Back when I was growing up, things were different. Bullying was an accepted part of growing up and you were expected to deal with it on your own. Only "sissies" & "crybabies" complained to the adults. And when I was in high school, most of the gay kids were accepted. It was a slightly different moral situation then, as glam rock had become big and being gay or bisexual was "cool" in certain circle. While most of the gay kids weren't overly obvious about their inclinations, most of the kids in high school knew who was who and if you didn't like the queer kids, you left them alone.
That was then. Bullying has become some a lot more dark and dangerous these days. Back in the 70's, you could still get away from the bullying when you weren't in school. Now however, it follows you - on social networks, on you cell phones, on your computer. The harassing never stops and hidden behind the sort of anonymity that being online allows, it's gotten a lot nastier. Kids that wouldn't have been cruel your face are more than happy to come after you cyberneticly. So perhaps it's not surprising that the suicide rate among kids who are being bullied has risen dramatically. Current statistics show that 17 kids are taking their own lives EVERY DAY, because of bullying - some of them as young as 11 years old.
While being gay has become somewhat more acceptable on a large scale, the hate has turned up as well. Fueled by the Aids pandemic of the mid-80s and early-90s, more and more people are taking out their homophobia on the gay community, and more so among the kids. Anyone who is different becomes a target for bullying, so the homophobic population of schools and churches naturally vent their hate on the gay kids - and it's not right. They can't help what they are.
Being gay is not a part of your upbringing, as some people think. It's natural, you're just born that way. And yes, it does happen IN NATURE, so anyone who tells you being gay is not natural is ill-informed - or perhaps just a hater.
The Prevent the Heartache blog train is being presented to help raise awareness of bullying amongst gay teens. While any statistics regarding how many teen suicides happen because of a child's sexual orientation (Without accurate numbers on how many gay teens there are, any estimate about their suicide rate is little more than a guess), it is believed that Gay and Lesbian teens are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their heterosexual counterparts.
Some signs of suicidal behavior include:
expressions of hopelessness
signs of depression
suicidal thoughts or feelings
giving away of valued personal belongings
These thoughts and behaviors can be triggered by emotional trauma, like bullying or rejection, but suicide prevention is possible.
If you believe your teen, or a teen you may know is suicidal, intervention is absolutely necessary. Don't turn your back and believe that they will work it out for themselves. What you might have gone through in your youth is nothing compared to what kids are going through today.
Okay, enough of the public service portion of this post, you want you freebie, I know. This Anti-Hate themed digital taggers kit was created in support of FCKH8. Please visit their site to find out more about how you can support the FCKH8 campaign.
If you know someone who is interested in this kit, please direct them to my blog where they can download their own copy. Free to use is NOT the same thing as free to share. My graphics are copyright protected.
To download this kit from Mediafire, click HERE.
The password is "H8rs_Suck" - no quotes
If you enjoyed this freebie, please take a moment to vote for Digi!
Click on the blinkie to vote!
Also be sure to visit the rest of the stops in the Prevent the Heartache train. And if you download, be sure to leave a thank you. Your thanks are the fuel that keep these blog trains running!
Lisa with: Arty-Pharty
Annette with: AW Design
Chantal with: ADM Scraps
Deanna with: Butterfly Kisses Scraps
Jill with: Created By Jill Scraps
Stuart with: Creative Crazy Scraps
Daniela with: Dark Moon's Dream
Dianna with: Digicats (& Dogs)
Miriam with: Ellanoir
Holly with: Freek’s Creations
Jessica with: Gothic Inspirations
Lee with: Midnight Music Words
Victoria with: Maitri Scraps
Pam with: pamkez
Shelle with: Shellez Creations
Kara with: Sweet Cravings Scraps
Stef with: Stef’s Scrapkits
Tracey with: Tracey’s Tags and Treasures
Sue with: Wicked Creationz
Thanks for stoping by and enjoy your ride on the Prevent the Heartache blog train!