Today it is from a NYT blog post, called “Two Little Boys.” It is about Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera, two 11-year-old boys who killed themselves in the past two weeks because of the homophobic bullying they were subject to at school:
We, as a society, should be ashamed. The bodies of these children lay at our feet. The toxic intolerance of homophobic adults has spilled over into the minds of pre-sexual children, placing undue pressure on the frailest of shoulders. This pressure is particularly acute among young boys who are forced to conform to a perilously narrow concept of masculinity. Or else.
Do you hear that, Brandon McGinley, Daily Princetonian columnist? Do you hear that, NOM? Do you hear that, Anscombe? We adults can shrug our shoulders, and brush off silly ads that tell us the storm is coming. We can make our communities that don’t offer admittance to those who tell us we are second-class citizens. But we still can’t stop; we can’t live in our bubble. We need to make the world safe for all the little kids of the future. It’s our duty to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
I spent a couple months this semester trying to understand people like the members of the Anscombe Society. I’ve tried to get inside their heads, see their points of view, talk to them about who they are and why they are that way. But I’ve given up, and now I’ve decided I’m going to fight. There’s no time to try to understand a point of view that wants to deny civil rights to people who are different, when little kids are dying because society is telling 11-year-olds that it’s okay to make fun of people by calling them “gay” or “fag” or “queer” or “dyke” or “homo.”
I know that it’s sometimes considered short-sighted or naïve to develop a political worldview based on a single issue. I know that I’m driving myself crazy, coming to lunch every day filled with anger at something homophobic that I’ve read in the news or that’s happened on campus. But if there’s anything I can do, and that we all can do, it’s to stand up, speak out, and fight back. I don’t want to let a single homophobic comment stand without offering up something in opposition. I don’t want any prospective Princeton students to read the Prince and think this is not a safe place to be queer, and I certainly don’t want another 11-year-old boy to kill himself because the pressure of his peers’ homophobic taunts is too great.
This is something we all can do together. We need to make change. Before another kid is robbed of a future.