We repeat the same mistake, we focus on the act, bullying and avoid to deal with the real cause for gay teen deaths, bigotry. The same mistake we make with terrorism as being the enemy. Terrorism is a tactic, how do you end a tactic?
Now we sit around wringing our hands and interject our personal narrative about bullying when in truth, it is the bigotry that the young gay people encounter. It’s the openings that are given by the dominant cultural role models, the religious, politicians, media and other people in a place of power.
If we accept that the bigotry that is being spread is the cause, we would have to challenge the homophobic bigots. But, instead we choose to call it bullying and that it happens to everyone. No, this is a specific attack, a specific crime: anti gay bigotry. People use bullying to be bigots, sexists, xenophobes and racists. We have to attack the ignorance that makes it ok to persecute others.
We have to address the cause, not the tactic. But, it will make us all feel good to raise our voices against bullying and blur the real cause: HOMOPHOBIC BIGOTRY. Not attacking the cause, always leaves that opening of ” well, it’s ok against them”.
Until we as a nation and communities give Gay citizens their full rights and stop with the public bigotry, young gay people will be persecuted, hurt and abused. And still, the laws alone, as we have seen with African Americans and women, will not change the bigotry, only a society that is willing to face its roots of bigotry can change the trajectory.