The O-town Scene

October 14, 2010

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Gay bully- ing shows we have a long way to go On Sept. 22 America suffered a loss. It was not due to a terrorist attack or some natural phenomenon. America lost a young man attending Rutgers University with a bright future ahead of him named Tyler Clementi. Clementi jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after he discovered his roommate filmed a sexual encounter he had with another man and posted it online. Not only did we lose Clem- enti, but there was also press about eight other young adolescents who committed suicide in September due to homophobic bullying over their sexual orientation and gender expression. This string of deaths high- lights the disproportionate number of suicides commit- ted by LGBTQ youth. These and misunderstandings of what it means to be LGBTQ. LGBTQ youths need guidance and secure role models in light of the constant barrage of criticism and negative at- titudes toward homosexuality and attempts to convert them to heterosexuality. deaths are an outrage and do not reflect well on our society and how it perceives LGBTQ individuals. Young people are generally very sensitive to their sexual awakening. When that in- dividual is a LGBTQ person, this compounds the trauma of that awakening by adding a whole other set of confusing feelings and emotions. Add homophobic bullying into the equation and this can spell disaster, such as in the case of Clementi and the others. These unnecessary deaths are a direct result of our soci- ety’s homophobia, prejudice My heart aches each time I hear of an energetic, talented young person taking his or her own life due to fear and anxiety over their sexuality and what people will think if they find out. We, as a soci- ety, can no longer allow such a loss of human potential over something as insignifi- cant as one’s sexual orienta- tion or gender expression. Great strides have been made to advance equal- ity for this nation’s LGBTQ population. The deaths of Tyler Clementi and others prove that we certainly have a long way to go until full, unequivocal equality is won. We shall fight on. We shall persevere with the memories of those who have fallen victim to homophobia and have taken from themselves the most precious gift given to all of us; their lives. Jim Koury Want to write for the O-town Scene? E-mail Cassandra at LGBTQ Events Thurs. 10/14 Trash Thursday with Katrina, 9 p.m., Mer- lin’s, 201 State St., Binghamton. Fri. 10/15 College Night at Merlin’s, 201 State St., Binghamton.College ID’s in free before 11 p.m. Haunted Mill, 8 to 10 p.m., basement of the Stone Mill of Little Falls. Sat. 10/16 SAGE Transgender Potluck, 5 to 9 p.m., First English Lutheran Church, SAGE offices, second floor library, Syracuse. Bring a dish to pass. Transgender Coffee Hour, 9:30 to 11 a.m. Express Cafe & Bakery, 164 N. Main St., Elmira. Hosted by Gender Education & Expressions of Central New York. Angela Radka at Sun. 10/17 Syracuse LGBT Catholics & Friends Catho- lic mass, 5 p.m., All Saints Church, 1304 Lancaster Ave., Syracuse. (315) 770- 2155. Wed. 10/20 Wear Purple Day, in remembrance of recent LGBTQ suicides. Thurs. 10/21 Guess the Gay, 7 p.m., Waterfront, Hunt Student Union, SUNY Oneonta. Sun. 10/24 Men’s pot-luck hosted by Pride Along the Mohawk, 5 p.m., 412 Rutger St., Utica. RSVP-required, (315) 734-1653. Mon. 10/25 ‘Hidden Voices: The lives of LGBTQ Mus- lims,’ 7 p.m., Waterfront, Hunt Student Union, SUNY Oneonta. 26 O-Town Scene Oct. 14, 2010 the Diversity Scene Oct. 14-20

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