"There's no correlation between inacceptance of homosexuality and depression and suicide."
Joseph Jefferson was a
gay activist who graduated from from New York City's Harvey Milk High
School. He was a mentor and advocate for gay teen youth. His worked
included GMAD - Gay Men of African Descent; POCC - People of Color in
Crisis; and, he helped to promote LGBT events for the NYC area.
Joseph Jefferson committed suicide by hanging himself this past weekend. He was 26 years old.
Christian Right has been trying to distance itself from the recent
spate of gay teen suicides. And in their hurry to negate any thoughts
of responsibility, their logic falls apart. The above statement by Tony
Perkins of Family Research Council is, of course, ludicrous: EVERYONE
knows that the demonizing of gays by religion has been a primary cause
of teen suicides. But what makes Perkins' statement so immensely
disingenuous is that he knows it. He even gets in a little demonizing
by saying that teen suicides occur because they "know" they are
"These young people who identify as gay or lesbian, we know from the social science that they have a higher propensity to depression or suicide because of that internal conflict."
And who helps that propensity along? Encourages it, in fact. Think about it.
Although Joseph Jefferson was 26 years old, his last heart-breaking statements to his friends on Facebook shared the same thoughts of gay teens everywhere:
"I could not bear the burden of living as a gay man of color in a world grown cold and hateful towards those of us who live and love differently than the so-called 'social mainstream.' Belonging is one of the basic human needs, when people feel isolated and excluded from a sense of communion with others, they suffer.