I’m going to start this post with a statistic…
The Trevor Project estimates that at least one LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13-24 attempts suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S. I will come back to this later.
I’m pretty sure I’ve shared with you before that I have the craziest dreams. I mean there are some real doozies. Like the time Robert Downey Jr dipped his head in a bowl of chocolate and then a bowl of cheerios and ran around showing everyone his cheerio “wig.” What made me dream that? I have no idea. Sometimes, though, I can pinpoint where some of the themes originate. Because of this I am very careful about what I watch on television. I never watched the show The Walking Dead, but just seeing the commercials made me dream about zombies. I was so mad! And just the other day Bradley Cooper was on one of the morning shows talking about his road to overcoming addiction. That night I dreamed my friends were trying to get me to watch a horror movie. I never watch horror movies…simply because I don’t want to dream about it. I knew it was going to be awful, but Bradley Cooper. who happened to be in the movie, tried to trick me into watching it. Weird right?! Just seeing him on a morning program made me dream about him.
Recently I’ve been trying to catch up on some podcasts. I stumbled upon a compelling topic in doing so. It is interesting because this particular topic was on two different podcasts. They each had a different expert and they were recorded at different times during the year (as I am very far behind in listening). Maybe this was something I was supposed to hear? They both talked about trauma and how it can affect our DNA and be passed down through generations. So you can have symptoms of a trauma that you personally didn’t experience. It was fascinating. I actually downloaded a book that one of the guests wrote about the research that they did because I want to learn more about that.
So if I’m careful about what I watch because of the way my brain processes information at night you can better believe that I am mindful about the real stuff that happens out in the world and how that might affect me. I came across something this weekend that was so horrifying I thought for sure that it was not true. It has been plaguing me ever since. And yes…unfortunately I have dreamed about it.
I am not going to say who said these things because quite frankly I don’t want his name to get any more publicity than it already has, but I feel that what he said should be addressed. This was the headline that I saw: Pro-Trump Candidate Calls for Executing Parents of LGBTQ+ Kids
My first reaction was surely this can’t be true. They are using an outrageous title to get people to click on the article. I’ve seen that time and time again. Then as I read the article I thought maybe they are just using his words out of context to make it more sensationalized. But then I saw a video of him, and the words were coming directly from his mouth.
This person is a pastor in South Carolina running for Congress. He believes that parents and teachers that discuss LGBTQ+ issues with children are a national security threat to the U.S. He said that if he is elected he wants to hold people who do this accountable for treason to the Constitution. He will push to reenact HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee). He believes that people should be tried for treason, and then executed when they are found guilty. He says a lot more, but I will stop there.
My reaction was, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!” In fairness, he was asked if he would do something about the “grooming” of our children by the LGBTQ+ agenda when he said these things. But all I could think of was when given time on television to say what he might do to benefit our country if he is elected, this pastor didn’t talk about helping the poor, or healthcare, or housing…or how we might stop an18 year old from buying an assault weapon and murdering babies in their classrooms. He chose instead to talk about killing people who support the LGBTQ+ community. Well if he gets elected and gets his way…it’s been nice knowing you. This blog alone could be used against me.
Now I can hear you saying…Lesa one crazy person does not make for many crazy people. I thought the same thing until at the end of his tirade the news anchor clapped and said, “South Carolina this is your man!” He’s not the only hateful pastor that I’ve seen regarding the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve shared before about the pastor that wants to round up all the gay people and put them in cages. He said he would feed them (thank goodness right?), but eventually they would get old and die off. Then there was the pastor that applauded the massacre at Pulse from his pulpit and said that it should happen more often. But to see someone on television…someone running for office…have such outlandish ideas is downright scary. It’s not just pastors of course. Just last week in Baltimore a Pride flag was set on fire at someone’s house. The list goes on about the dangers of being LGBTQ+ in this world.
This person running for congress seemed to especially have an issue with parents of transgender children calling it child abuse. I think it’s safe to say that this congressional candidate has never sat down and had a conversation with a parent of a transgender child or a transgender person themselves. Thinking that a parent would want this for their child or is forcing their child to be transgender is ludicrous. And this whole “grooming” idea. What do these people really think the LGBTQ+ community is going to do with all these “groomed” children…take over the world? Again any person that thinks any parent would wish this for their child has NO CLUE what it is like…for themselves and for their child.
Is there any wonder why the suicide rate is so high among this community? They aren’t prone to suicide because they are LGBTQ+…they are at higher risk because of how they are treated in our society. LGBTQ+ youth are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide then their peers. 1.8 million LGBTQ+ ages 13-24 seriously consider suicide each year. If trauma can be passed down in DNA, how many generations will be affected by the damage done.
It seems as if the people who share ideas like this candidate wish for the LGBTQ+ community to be erased. They have been here since the beginning of time and aren’t going anywhere. In Part 2, I will discuss why it’s important for there to be visibility for this community.
Going with the statistic I started with…160 LGBTQ+ youth attempted suicide while I wrote this blog post. I would like to remind this pastor/candidate that he will never look into the eyes of someone that is not loved by God.
Folks…we need to do better. This is not loving.
And love matters…