Are you serious? I just came back from a vigil in memory of the 9 teens who killed themselves last month because of anti-gay bullying. And then I discovered this link about the book Chased by an Elephant, the Gospel Truth about Today’s Stampeding Sexuality, by Janice Barrett Graham, which is apparently intended to “help shed the clear light of truth on today’s dark and tangled ideas about male and female, proper gender roles, the law of chastity, and the God-given sexual appetite.” The book “champions ex-gay therapy and curing people of their homosexuality.”
LGBTQ people, particularly teens, have an insanely, devastatingly, heartbreakingly high rate of suicide attempts and death by suicide. Survey results from the National Center for Transgender Equality discovered that “41% of those who responded reported having attempted suicide at some point in their lives.” The Trevor Project reports, “More than 1/3 of LGB youth report having made a suicide attempt (D’Augelli AR – Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology 2002).”
We do not need books teaching children that they should be cured of their sinful gayness. We do not need books teaching children that there are “proper” gender roles. Children — people — especially LGBTQ people — need to know that they are loved, that they are not alone, that being queer or trans is not wrong. They need messages of pride and support, like that of Chris Colfer at The Trevor Project — not messages that they would be better off dead. They need people in their lives who love and support them for who they are, not who people want them to be. They need a society that accepts them, not one that will turn a blind eye to the rampant homophobia and transphobia that does so much harm to so many people.