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GLBT Teens at Risk
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff posted:
We've seen news and reports about bullying, depression and suicide in GLBT Teens . But despite campaigns like the It Gets Better project and calls to make bullying against the law, the teen suicides continue.

14 year old Jamey Rodemeyer of New York, took his life in September. This past weekend, 15 year old Jamie Hubley of Ottawa , Canada, did the same.

What do you think we can do better to support GLBT teens? If you are/were a GLBT teen, what do you wish had been available for you?

Byroney
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Debbie1Lawrence responded:
I grew up transsexual. I knew I was a girl trapped in a boy's body before I was 5 and it wasn't a problem until they told me that I was a boy and that I HAD to play with the other boys, and wasn't ALLOWED to play with the girls anymore.

Keep in mind, I had the hormonal markers by that age. When I was born, the doctor saw penis, no testes, and said "boy". Even what I had was unusually small.

By the time I was 3 my mother realized it wasn't safe for me to play with boys. Boys usually push and fight, and jostle each other around. It's often called "posturing". Not only didn't I fight back, but I would let them take all of my toys, tie me to a wagon, and drag me behind their bikes - even though I was bloody from similar stunts the week before.

On the other hand, I naturally gravitated to girls. We'd play with dolls, coloring books, writing and drawing, and dress-up. One time we even put on a "circus", where I put on a leotard and tights and jumped off the garage roof into a "net" made of bed-springs and about 5 mattresses. I wasn't scared and didn't get hurt because I trusted girls.

When they forced me to "be a boy and play with the boys", it didn't work out well at all. I was stoned, clubbed, kicked, and pulled off a tree (almost crippled). I was hospitalized numerous times. Eventually, the Phys Ed teacher decided it was safer for me to chase butterflies and grass-hoppers than to try and make me play team sports with boys.

Jr High wasn't much better. Everybody assumed I was gay (so I know first-hand what THAT experience is like). I WAS gay - I was a lesbian, but how do you explain it.

Living in school as LGBT is a bit like being an undercover cop, a spy, or a Jew in Nazi Europe. You know that if you EVER blow your cover, it could result in a very slow and very painful death - if you are LUCKY!

Today, police investigate teen suicides for indications of bullying and they have found that a substantial number of male teen suicides, especially those not involving guns, are teens who were LGBT and were either rejected by a love interest, outed involuntarily, or bullied because they had been outed involuntarily.

Keep in mind that the cyber-bullying is just the tip of the iceberg. Often the real violence has been going on for years, and often under the watchful eye of gym teachers who seem to approve of the violence. Many are ex-military, and are aware that the original purpose of the phys ed program was to prepare young men to be soldiers, so beating up a "wash out", "4F", or section 8 prepares the boys to be more violent in combat.

Sadly it also promotes sexism as well as homophobia. Even the language - "Sissy", "Fairy", "Tinkerbell", "Queen", are used to reinforce that feminine is bad, the worst thing you could be.

When you combine a TS who already hates his body and is repulsed every time SHE looks at HIS reflection in the mirror, and combine that with others who hate her for being what she really wants to be - it's like being sentenced to life in solitary confinement, with no possibility of parole. Then they find out there is a way to end the pain in a few seconds or even minutes. Death doesn't seem to be such a horrible option.

The problem is that when an LGBT child hears parents, ministers, other trusted adults, and other kids talking about how "queers are an abomination" and should be killed, it tells the kid that they can't trust anyone who says it, or anyone who listens, even a nod of the head warns you that they can't be trusted.


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