From the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle:
Gary Takesian, director of the acclaimed anti-bullying documentary “Teach Your Children Well,” told an audience Monday night at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Hillcrest that anti-gay bullying is the worst form of bullying.
He explained that anti-gay bullying is quite different, saying that kids who are bullied for their ethnic background, for example, can often go home and share their stories with their families who share the same ethnicity. Many gay kids, however, do not have the support of their families, multiplying feelings of isolation, helplessness and hopelessness, and generating suicidal thoughts….
“Prejudice is learned,” he said. “Children are born innocent,” so they learn bias from their parents and from the people who surround them. “We should be encouraging our children to express themselves … We shouldn’t be judgmental.”
The documentary describes the epidemic of bully and suicide as “bullycide,” and ends somberly by showing listing some of the gay teens who chose death rather than face another day of bullying.
The audience numbering more than 60 people also heard from the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle of St. Paul’s Foundation; Robin Voss, another filmmaker involved in “Teach Your Children Well” documentary; Vincent Pompei, chair of the Center For Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership at San Diego State University; Colin Pearce, co-chair of GLSEN (Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network) San Diego; and Armando Ruiz, an openly gay senior and GLSEN member at Santana High School in Santee.
The event at St. Paul’s Cathedral was tied around International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), which will be on Thursday, May 17.
How to find help if you feel suicidal
If you or a young person you care about needs support, call The Trevor Lifeline at (866) 488-7386. It’s free, confidential and available 24/7. Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.
— National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255
— Suicide Awareness Voices of Education: save.org.
— Suicide Prevention Resource Center: www.sprc.org
— Every county operates immediate mental health crisis response services. For information, contact your local county human services agency.