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I Give A Damn about Equality and So Should You

December 30, 2010

My mother and I have this thing where we both watch a TV show and then save it in our DVR list for the other to watch. I mostly do it with movies that I thought were really nice while she does it with Talk Shows. Today in our DVR list was an episode of The Nate Berkus Show. In this particular episode, Nate Berkus interviewed Wendy Walsh, who is the mother of homophobic-induced suicide victim Seth Walsh. In the episode LGBT foundations are mentioned and homosexuality and homophobia are discussed through the eyes of LGBT youth. This episode reminded me of how serious the issue of homophobia is and that we must do everything we can do to put an end to it. So after watching Nate’s public service announcement for “We Give A Damn,” I decided to officially join the LGBT support groups. Such groups include, but are not limited to:

All of these links can be found on the sidebar of this page. If you ever feel as though suicide is the only way, or if you or someone you know is suffering with homophobia and coming out, please do not hesitate to contact these free support groups.

I have written my “Give A Damn” story and posted it onto the Give A Damn website, but I also posted it here so that anyone struggling can see it in multiple locations. Videos of the matter will be posted in the near future as I continue to advocate. In the meantime here is my Give A Damn Story:

A Bully’s Realization

I grew up in a very supportive environment (at least for me), so I never experienced any physical bullying for my sexuality. In elementary school, I was a bully. I was in a group of kids who picked on this one kid who was overweight. We called him names and even resorted to making homophobic comments at him. As far as I knew, he was straight, but it was so easy to throw derogatory terms at him. I did not realize the pain we had caused this boy until I started to realize that I was different too. Acknowledging that bullying was wrong, led to homophobic comments being thrown at me.

I thought that my being gay was a punishment for picking on that boy. I tried to push it away, trying to convince myself that it was something that I could “fix.” I then realized that this was not a punishment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being different, and a lot of the times people of all characteristics need to be reminded of that fact. My realization and my experiences of homophobia were part of my opportunity to understand the pain and suffering that bullying always causes. Again, I grew up with a supportive family and accepting friends, so my experiences of homophobia were at a low, but because of my realization, I was able to see the terrible world of bullying in multiple perspectives.

I have met college students who are struggling with homophobia in their dorms. I know many college students who are choosing certain schools over the other. They chose these schools not because the schools were better or at a better price, but because the school’s LGBT environment was friendlier. A college student should not have to settle for another school because of the prevalence of homophobia. I am lucky that the school of my choice just so happened to be both LGBT friendly and academically satisfying for me. Not everyone is as lucky as I am, however.

We are constantly reminded that we are not alone. We remind ourselves of this because we truly are not alone in our pain. The fact that thousands of other people are suffering due to homophobia, shows that we need to stand up and act.

I give a damn because I’ve seen both sides of the story. I know we can make a change, but it can only happen if we all give a damn.

Want to write your Give A Damn Story visit WeGiveADamn.org and create a free account.

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