Hundreds Rally Against Homophobia in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO — Hundreds of people took to San Francisco streets on Friday night to send a powerful message and try to save lives.
The participants said they took action in response to the recent string of gay teenagers who committed suicide.
The event Friday night was called “Stand Up To Youth Suicide” and started with a rally at the Civic Center and march up Market Street to the Castro.
In recent weeks, several gay teenagers in California and across the country have taken their own lives after being subjected to bullying.
In one instance, a teenager’s sexual encounter with another man was streamed over a web camera.
Bullying should have been made a national priority years ago during the Colombine School Massacre, but these incidents bring to light not only bullying but the seriousness of homophobia:
“When I was a teenager, I cut my wrist because I couldn’t accept myself,” Sabry said, “we come and liive in San Francisco, in a bubble thinking that everything will be oaky but these stories come up and remind us that things are different outside our bubble.”
I blogged about this before at a site called Earthwalkers, where I noted some interesting comments by rapper Brother Ali (a Muslim convert, if that is relevant) on the issue:
4 young people commited suicide lately because of our society’s cruelty toward people we don’t understand. I’ve been part of the problem and I’m striving to be part of the solution. We need to change our attitude, our thinking and most of all our actions. Our society programs us feel and act ugly towards people who aren’t like us. We have to reprogram ourselves not to tolerate and accept, but to truly LOVE.
I think most of us have been a part of this problem. In movies like Knocked Up, there will be jokes that start off “Do you know how I know you’re gay?” This sort of thing has been ubiquitous in our culture in a way that it wouldn’t for any politically vulnerable minority group. It’s about time we, including myself, reassess ourselves.