that this generation can be the type of gay individuals they want to be. If they understood how powerful this statement is and was able to identify proudly with their sexuality, not one gay person would find a razor to slit their wrists or find a bridge to jump off of.
Unfortunately, they don't have this type of guidance and I blame no one but the parents almost 100%. If you have a gay child walking around wanting to kill themselves, does it and you have your head in the air saying that the event was unexpected, you did not do your job. Your child's death is your fault. Where do you think the gay youth should go to learn how to stand up for who they are proudly so these bullies, no matter what they say or do, can affect the esteem of your child? Who do you think they should come to? On the other hand, if you don't know how to stand up for yourself, you surely can't teach something you don't know. In other words your LGBT child is in a double trap. As a parent, if you can't teach them what they need to know, you are sending them into a den of wolves defenseless.
We need to wake up. Is this the result of all the marching and beatings that gay people took for so many years? Is this what our blood and death in the gay community paid for? There were gay people that were left in back of allies to bleed out in the street by homophobic bigots and you are telling me the youth of today can't stand up to some jive words by ignorant young peers that don't know why they are being ignorant in the first place?
If you parents can't tell you, I will tell you. You are stronger than that, you are more than that and for damn sure I care about you, if you thought no one else does. You community carries a character or strength with it and remember, that strength is within you.