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Tag Archives: homophobia

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PhillyMag: This article from Pacific Standard,  tells of a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health:

 “We found evidence that anti-gay prejudice is associated with elevated mortality risk among heterosexuals, over and above multiple established risk factors,” writes a research team led by Mark Hatzenbuehler of Columbia University. “In particular, there was a 2.5-year life expectancy difference between individuals with high vs. low levels of anti-gay prejudice.”

The cause, the researchers write in the American Journal of Public Health, may be homophobes’ higher stress levels. It appears all that intense discomfort takes a physical toll.

The results were compiled after a study of the General Social Survey, which keeps a running tab on Americans’ attitudes and behaviors, and the death records in the National Death Index. Scientists concentrated specifically on answers regarding opinions on homosexuality from 1988 to 2002. The final sample comprised 20,226 American homophobes, 19 percent of which had died by the year 2008.

After adjusting for a variety of factors known to influence health and mortality, including age, race, marital status, income, and education, the researchers found anti-gay prejudice was “significantly associated with elevated mortality,” resulting in “a-life expectancy difference of approximately 2.5 years.”

While they found no link between homophobia and cancer deaths, anti-gay bias “was specifically associated with cardiovascular-related causes of death among heterosexuals,” they write.

Queerty: Staten Island’s Matthew Francis, 21 (pictured), and Christopher Orlando, 17, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and attempted robbery as hate crimes stemming from the Oct. 3 West Village bar bathroom gay bashing of Benjamin Carver. Separately, Queens’ Frederick Giunta, 25, also pleaded not guilty on charges of attacking Julius bartender Greg Davis on Oct. 11 while screaming racist and anti-gay slurs.

Outsports: In yet another example of the rampant homophobia in European sports, Croatian Football Federation president Vlatko Markovic has said gays are not welcome in his league.

“While I’m a president of the Croatian Football Federation, there will be no homosexuals playing in the national team”, Vlatko Markovic said in an interview with Croatian national daily Vecernji List.

Asked whether in his career he has met a homosexual footballer, he has replied

“Luckily, only normal people play football“.

Croatian gay organizations are consideration an anti-discrimination lawsuit against the 73-year-old Markovic, who was a young boy when the Nazis came to town.

It’s amazing to me how people hold up Europe as this gay panacea where all people are accepted for who they are, yet the European sports world makes the NFL and Major League Baseball look like a Pride Parade.

 

SoulForce.org: LGBT activists from across the country will gather in Philadelphia on Friday, Nov. 5, to rally against homophobia in support of subjugated LGBT youth.

Soulforce, a non-profit that hopes to end political and religious oppression against LGBT people through nonviolent resistance, will sponsor the ’Life Rally’ in Love Park. The event is part of a two-day initiative , which will include a symposium that is aimed at “debunk[ing] the myths that plague [the] national conversation about homosexuality.”

The Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, executive director of Soulforce, told EDGE the recent media attention surrounding LGBT teen suicides and Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project offers an opportunity to end bullying once and for all.

“While we completely support the idea of It Gets Better, we also know that young people need tools that help them get better right now, not someday,” said Love. “The only good news about the recent focus on teen suicide is that everyone now knows something has to be done. We hope that our symposium is a catalytic event in the lives of individuals and our community so that concrete steps are taken to better support and empower young people.”

The idea for the rally came after Jason Connor, community director for Soulforce’s, came out to his family during their annual Equality Ride, a bus tour that addressed anti-LGBT legislation at college campuses across the country. Connor’s Mormon family consequently disowned him, spurring him to address the alarming number of LGBT suicides within the faith-based community.

What's It Like to Be a Gay Teen

Gawker: What seems most befuddling about the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the gay teen whose roommate broadcast him having sex, is how this one incident lead to his death. It’s because being a gay teen can be akin to prolonged torture.

Yes, high school—and often college—sucks for everyone. That’s because teens are total assholes. They’re just like normal people, but amped up on a combination of hormones and self-doubt that makes them particularly awful. And mean! Teens are cruel, especially to other teens and especially to other teens who are perceived as different.

Imagine your worst high school memory and multiply it by ten and that is how bad it is for many gay teenagers every day. The ones that have it the worst are those that are bullied repeatedly by their peers until they become suicidal, drop out of school, or are robbed of their education because they can’t focus on learning the Pythagorean theorem or the amendments to the Constitution because they’re thinking about how they’re going to physically survive the day. In many cases, parents, teachers, principals and other grown-ups don’t care about about the gay student’s problems and condone the bullying behavior, either explicitly or with their own inaction.

Sure, there are places where there is real acceptance among peers, teachers, and parents, and not everyone with the strength to come out ends up suffering from bullying. But you’d be hard pressed to find one gay person who hasn’t felt the sting of a slur at one time or another. And while some parts of the country are making their schools safer for all children, other areas don’t seem that interested in protecting gay students.

Just yesterday, 13-year-old Seth Walsh died after hanging himself in a tree in his backyard because he couldn’t escape the bullies. Kids like Seth are legally obligated to go to school, but there is no legal obligation to keep teens from behaving like anything less than savages. His parents couldn’t help him and with no assistance available at school, he felt like he was left with only one tragic option. And he’s not the only one. This month alone gay teens Justin Aaberg, Billy Lucas, and Asher Brown all killed themselves because they were harassed, belittled, humiliated—or worse.

It’s hard to tell him that it’s going to get better. That’s what columnist and activist Dan Savage is doing with his YouTube channel. He’s enlisting adult gay men and lesbians to record videos for gay youth telling them to hold on because life will improve. Well, yes, it will, but that’s little solace when you’re being harassed every time you go to your locker to get a notebook. Just when will it get better? Would Seth Walsh have to endure five more years of abuse before making it out of high school and into a more nurturing environment?

That’s the saddest part about Tyler Clementi’s story. I don’t know if he was out to his parents or if he was out in high school or how he was treated before landing at Rutgers, but I know from personal experience that graduating high school and going to college is the one thing many gay teens have to look forward to. Many are just waiting for their parents to drive away with an empty minivan, so that they can go into the dorm and come out for the first time in their lives. They imagine college as this magical place where everyone will love and accept them and they might even have the chance to meet people like them, or go on a date with a cute boy (or girl) and do all the silly, mundane things that college kids do the world over.

We still don’t know much about what happened at Rutgers, but based on Clementi’s roommate Dharun Ravi’s Tweets and Facebook page and Clementi’s posts on a gay message board, the environment at school doesn’t seem very supportive. In fact, it was so unsupportive that Ravi and his friends rallied around to broadcast Clementi’s most intimate moments on the internet and mocked him for them. How hard it must be to find out that the kids at college are just as cruel as the kids in high school.

I wish I could go back and tell Tyler that things would get better and make him believe it. I really wish I was there for him—for all these kids—in those moments before they made their final decision. To tell them that it’s not their fault and that we would make it through this together. I wish I was there to tell their attackers to stop because they are literally committing murder. I wish I could bring each of them back, as silly as it sounds, because we failed them. We all failed them by pretending like it’s easier to be a gay teen now, that there still aren’t people in the world that are happy that gay teens are killing themselves.

For each one of us survivors—gay men and women who made it through the torture alive—we feel the blow of Tyler Clementi’s shame. Having to relive the indignity of what happened to him makes it feel for all of us like it will never get better, like there is no escape. If we can’t save these kids’ lives, then all of our struggles for civil rights and marriage equality aren’t worth anything. Naturally it will get better. Each time a gay kid is voted class president, it gets better. Each time a Gay Straight Alliance is formed at a high school, it gets better. Each time a parent hugs their gay teen it gets better and better until one day, it’s completely fine and all of our struggles will feel like they meant something. Yes, it will definitely get better. But on days like this, it’s a little hard to believe.

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