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Opinion: What ‘Glee’ tells us about new LGBT allies

The Valentine’s Day episode of “Glee” introduced the God Squad’s Joe Hart, a student who is a committed Christian. His only tattoos are bible quotes, and each of his dreadlocks is named after a bible verse. Joe wants to make Christianity cool, so the God Squad, a Christian club, agrees to sing “vocal valentines” for any student who dedicates a song.

When the God Squad sings to Rachel, an irate Santana – who was already angry with her principal because of his double-standard regarding public displays of affection between gay couples – asks if they are Christian. When they say yes, the cheerleader tells them she wants to send a “vocal valentine” to her girlfriend: “And I don’t mean my friend who’s a girl. I mean my girlfriend girlfriend. How’s that sound?”

Read the rest of the article at:  http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/02/24/opinion-what-glee-tells-us-about-new-lgbt-allies/

Opinion: What the tragedy of Tyler Clementi teaches about teen sexting

 Dharun Ravi made videos of his college roommate, Tyler Clementi, sexually involved with another man. Tyler was unaware that he was being recorded and broadcast. Confronted with this violation of his privacy, Tyler committed suicide by jumping from the George Washington bridge.

In 2008, Jessica Logan, a high school senior in Ohio, sent naked pictures of herself to her boyfriend. When they broke up, he forwarded those photos to others. Logan was called a slut and a whore, according to numerous news reports. She eventually committed suicide – just weeks  after graduation- by hanging herself in her bedroom closet.

Read the rest of the article here: http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/19/opinion-what-the-tragedy-of-tyler-clementi-teaches-about-teen-sexting/

Opinion: How bystanders can protect kids from bullying

By David M. Hall, Special to CNN

(CNN) - When EricJames Borges was in college, he said, his mother performed an exorcism over him to “cure” him of being gay. He recalled reaching a breaking point in high school when he was assaulted in class while a teacher was present. He said that verbal and physical assaults, which included being spit on, occurred on a daily basis.

Borges’ personal pain was evident in the “It Gets Better” video he published in December, when his disposition and mood seem to provide a window into the ways he was tormented. In an effort to help vulnerable LGBT teens, he volunteered for The Trevor Project, an LGBT suicide-prevention organization.

Last week, Borges committed suicide.

In coverage of this tragic story, much attention has been paid to the fact that through his work with The Trevor Project, he knew what counseling resources were at his disposal, though he didn’t manage to access them. However, little attention has been paid to what bystanders could have done at a more formative time in his life. Allies and bystanders could have protected Borges from years of isolation and the devastating feelings that accompany it.

Read the rest of this blog post at:  http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/16/opinion-how-bystanders-can-protect-kids-from-bullying/

 

Attention Rick Santorum: Here’s how to support a gay child

By David M. Hall, Special to CNN

(CNN) - During the final Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, Rick Santorum was asked how he would respond if his son told him he was gay.

“I would love him as much as I did the second before he said it,” Santorum responded.

He received applause for this statement, which is surprising since loving our children is expected and should not merit applause. But further inquiry is necessary to understand whether Santorum would support his son in a way that would help him lead a healthy, productive, happy life.

In a 2003 interview, Santorum was asked how he would respond if one of his children were gay, and he stated that he would “point out to them what is the right thing to do. And we have many temptations to do things we shouldn’t do. That doesn’t mean we have to give in to those temptations… it doesn’t mean you have to submit.” Millions of parents across this country have similar feelings to Santorum. What Santorum and like-minded parents need to know is the immense harm that this response can cause their LGBT children.

Read the rest of this article at:  http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/09/attention-santorum-how-to-support-a-gay-child/