The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Rash of Suicides

Oct 11, 2010

Vigils and demonstrations have been held across the country in sadness and horror over a wave of suicides by gay young people.

The list of teenagers who recently took their own lives is long. Cody Barker, age 17 of Wisconsin; Asher Brown, age 13 of Texas; Seth Walsh, age 13 of California; Tyler Clementi, age 18 of New Jersey; Raymond Chase, age 19 of Rhode Island; Justin Aaberg, age 15 of Minnesota; and Billy Lucas, age 15 of Indiana.

These were young people just trying to find a place for themselves in society. The responsibility for their deaths falls squarely on the shoulders of all those reactionary forces that in the name of religion or “traditional values” condemn as “immoral” homosexual people.

Describing the situation of gay or perceived to be gay young people, columnist Dan Savage recently wrote:

“Being told that they’re sinful ... or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality – even if ... people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way” has catastrophic consequences.

Parents who teach their own children fundamentalist religious ideas “may only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, but your children have the option of attacking actual real gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.

Those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair.”

These reactionary forces that perpetuate the torment of gay people are the same reactionary forces that attack women’s rights.

Such ancient prejudices and disgusting bigotry belong in the dustbin of history!