Saturday, 19 August 2017

Don't Leave Me Twisting In the Wind



Toby Meyers had just turned sixteen. A happy and engaging young teen, he was blessed with an outgoing nature, good grades and a witty, if not dry, sense of humour.  Toby had the world by its tail, to quote a well-worn phrase (that should have been retired, along with "happy camper" "Don't go there" and "at the end of the day", to name a few. Good looking (albeit perhaps a bit too strikingly so) with large blue eyes, full lips and was tall and skinny. Aren't those positive traits, particularly because they are enviably big pluses that pretty well guaranteed a place at the popular kids' alter. So what went so terribly wrong? "The Most Likely To Succeed" followed him everywhere: The high school halls and the shopping malls welcomed Toby with wide open arms. That is, until it was disclosed that he was gay. The "kiss of death" for students who had pretended to be straight, happy and well-adjusted.  And it didn't take long before Toby was outed, by a relatively influential, "cast of demiGods who operated under the radar and sparked an all-out plan of attack."


Why does this keep happening? It's getting to the point where these suicides are becoming so
prolific that they don't have the alarming reaction of the media that  they did even ten years or so ago. What rankles me is that the wake-up: Teen suicide is an epidemic has been going on for decades, but not much is being done about the sad position we now have-- declining access to school counselors,  parents who ignore the sad fact that they may have ticking time bombs living under their roof , as they're too busy living their own lives and selfishly ignoring the cries for help. Why is that? Have we come to the uneasy conclusion that children are raising themselves? It certainly appears that way. I'm not saying that every mother and father out there are guilty, because that just isn't the case.  
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Yes, this is  very sad and disturbing and the worst part is that these attacks on gay kids are just getting worse. Now that social media has burst on the scene, the bullying and violence has reached epidemic proportions. Camera phones that take permanent pictures of gay youth and plaster them all over their school lockers. It's as though no progress is happening at all. The Stonewall riots have seemingly been for nothing. Online attacks on vulnerable and self-loathing girls and boys have escalated and will only get worse. Yes, I am being brutally honest. But, no matter how dark and hopeless the gay teens' lives have become, there is some modicum of relief and hope: It's not too late. 


Everybody Hurts
When your day is long
And the night                                      
The night is yours alone
When you're sure you've had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don't let yourself go
'Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you've had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on

REM






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