One of the major topics that always receives a lot of attention on this site is the issue of LGBT rights. It is understandable that emotions can run high on both sides of this debate. We have those who believe that they are within their rights to have issues with the LGBT community, mostly on religious grounds. Then we have those who believe that any discrimination against the community is a serious problem, and it is sometimes hard to find a balance between these viewpoints. However, we do our best to present each story from both sides, which we will do with this story of an angry mother who defended her gay son against harassment and a rumor mill gone wild.
We have all heard the story before – a young man or woman is “outed” as being gay in their community, and the gossip train runs wild. Everyone starts to make up stories about the kid, while the harassment only gets worse at school. Many children are tagged as being gay or lesbian even if they have not come out, based on their mannerisms or how they conduct themselves. In this case, we had a young boy who came out as gay at the age of 17, and only received animosity from his community.
People had begun to call him a fag, or other derogatory terms that are used to define someone who is gay or lesbian. In fact, the boy in question had been dealing with these types of comments since he was much younger, given his effeminate nature. It did not take him coming out to elicit such behavior, as we know that children can often be very cruel and intolerant towards each other. But when he came out, and the harassment got worse, his mother was so upset that she wrote an op-ed in a website defending her son.
She claimed that those who preach family values and ethics, but are happy to turn a blind eye towards harassment and insults towards the gay and lesbian community, were hypocrites. She claimed some of these people were even happy to join in by holding up proverbial pitchforks whenever the issue is brought up. How can such fathers and mothers claim they care about families and children, when they are happy to see children being insulted simply because they have a sexual orientation that is different from what these parents consider “normal?”
We can see how this issue can bring about a lot of emotion. And while we can sympathize with those who are still not comfortable with the LGBT community, based on their religion or how they were raised, this mother does make some good points. It is fine if you are not personally comfortable with someone’s sexually being gay, but to turn a blind eye or encourage the abuse of these individuals is beyond abhorrent. Teenagers go through enough in their lives even if they are straight – they certainly do not need their classmates or strangers calling them fags or queers when they are simply trying to live their lives.