Archive for February, 2008

A Word About Gay Teen Suicide and Someone Who Can Help…..
February 21, 2008

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the third leading cause of death amongst [all] young people 15 to 24 years of age.  It is the sixth leading cause of death amongst [all] children 5 to 14 years old.  According to the Center for Disease Control/Massachusetts Department of Education Youth Risk Behavior Survey (1999),  33% of gay youth will attempt suicide.  In fact, gay teen suicide attempts are four times that of heterosexual youth.” 

(sources: http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/emotios/behavior/suicide.html, http://privateschool.about.com/cs/students/a/teensuicide.htmTeenSuicide, http://gaylife.about.com/od/gayteens/a/gaysuicide.htm

Teenage years are crazy and emotionally charged enough with hormones racing through the bloodstream, urges coming over you like there’s no tomorrow, everyone’s expectations setting up seemingly impossible standards of questionable import , etc….add to that mix the confusion of questioning one’s sexual orientation and you have a recipe for disaster!

I can remember having feelings and attractions for my girl friends as early as elementary school. We’re talking the mid to late 1950’s here, folks — there were no campy TV shows like Queer as Folk or The L Word; there were no Ellen Degeneres’ or Rosie O’Donnell’s, or any of the countless other performers and celebrities who can serve as positive role models for youth today.

I grew up afraid of my feelings – and terrified to share what I was feeling and thinking for fear that if I did, I might be taken away from my parents (or sent away) and locked up somewhere forever! I grew up afraid of myself. I didn’t understand, and there was no place, no one, to go with my questions. Such was the pain, the shame.  In some ways, even with the visibility of “out” public personalities today, the pain and confusion can still be very real. And the stigma. Face it, you can walk by any playground in America and what is the favorite insult?  “Oh, he’s so gay” “She’s queer.”  (Elevate the playground to the workplace breakroom and the atmosphere can seem identical).

Gay kids get bullied, harassed and beaten routinely. Even if a kid is suspected of being gay .. you know, because of all those tell tale signs that mark a “queer” — they’re likely to come under fire. Peer insults and intent to hurt can be relentless. Confusion? If that’s all they’re feeling, they’re lucky. More often it leads to alienation and self-contempt. Nobody deserves to grow up under that kind of stigma.

Fortunately there is a 24/7 helpline that kids can call where they will receive confidential counseling from peers who understand.  This is the only such national helpline specifically to help gay and questioning youth. -MsQueer

Call 1-866-488-7386  (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)

Learn more about The Trevor Project:Trevor Project Queer As Folk PSA 
The TREVOR Trailer 
Here! Focus – The Trevor Project 
Ellen Degeneres Honored by The Trevor Projec t 


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Welcome to MsQueer!
February 6, 2008

It’s important to be able to affirm ourselves as having certain basic human rights regardless of our sexual orientation, race, color, creed, cultural or ethnic origins.

As a lesbian who has been out for over 37 years, I have come to understand the need for each of us to exist in Dignity and Respect.

Twenty-five years ago I had the privilege to be a featured performer as part of Hartford, Connecticut’s first Lesbian-Gay Pride Day March and Celebration! We all knew, as we took to the streets and stood on the stage that day, that we were taking a tremendous risk. Our numbers were few in comparison to the many hundreds and thousands who typify today’s Pride Marches! But each of us understood, as it is so even today, that for each of us making a stand that day, there were hundreds of thousands more who could not yet be visible – to protect their jobs, their children, their partners,  themselves. We knew we were marching for all of us. It was an exciting time!

It takes no less courage to stand up and be counted today. Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered Persons are still working for equality where we work, where we live, where we worship (as we choose). Today, more than ever, we must stand together in Unity, not just amongst ourselves, but as a key component of the Human Family.

If you’re really clever, you’ll find this same introduction at my website– so if you think I’m masking myself here, guess again.  I just thought it would be fun to take a “persona” to write about LGBT issues, passions, loves, media, family, spirituality, etc.  I even plan to throw in a little Quantum Physics every once in a while…just because I can! (And because we need to move out of “victim” status and learn how to effectively create our own experiences.)

I mean, if you can’t engage in “high play” at age 57 – WHEN DO YOU THINK IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN????  Hence, the birth of “MsQueer.” 

“Ms” because I came right up through the whole lesbian-feminist movement as a young woman, and “Queer” because that word seems to have made a transformational journey from the slur it once was to a “prideful declaration.”

I’m going to share plenty of opinions here and trust you will too. I also plan to provide resources and online links to assist my LGBT family, friends and allies.  Let’s have fun! Hope you visit often…and bring friends! –MsQueer

©2008 MsQueer.com and Deborah Adler. All rights reserved.

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