The latest in LGBT youth political activism


Events hosted or sponsored by Youth First Texas


Top editorial stories submitted by youth and volunteers


Top stories featuring YFT, youth, or volunteers


The latest and greatest news from Youth First Texas

Home » Activism, Featured

A Name Is Not a Number, But Another in an Epidemic

Submitted by on Friday, 8 October 2010No Comment

The original posting may be found here.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones…”

We can all finish the rhyme. We can say that we believe “words will never hurt me,” but the problem is that words all too often lead to actions, and while words themselves may not hurt immediately, the actions they provoke can scar, mutilate, even destroy.

Billy Lucas. Cody J. Barker. Seth Walsh. Tyler Clementi. Asher Brown. Harrison Chase Brown. Raymond Chase. Felix Sacco. Caleb Nolt.

These are their names; these are the identifiers by which they should be known, not by numbers that document a recent uptick in suicides due to anti-LGBTQ bullying. Methods may have differed, but the cause, and the result, were the same. These nine voices have been silenced, these nine spirits no longer burn brightly here on earth. Whatever Billy, Cody, Seth, Tyler, Asher, Harrison, Raymond, Felix and Caleb had to offer the world, we can now only hope that it will be transformed into a movement to stop not just anti-LGBTQ bullying, but all bullying.

These deaths are a wake-up call to all of us. For those of us who have been lucky to have support and friends around us, it reminds that what affects one can affect many, and that no one should feel like a lesser being because of who they are. For those of us who have endured the taunting, the jeering, we are reminded that strength in the face of great adversity can lead to great triumph.

Now is the time for us to have compassion; now is the time for us to reveal our strength. Foremost, we should have compassion for one another, for we are all in this together. It is not a fight for one of us to face alone, it is a battle that we all must greet head-on. Our  move should be educational in nature, to stamp out the ignorance so many possess. Through enlightenment, fear of the unknown is stamped out. Through knowledge, progress can be made, and the wrongs we rally against today can become the whispers of the past tomorrow.

Billy, Cody, Seth, Tyler, Asher, Harrison, Raymond, Felix and Caleb may have moved on from this life, but we are here to remember. We are here to act.

Bullying, whether it is anti-LGBTQ or any other prejudice, is a tool of the weak, a weapon of the fearful. This practice must be stopped, and those who wield it must learn that doing so is just as harmful to themselves as it is to those they target.

Do not be afraid to speak up. You never know whose life you will end up saving.

The Trevor Project is a national 24-hour suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth (866-4-U-TREVOR). Even if you think you don’t need the number, it’s likely that you know someone who might. Open the lines of communication with those around you.

Comments are closed.