Archive for the ‘Anti-Bullying’ Category

Recently, the FBI released their annual Hate Crime Statistics for 2010 and, once again, the number of hate crime victims attacked because of their sexual orientation has increased.

According to the report, 1,528 victims were the target of a hate crime due to their sexual orientation. This means 19.3 percent of all hate crimes in 2010 were because of a person’s sexual orientation. This number is up from 2009 report, which said 18.5 percent of hate crimes were because of a person’s sexual orientation.

Of the victims this year, nearly 900 were the attacked specifically because of anti-male homosexuality. The next highest statistics (anti-female homosexuality) claimed approximately 700 less victims than male homosexuals, with bisexuality and heterosexuality remain in the double digits.

We can only expect these numbers to increase. The Human Rights Campaign’s statement regarding hate crimes is as follows:

Every hour, a crime motivated by the perpetrator’s bias against the victim occurs in the United States. These hate crimes terrorize whole communities by making members of certain classes – whether racial minorities, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, religious minorities or people who are perceived to be members of these groups – afraid to live in certain places and be free to move about in their community and across the country.

Despite campaigns, such as “It Gets Better” and a huge support group from people with a huge fan-base (President Obama, Lady GaGa, Sean Avery, etc.), hate crimes targeted toward sexual orientation is still increasing.

Perhaps by attempting to create equality for the homosexual community, we’re causing more friction between groups that already have hatred toward LGBT.

This is just more of a reason for supporters of LGBT to keep fighting and preventing these types of crimes. If someone is being bullied or harmed because of their sexual orientation, religious viewpoints or race, they need to seek help.

For more information about the 2010 Hate Crime Statistics, please click the following link: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hate-crime/2010/tables/table-1-incidents-offenses-victims-and-known-offenders-by-bias-motivation-2010.xls

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“A young man committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate alledgly posted a video of the him online having sex with another man.”

“A 13-year-old boy hung himself after being bullied by other teenagers at school for being gay.”

“A middle school st udent shot himself after informing his parents he was gay and being bullied by at least four other kids at school.”

We’ve all seen this stories on the news, or read them in the newspaper, or even came across them while scrolling through the internet. And why did this have to happen? Bullying. These three homosexuals had to lose their lives because somebody else in their life was making them miserable enough to put a gun to their head, or jump off a bridge, or hang themselves.

Fortunately, a lot of foundations and awareness projects have been created recently to make younger people feel more comfortable with their sexuality. Projects such as the “It Gets Better” Project and Spirit Day were made to raise awareness of gay suicides and give people hope that it does, in fact, get better. Many media influences, such as Lady GaGa, Adam Lambert, Steve Jobs, Stephen Colbert and even President Barack Obama, have participated in these projects.

Does our country not see what it has done? We have allowed homosexuals to feel so alone and closed off that they see killing themselves as the only form of relief. It should never have gotten to the point where so many LGBT members had to lose their lives.

We can’t turn back the clock and give these people their lives back, but we can make sure nothing like it happens again. By simply posting a video on youtube to show support or wearing purple one day out of the year, you can make a difference. Be a positive influence that we need to see in the world.

Bullying is the silent killer…but, I hope that one day, our voice can make it not so silent.

Last week marked the 13th anniversary of the brutal attack on 21-year-old Matthew Shepard.  He was beaten, robbed and pistol-whipped by two men, who then tied him to a fence and left him for dead.  As if this pathetic display of humanity’s moral compass wasn’t enough, a preacher from Topeka, Kansas brought his message of hate to Shepard’s funeral.  The  narrow-minded flock of Bible thumpers were protesting the funeral, carrying signs with phrases such as “No Tears for Queers” and “Fag Matt in Hell”.

This is the kind of ignorance and intolerance that makes the world a dangerous and scary place for homosexuals.  The idea that someone would commit a crime so violent and discriminatory makes me sick.  But to have a church, a place supposedly to give sanctuary and comfort to those in need, completely disrespect the loss of Shepard’s young life…that’s a whole new level of immoral.  It was a funeral; a time for people to pay their respects and remember the lost life of a loved one.  There is absolutely no justified excuse for it.

Last week brought back memories and issues that have long-since haunted the minds of all minorities across the country.  Even though we live in the land of the free, some people choose not to see it that way.  Whether it comes in the form of racists, sexists or narrow-minded Christians, there are some people in our society who feel they are superior or worth more than others.

Fortunately, in October 2009, President Barak Obama passed the Matthew Shepard Act.  The law expands on the U.S. federal hate crime law to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

Hate crimes and bullying towards minorities are not uncommon.  Anniversaries, such as Matthew Shepard’s, remind us there are still people in the world who choose to fill their hearts and minds with hate, rather than love and tolerance.  As we remember the lives of those lost due to the hatred of others, focus on what us, as the future generation, can do to make the world a better place for all with love, peace and equality.