You know, as more and more studies come out showing the correlation between a negative environment for gay teens and a heightened suicide rate, and as more of the gruesome results of anti-gay bullying are reported seemingly every week, we’ve seen the most awful haters on the Religious Right [Linda Harvey and Peter LaBarbera come to mind] do everything but express real concern for the kids involved. They hate gay people for many reasons, but one of them is that our existence negates the reality they’ve constructed for themselves. Peter Sprigg, who memorably suggested that gay people should be exported from the United States, and a primary factor in the Family Research Council being listed as a hate group, has decided to double down, penning this abjectly stupid, amoral screed against gay teens:
Last week, the journal Pediatrics published a study designed to bolster the political case for pro-homosexual policies in schools.
The Associated Press described the findings this way: “Suicide attempts by gay teens — and even straight kids — are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don’t have programs supporting gay rights.”
The study’s author, Mark Hatzenbuehler of Columbia University, called his findings “a call to action in providing a roadmap for how we can begin to reduce suicide in LGB youth.”
In any discussion of “sexual orientation,” it is important to remember that this is only an umbrella term for three quite different things—a person’s sexual attractions, the sexual behavior, and their self-identification. In the survey upon which this study was based, there was only a single question on “sexual orientation,” which asked “which of the following best describes you.” The choices were “heterosexual (straight), gay or lesbian, bisexual” or “not sure.” This is essentially a measure of self-identification.
Therefore, the logical take-away from the study would be this: the most effective way of reducing teen suicide attempts is not to create a “positive social environment” for the affirmation of homosexuality. Instead, it would be to discourage teens from self-identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Peter, you festering boil, stop talking. You are far too ignorant to speak on this subject. Because, you see, regardless of whether kids “self-identify” as gay, THEY WILL STILL BE GAY! We know that you, Peter, are an eliminationist monster, but that does not change reality! Homosexuality, despite what you think you’ve read in your old book of faith stories, is real, and it IS a perfectly normal sexual orientation, according to all true adults who are experts on such subjects. We have to deal with the reality that exists, Sprigg, not the one you envision in your black, bigoted heart.
However, there is at least some evidence even in this study that merely self-identifying as “gay,” at least publicly, is in itself a risk factor. Hatzenbuehler, in reviewing previous research on suicide attempts by “LGB” youth, noted “earlier age at disclosure” as a “risk factor . . . associated with suicidality.” In other words, the younger a teen “comes out of the closet” and announces to the world that he or she is homosexual or bisexual, the more likely that teen is to attempt suicide.
And I wonder what it is that LGBT kids come in contact when they come out younger! Stigma? Bullying? The kind reinforced and supported by the Religious Right? I wonder, I wonder, I wonder!
No, Peter, the problem is you, and all people like you. When your kind reaches Klan status in the average American mind — and you’re well on your way, based on your own words and actions — the problems for LGBT teens will drop sharply. Until then, well…I just hope we can be proactive enough to help reach these kids before they become statistics.