Monday, July 21, 2008

Young, gay and murdered

A heartbreaking story of a gay 8th grader named Larry who was brutally murdered by another 8th grader. The story raises complex questions about how we deal with kids who have a unique sense of their own sexuality, especially at such a young age. The tragedy of this story is that nobody could figure out how to help Larry find an appropriate balance between expressing his own individuality and the social and educational expectations of the school, and nobody could figure out how to help the other students relate to Larry. This is what happens when a puritannical mindset controls our national consciousness, and we refuse to have a healthy dialogue about sexuality in this country, instead relying on farcical "abstinence" education that may make parents feel good because they don't have to "deal" with their teenagers' sexuality, but in reality does more harm than good in not giving kids real information that they need to navigate life as a fully-functional human being.

Read the story and make up your own mind. How would you have prevented Larry's death?