Teach-In Response To Gay Teen Suicides

There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about gay suicide, and while I have kind of mixed feelings about the media’s panicky sensationalism (and posting that poor Rutgers guy’s terribly awkward photo on the cover of every magazine in America), I think we can all agree that teen suicide is never a good thing.

A lot of people on the internet seem anxious to show their support for gay teens not killing themselves, and there have been requests all over the place for people to wear purple one day or wear black another day or wear black and yellow ribbons or I don’t even know what else.  These reactions are well-meaning, but it might be better to step back and think about the larger issues of homophobia that have people so upset.

If you’re interested, one thoughtful way to express concern might be to attend the Faculty Teach-In tonight at Brown’s Hillel.  According to the press release:

This multidisciplinary faculty teach-in/student talk-back session responds to the recent spate of gay teen suicides, hate crimes, and the persistence of homophobia in various public forums.  We’ll chat about the stakes of queer studies in relation to activism, media representation, issues of student life and the formation of university – and wider – communities.

The event starts at 7; it’s open to the general public and takes place at the Brown-RISD Hillel Chapel (at the corner of Angell and Brown Streets.)  Presenters include:

Lynne Joyrich, Professor of Modern Culture and Media
Katrina Gamble, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Ralph Rodriguez, Associate Professor of American Civilization
Gail Cohee, Director, Sarah Doyle Women’s Center
Betsey Biggs, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cogut Center for the Humanities
Tim Cavanaugh, M.D, Associate Clinical Professor, Brown Medical School
Joon Lee, Assistant Professor of English, RISD
Eng-Beng Lim, Assistant Professor of Theater Arts and Performance Studies

3 thoughts on “Teach-In Response To Gay Teen Suicides”

  1. the other joe berstein

    Rob You Raging Queen,

    You are correct, it does not prove one is homophobic but it does show that you prefer to be ill informed, ignorant of facts and an obsession with interfering in other people’s lives. If you don’t believe in gay marriage, do not be gay and do not marry someone of the same sex. It should be that simple. Anything else beyond that is questionable behavior especially for someone claiming to be a christian. You seem to be devoid of the compassion, the empathy, the ‘judge not lest ye shall be judged’ facets of your faith, which are all stated clearly in the bible over and over again.

    Comparatively, homosexuality is hardly a major issue in the bible and your obsession with them is very telling. Quite frankly, from what I read of your obsessive anti-gay comments, you are a poorly functioning christian who has missed the entire point of Jesus’ teachings.

    “Not all gays who are harassed take their own lives?” That’s your christian defense? How about – “Some gays do take their lives because they are being harassed and I find this appalling.” That’s the proper christian response, one that you cannot muster or consider.

    Your outward desire and outspokenness to make homosexuals lives more miserable is disturbing. Among many things, it demonstrates that you prefer to focus on gays instead of making your own life more fulfilling. If you had enough happiness in your life, the gay community would never enter your thoughts. Instead, at any mention of them on the dose website, there you are to make your presence known stating over and over again how you believe same sex marriage is abnormal. Your obsession with stating your opinion on the gay lifestyle is so obvious to everyone but yourself and much more abnormal.

    Rob, how would gay marriage negatively impact your life?

  2. I wholeheartedly support any program that would address the issue of suicide. However, I think it is a separate issue from the homophobia/same-sex attraction issues. We must tread very carefully because belieiving same-sex attraction is abnormal does not make one “homophobic”. Also, people take their own lives for many reasons. Not everybody who is harassed for being gay takes their own life, just as not every person who experiences a romantic breakup takes their own life. There is a deeper issue here that goes beyond sexual orientation.

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