"I'm In The Mood For Love"
Clinical Psychology | 2012: Armageddon Or Mass Hysteria?
December 1, 2009
Throughout history, human beings have been foretelling the end of the world, but nothing out of the ordinary has so far come to pass. So what makes the date December 21, 2012 any different? Controversy continues to build around that date fueled by the one thing that all other similar occurrences appear to have in common, fear, a necessary component in mass hysteria. According to the American Heritage Medical Dictionary, mass hysteria is defined as “a socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.”
The operative word is “irrational” as proven by previous events in history such as the unrivaled hysteria that claimed innocent lives at the hands of supposedly educated men during the Salem Witch hunts. There was also the too-realistic radio broadcast of an adaptation of H.G. Well’s “War of the Worlds” where listening audiences actually believed that their country was being attacked by aliens, and more recently, the Y2K scare that had the entire world waiting breathlessly for the computer crash that never came.
Hate Crime Bill vs Attacks
But No Facts -> Fear And Ignorance = LUKEWARM
Of The Blind Leading The Blind
October 27, 2009
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
The bible in fact does not condemn Galileo or homosexuality, which science reveals that are normal elements of nature and human sexuality.
People for whatever reason seem to be using the bible to hide from their own personal sexual issues. This is a sacrilege! It is a total disrespect for the bible to be used to hide and harm innocent people, most especially children. These people do not check out the facts about the bible and science on homosexuality, because in truth they do not want to know the truth.
Even in discourse with people who believe that homosexuality is evil because they say the bible states it to be, as with Galileo, they are not interested in a discussion, they do not want to hear the truth. They only want to discredit the truth, in every conceivable way, by whatever means available to them. They are likely doing what they have been doing all their lives regarding their personal fears about the truth of their sexuality. There is nothing to be gain to be in discourse with such people. In fact, they should be avoided, because they are harmful. Because no matter what they say or how violently they say it, it will not cause the sun to revolve around the earth or for homosexuality to be evil. Photo NASA
ATTACKS and absolutely no FACTS
from the bible or science
It is a waste of time for you and for them, besides being seriously harmed by their "unchecked meanest" towards others. If and when they do their homework and truly study both the bible and the science regarding homosexuality and human sexuality then there could be a productive discourse. Otherwise, there are no discussions with them; only continuous personal attacks on the person who opposes them that are fierce, cruel and hurtful. Likely, in the way they treat themselves, which may have started when they were treated in such fashion, in their past.
Even Jesus advised leaving them because, as he said, "they are the blind leading the blind" Matthew 15:14. And it is these people who are worried that their freedom of speech will be curtailed, by the new additions to the Hate-Crime Bill. It is only their ability to remain in darkness that is being curtailed, which is greatly more fearful to them, than their concerns about their freedom of speech. They have attacks but absolutely no facts, all motivated by fear and a self-imposed ignorance of the facts. This is the same for Benedict XVI and his hierarchy you never hear any stated facts regarding human sexuality. None!!! They offer absolutely "no" discussion or classes on the topic of human sexuality. None!!! They offer no detailed documentation regarding human sexuality from the bible or science. None!!! Because they know only too well that it would not be approved by scripture scholars or by any scientific studies. Where is the truth, not to mention the LOVE? Photo
Their attacks are likely meant to be distractions to stay off the issue, because any attempts to keep them on the issue are met with fiercer and even more vicious attacks, but no facts, like an obsession. They seem to be like a child throwing a hysterical tantrum, however, unlike a child, they are able to cause serious harm to innocent people. It is this violence that the Hate-Crime Bill is designed to protect people from.
It is the intensity of their forcefulness to attack others without any substantiated facts to support their position that draws public attention to question their sexuality. It is like so many public figures who so forcefully have spoken out against homosexuality and then are found in "public restrooms" engaging in homosexual acts. Today, not only are more people "coming out" of the "closet" but there is an enormous ever growing number of Allies supporting LGBT people and their civil rights. It is the continuos education on human sexuality that keeps this number growing strong. However, it is also becoming more noticeable when someone protest too much against homosexuals with the absence of factural data to support the protesting that catches peoples attention and causes people to wonder, why? What causes this person to protest so strongly, because no valid facts are given?
What should be top priority is the life harm that is caused to children, who grow up LGBT and sadly it is not even considered of any importance. The Bible is about Love the purest form of Love known. The Bible is not about permission to hate, to remain blind or to harm people, especially very young children.
A life committed to leading by the Book
by Rose French,
October 27, 2010 - Star Tribune
Archbishop John Nienstedt is riding out several controversies of his own making. Amid a furious response, he remains collected, calm and resolved. Those who know him well say that's no surprise.
The man behind one of the loudest upheavals in Twin Cities Catholic history is a study in quiet control.
Since arriving nearly three years ago, Archbishop John Nienstedt, 63, has created a stir with his outspoken opposition to gay marriage, his strict support for orthodox doctrine and, now, his sweeping overhaul of the largest religious denomination in the metro area. For critics, he is the symbol of a deepening divide among the archdiocese's 800,000 members.
Through it all, Nienstedt has come across as a man of cool assurance, at times evoking the image of a CEO as he applies business-like language in describing the strategy behind the reorganization. He dismisses any notion that he may be rigid in his orthodoxy or steeped too deeply in politics.
Hysteria comes in different styles – sending out 400,000 anti-gay marriage DVDs that is void of any qualified scriptural, theological or scientific, psychological documentation, references could easily be classified as over the top hysteria, regardless of a perceived calm demeanor of the sender. It is even more alarming that this message contained in these DVDs is in direct contradiction to all accredited research and study in both fields of scripture and science. Such an action by an individual would be a cause of concern of a break with reality? Or dissociation? Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
"The Way You Look Tonight"
Performed by Maroon 5
The Psychology of the Closeted
Individual and Coming Out
In contemporary gay culture, to hide one sexual identity is referred to as either “closeted” or “in the closet.” Revealing oneself as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) is called “coming out.” 16 Paradigm • Fall 2007
by Jack Drescher, M.D.
Many LGB individuals report developmental histories with difficulty acknowledging their homosexuality, either to themselves or to others. This is because, starting in childhood, LGB individuals are often subjected to antihomosexual attitudes, not only from strangers, but also from their own families and communities (Drescher, Stein and Byne, 2005). The childhood need to hide may persist into adulthood, leading many LGB individuals to conceal important aspects of themselves.
There are a range of homosexual identities that describe an individual’s awareness and acceptance of same-sex attractions. Closeted individuals cannot acknowledge homoerotic feelings, attractions and fantasies to themselves. They cannot or will not integrate homosexuality into their public personae and these feelings must be dissociated out of conscious awareness.
If and when same-sex feelings and attractions are no longer completely dissociated, an individual becomes homosexually self-aware. Such individuals may acknowledge some aspect of their homosexuality to themselves. However, accepting the feelings is not a pre-determined outcome. A religious, homosexually self-aware woman may choose to remain celibate rather than integrate her religious and sexual identities…
Sullivan’s (1956) theories of dissociation elaborate how a sexual identity can be separated from the rest of one’s persona. For example, selective inattention is a common, nonpathological process, akin to tuning out the background noise on a busy street. In more intense dissociative mechanisms, double lives are lived yet not acknowledged. One sees clinical presentations of closeted gay people lying somewhere between selective inattention, most commonly seen in the case of homosexually self-aware patients thinking about “the possibility” that they might be gay, to more severe dissociation –in which any hint of same-sex feelings resides out of conscious awareness. More severe forms of dissociation are commonly observed in homosexually selfaware married men who cannot permit themselves the thought of coming out (Drescher, 2006).
To hide significant aspects of the self, or vigilantly separate from each other, can be painful. Constant hiding creates difficulties in accurately assessing other people’s perceptions of oneself as well as recognizing one’s own strengths. Dissociation’s impact on self-esteem can also make it difficult to feel one’s actual accomplishments as reflections of one’s own abilities. Transparency, invisibility, losing one’s voice, being an outsider, etc. are some of the terms used to describe the subjective experience of dissociative detachment (Drescher, 1998).
Read complete research:
Jack Drescher, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City.
Dr. Drescher is a leader in his profession. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and served as a Consultant to APA’s Committee on Public Affairs. He is a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders. He is a past Chair (2000-2006) of APA’s Committee on GLB Issues and a Past President of APA’s New York County Branch. He is currently the Co-Editor of AppleSource, the newsletter of the NYC DB of the APA. He is President-Elect of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, and a Past Trustee of both the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry. He is a member of numerous distinguished psychiatric, medical and scientific organizations, including The American College of Psychiatrists and the New York Academy of Medicine.
by Buddy Holly
JOHN PAUL II
ENCYCLICAL LETTER FIDES ET RATIO OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAITH AND REASON – September 15, 1998
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2).
1. In both East and West, we may trace a journey which has led humanity down the centuries to meet and engage truth more and more deeply. It is a journey which has unfolded—as it must—within the horizon of personal self-consciousness: the more human beings know reality and the world, the more they know themselves in their uniqueness, with the question of the meaning of things and of their very existence becoming ever more pressing. This is why all that is the object of our knowledge becomes a part of our life. The admonition Know yourself was carved on the temple portal at Delphi, as testimony to a basic truth to be adopted as a minimal norm by those who seek to set themselves apart from the rest of creation as “human beings”, that is as those who “know themselves”.
Moreover, a cursory glance at ancient history shows clearly how in different parts of the world, with their different cultures, there arise at the same time the fundamental questions which pervade human life: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta; we find them in the writings of Confucius and Lao-Tze, and in the preaching of Tirthankara and Buddha; they appear in the poetry of Homer and in the tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles, as they do in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives…
(29) “[Galileo] declared explicitly that the two truths, of faith and of science, can never contradict each other, 'Sacred Scripture and the natural world proceeding equally from the divine Word, the first as dictated by the Holy Spirit, the second as a very faithful executor of the commands of God', as he wrote in his letter to Father Benedetto Castelli on 21 December 1613. The Second Vatican Council says the same thing, even adopting similar language in its teaching: 'Methodical research, in all realms of knowledge, if it respects... moral norms, will never be genuinely opposed to faith: the reality of the world and of faith have their origin in the same God' (Gaudium et Spes, 36). Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions”: John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10 November 1979): Insegnamenti, II, 2 (1979), 1111-1112.
Read complete Encyclical Letter: Fides Et Ratio Of The Supreme Pontiff John Paul II http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html
“Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/1988/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_19880601_padre-coyne_en.html
Faith can never conflict with reason The 'Galileo case' teaches us that different branches of knowledge call for different methods, each of which brings out various aspects of reality. http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/sci-9211.html
“There are no irreconcilable differences
between science and faith”
PopeJohn Paul II
Threats, Silence, Harm and Disposal
Catholic Personnel Supportive of LGBT Adults and Children
Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s Directives To Hierarchy
By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz,
September 11, 2010
Know thyself – Plato
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. - William Shakespeare
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. - Luke 6:40-42
by Ben E. King
'Valentines Day' Trailer
VALENTINE'S DAY Movie Script (2010)
INT. CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL - CONFERENCE ROOM – NIGHT
Sean stands at the podium, flanked by Kara and Drew. As Sean
collects his notes, Kara scans the crowd.
She finds KELVIN - NEAR THE BACK. They meet eyes. He gives
a small smile. She returns it.
Sean looks at his notes, then puts them down. Doesn't need
SEAN (INTO MIC)
I'd like to thank everyone for
coming here tonight. And I'm not
gonna waste y'alls time with some
long winded thing here - I'm just
gonna get to it. The cliche is -
when someone's retiring who really
doesn't want to retire - they say
it's because they want to spend
more time with their family. But I
don't have a family. And with
everything football has given me -
the biggest thing it's taken away
is that. Because of who I am,
because of my job, I can't lead the
life I want to. So, with that in
mind, I'll just say the thing I
came here to say.
Sean looks out over the crowd, gets a huge smile on his face.
Stunned reaction from the crowd. Drew looks to Kara, who
clearly had no idea he was going to say this.
And there's someone out there,
hopefully watching this, who tried
to deal with me having to lie for
years and finally got fed up. This
is for you. I hope you can forgive
Any questions? And be cool now -
I'm not above kicking any of y'alls
The reporters all look at each other, no one quite sure what
an appropriate question would be. Finally, a hand goes up in
the back. It's Kelvin.
Kelvin Briggs - KTLA. I guess I'm
a little unclear. Are you
Oh, shit. Right. That.
No. I'm not retiring.
Boisterous reaction from the crowd. Bulbs flashing like
I'm gay and I'm gonna play. How
Sean smiles at the podium as the floodgates open - a
cacophony of questions. KELVIN AND KARA MEET EYES across the
crowd, both clearly moved Sean's declaration.
"4 And 20"
Written by Conner Reeves, Jonathan Shorten and Joss Stone
Performed by Joss Stone
POWER OF SOCIAL NORMS
Sexual orientation is not the only continuum that makes up the complexity of human sexuality, there are others. However, allowing the powerful effects of social norms that are ignorant about human sexuality to continue out of fear only perpetuates the harm to generation after generation. The powerful strength of social norms to influence a person or a whole group of people should not be underestimated, as demonstrated by this video clip from Allen Funt's "Candid Camera." Social norms can be so powerful that they can get entire groups of people to agree to go against truth and logic. This video clip is quite humorous. But it is not humorous the kind of serious harm caused to very young children and the life threatening situations even death to many others that is promulgated and perpetuated through the ignorance and fear of social norms not based on truth and facts regarding complexity of human sexuality. Read more
The Lucifer Effect:
How Good People Turn
By Philip Zimbardo - Stanford University
“Rather than providing a religious analysis, however, I offer a psychological account of how ordinary people sometimes turn evil and commit unspeakable acts.”
No 'lukewarm' Catholics welcome
October 19, 2010 – USATODAY.com
ST. PAUL (AP) — The Catholic archbishop for the Twin Cities defended his right Monday to speak to fellow Catholics on social issues, and said a shrinking Roman Catholic church is no reason to consider a more liberal stance.
Archbishop John Nienstedt sat down with The Associated Press after a weekend in which the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese announced it would close 21 churches to reflect churchgoers' move from urban areas to suburbia, declines in regular church attendance and an expectation of fewer new priests to replace those who retire or die.
The archbishop, who recently angered some of the area's 800,000 Catholics with the mailing of an anti-gay marriage DVD, said he believes spiritual leaders have a duty to talk to their flock about issues they see as important — even if some of those views might be unpopular with prospective churchgoers.
"We're part and parcel of the culture, so it's important for us to be involved with those discussions and have our say," Nienstedt said. He said Jesus Christ directed his followers to "either be hot or cold, but if you're lukewarm, I don't want that. So we want people who live their faith."
An Overview of Scientific Studies
by Gregory M. Herek
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
…It frequently is assumed that feelings of personal threat result in strong negative attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas lack of threat leads to neutral or positive attitudes. This perspective often is associated with the term homophobia, and it derives from a psychodynamic view that prejudiced attitudes serve to reduce tension aroused by unconscious conflicts.
Attitudes are likely to serve a defensive function when an individual perceives some analogy between homosexual persons and her or his own unconscious conflicts. Subsequently, that person responds to gay men and lesbians as a way of externalizing inner conflicts and thereby reducing the anxiety associated with them. The conflicts specific to antihomosexual prejudice presumably involve a person's gender identity, sexual object choice, or both. For example, unconscious conflicts about one's own sexuality or gender identity might be attributed to lesbians and gay men through a process of projection. Such a strategy permits people to externalize the conflicts and to reject their own unacceptable urges by rejecting lesbians and gay men (who symbolize those urges) without consciously recognizing the urges as their own. Since contact with homosexual persons threatens to make conscious those thoughts that have been repressed, it inevitably arouses anxiety in defensive individuals. Consequently, defensive attitudes are likely to be negative… - International Day Against Homophobia
Read complete article:
- Internalized Homophobia –
Devastating, and Horrific Consequences On Innocent Children
PERPETUATING GENERATIONS HATRED & VIOLENCE
…When we speak of internalized homophobia, we refer to the shame, denigration and anger turned inward onto the self of the homosexual individual either as a re-internalization or from the absorption of homophobic attitudes in the environment and then identifying with the hated and feared object. The primary emotion is shame, but a whole gamut of inhibitions, loss of self esteem, depression and self-destructive behavior often follow… photo
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that gay and lesbian relationships are SINFUL or INFERIOR to heterosexual relationships
gays and lesbians.
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
On Prop 8, it's the evidence, stupid
By Lisa Bloom
and related links:
California Prop 8, Aug, 4, 2010 - Deep misunderstanding –
"We the People"
means - US Constitution – DANGERS of majority rule - a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest…
by Geoffrey R. Stone - Chicago Tribune
…The framers of our Constitution fully recognized the dangers as well as the strengths of majority rule. They understood that THE MAJORITY will sometimes act in ways that are not truly public-regarding, but are instead a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest. A profound puzzle the framers encountered was how to deal with this danger…
Neurotic, hysterical, schizophrenic: the psychology of Hitler
By Charles Bremner,
April 3, 2005 – Times Online
ADOLF HITLER was a narcissistic bully in thrall to a dominant father and with a neurosis about women, according to a newly disclosed psychological analysis drawn up for US intelligence during the Second World War. Photo
Based on the theories and language of the time, the 1943 evaluation by Dr Henry Murray, director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic, accurately forecast Hitler’s suicide in his bunker in 1945.
Drawing from an array of wartime sources, Murray’s 240-page typewritten report depicted Hitler as a feminine boy who was obsequious towards superiors and displayed homosexual tendencies. His sense of grievance over his own humiliation led to his cruelty and policy of mass slaughter.
The profile was commissioned by General “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA. One of only 30 copies was found recently by Cornell University in its Nuremberg Trials archive and put on its law school internet site.
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE
Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups”
ordered by Benedict XVI
to avoid public outrage & criminal charges
falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?
December 17, 2009 -
by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
The following statements are harsh statements, but unfortunately they are heavily documented. (1) Benedict XVI and his hierarchy failed to protect children from child sexual abuse for decades. (2) They mistreated and intimidated the victims and their families who came to report the child sexual abuse, in order to cover up publicity of any child sexual abuse. (3) They failed to protect children by repeatedly reassigning the child sexual abusers to assignments where children would be present. (4) When the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children became public, globally, in 2002 they shifted the blame wrongfully onto gay priests.
Read complete report:
Child Protection Service of the Archdiocese of Dublin http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB09000504
(5) By falsely, against known research to the contrary, blaming gay priests they implicated the entire LGBT community and how they are fighting against Marriage Equality. When the scientific facts known for decades about human sexuality have been discounted with no substantiated facts given to explain why, it causes many questions whether Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s fight against Marriage Equality is more a fight to maintained the cover-up of the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children? Benedict XVI and his hierarchy need to clearly offer substantiated reasons why they are against Marriage Equality. This statement needs to be spelled out in great detail and follow Pope John Paul II’s test of truth of not separating science and religion.
(6) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous public propaganda against homosexuality encourages public intolerance towards LGBTQ&I adults and children. They continue to do this even though this summer 2 major Christian denominations approved LGBT singled and partnered people for all forms of ordained ministries. (7) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous promulgation of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings that are harmful to children in their early childhood psychological developmental years, harm that is crippling throughout their lives. They have continued this even after the beginning of the year, 2009, the Family Acceptance Project research studies had shown the negative effects caused to youths, when their sexual orientation is not accepted, having health problems, suicidal ideation, etc. They ignore all the major medical, psychiatric, psychological and social workers national and international professional associations regarding their findings regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation. WHEN DO WE START PROTECTING CHILDREN?!?!
Written by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
- Internalized Homophobia -
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain” GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. Photo
by Buddy Holly
"Hope of Love"
To Children In Early Childhood -> Marriage Equality
March 23, 2010 –
by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Marriage Equality, like Galileo, is the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.
"On The Street Where You Live"
Performed by Willie Nelson
Making homophobia history
by Sue Learner
October 26, 2010
'I've had pupils say 'Miss, you are trying to turn us gay' and I ask them, 'do you turn black during Black History Month or Turkish during Turkish month?'" Elly Barnes, a music teacher at Stoke Newington school in north London, is used to tackling such questions. Prompted by seeing homophobia around her in school on many occasions, she now runs Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) History Month here every February.
LGBT History Month was launched nationally by the lobby group Schools Out five years ago, and Stoke Newington school was one of the first to celebrate the event by integrating it into the curriculum. But the school has now gone one step further and become a diversity training centre, training teachers from both primary and secondary schools on equal opportunity policies, giving advice on resources and demonstrating LGBT practice lessons.
"My focus is eradicating homophobia from all schools and educational establishments by giving staff the confidence and resources to do it, along with demonstrating good practice and changing opinions under the banner of 'educate and celebrate'," says Barnes, who is the diversity course leader.
GROWING UP GAY
October 21, 2010
The Boston Globe
A spate of gay teen suicides, including that of 18-year-old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, has focused attention on homophobic bullying and resulted in the “It Gets Better’’ project, a YouTube campaign aimed at offering support to gay teens and young people. We asked several well-known Bostonians to share their memories of growing up gay, and they accepted, revealing the fear and loneliness they lived with and the strength they’ve achieved. Here are their stories, in their own words.
Author of many books, including ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’
I always wrote. Took my cue from “Harriet the Spy’’ in fifth grade and never looked back. But like many kids, I wasn’t introspective. Didn’t question my own identity. I came of age in a liberal time (early ’70s) in a progressive Catholic environment (not always an oxymoron) among good people who were tolerant of many things as long as they went unnamed. So I remained basically clueless about myself.
For a while, in high school, a cadre of friends caught my writing habit. We scribbled approximations of our real feelings in the safety and pretend anonymity of our journals. Then we circulated these notebooks for peer review, scrawling appreciative comments or jokes in the margins. A way of sharing private apprehensions and affections in a safe environment…
Actor/playwright and cofounder of theater group The Gold Dust Orphans
I thought of suicide many times as a teenager. I grew up in a factory town in Connecticut, where the only fun to be had was either sex or stealing your mother’s car. There, like so many places with no imagination, “faggot’’ was the worst word you could use.
The first time I heard the word “faggot’’ of course it was directed at me. Who else? I was 12 years old. It was summer, I remember, because I never wore shoes in the summer, even to the movies. Walking barefoot along a guardrail, a sort of bridge from my house to the candy store, I remember thinking myself a great acrobat. I always had these thoughts, that I would somehow escape the torture of being what I was, a sort of swishy “halfbreed’’ among spitting, strutting “cowboys.’’…
Meteorologist, WCVB-TV Channel 5
Growing up in Waterloo, Iowa, I thought I was the only gay kid. In junior high I was picked last in gym class, made fun of for playing the piano, and tormented by the older kids. I moved after the seventh grade to a suburb of St. Louis, with a hope that things would improve for me. It wasn’t any better. I didn’t fit in because I was the new kid. I didn’t fit in because I joined the choir and not the football team. Deep down I knew the reason why I didn’t fit in — it was because I was gay. Still, I wanted to fit in more than anything.
In junior high I was beat up in the halls because I was different. Coaches who were supposed to be looking after and supporting students mocked me because I would rather be in school plays and choir than run track.
It slowly turned around in high school. I was president of my senior class. But it wasn’t until I came out to myself and my family that it got better, and that wasn’t until after I graduated from college…
Chef at Rocca Kitchen & Bar, former contestant on ‘Top Chef’
My teen years were spent in northern California. While the majority of the California population is seen as flag-waving liberals, the flags I was most aware of were the Confederate ones affixed to pickup trucks that burned rubber pulling up to the school parking lot. There was an inherent fear that I felt around all of those young men.
At the time, I didn’t openly identify as gay, but there was a brotherhood of bigotry. It made me nervous and I steered clear. I knew I was different, but saying the word meant target. It meant zero assimilation; no cheerleading, no prom, no sleepovers, no parties. It meant self-imposed exile in the day-to-day life of high school that was already socially and emotionally unbearable…
Read complete list: Bostonians - Growing up gay - open up about the homophobia, fear, and isolation they endured as teens — and how they made it through – The Boston Globe
“Most religious denominations
continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful
provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.”
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth
Although the social environment itself has not been defined as a risk factor for suicide, widespread discrimination against LGBT people, heterosexist attitudes, and gender bias can lead to risk factors such as isolation, family rejection, and lack of access to care providers. Risk factors may interact in unhealthy ways—for example, internalized homophobia or victimization may lead to stress, which is associated with depression and substance abuse, which can contribute to suicide risk. This risk may be compounded by a lack of protective factors that normally provide resilience, such as strong family connections, peer support, and access to effective health and mental health providers. Photo GWB
In the United States prejudice and discrimination against LGB people are widespread among individuals, and in fact, supported by many religious, social, and government institutions. Homophobia and heterosexism are terms that refer to prejudice against LGB people and reflect prevalent social attitudes that most people have internalized (McDaniel et al., 2001).
Morrow (2004) points out that “GLBT adolescents must cope with developing a sexual minority identity in the midst of negative comments, jokes, and often the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation and/or transgender identity” (p. 91-92) and that, given the pervasive homophobia in our culture and in the families of LGBT youth, “the internalization of homophobic and heterosexist messages begins very early—often before GLBT youth fully realize their sexual orientation and gender identity” (p. 92). Morrow also says that positive role models for LGBT youth are hard to find.
Herek and colleagues (2007) describe a framework to understand the social environment for sexual minorities. The framework integrates the sociological idea of stigma with the psychological idea of prejudice. Through stigma, society discredits and invalidates homosexuality relative to heterosexuality. Institutions embodying stigma results in heterosexism, and heterosexual individuals internalizing stigma results in prejudice. The United States legal system has faced challenges by sexual minorities and sympathetic heterosexuals that have led to significant changes. However, the legal system continues to reinforce stigma through discriminatory laws and the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and services. A minority of states had antidiscrimination laws as of 2005, and most of these only referred to employment and not to housing or services. Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people. Photo
Researchers suggest that this social environment puts stresses on LGBT people that elevate the risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. One study (with participants in their mid-twenties) found that internalized homophobia was correlated with depression, although not directly correlated with suicide (Igartua et al., 2003). Mays and Cochran (2001) found growing evidence that experiences of discrimination can result in mental health and general health disorders. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), they compared LGB and heterosexual people’s mental health and experiences with discrimination. The MIDUS asked about the frequency of lifetime and day-to-day experiences of perceived discrimination including being denied a scholarship, being denied a bank loan, receiving poorer services at stores, and being called names. Mays and Cochran found that homosexual and bisexual individuals reported more frequently than heterosexual individuals both day-to-day and lifetime discrimination, and 42 percent attributed the discrimination at least in part to their sexual orientation. LGB individuals were twice as likely as heterosexuals to have experienced discrimination in a lifetime event and were five times more likely to indicate that discrimination had interfered with having a full and productive life. Perceived discrimination had a relatively robust association with mental disorders.
Meyer (2003) describes a social environment that is hostile and stressful for LGB people. His review of research demonstrates that social stressors are significantly associated with mental disorders and supports a model of minority stress that theorizes the higher prevalence of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders among LGB people as “caused by excess in social stressors related to stigma and prejudice” (p. 691). Another study relates minority stressors to suicidal behavior: a study of gay men (with an average age of 38) found that three stressors—internalized homophobia, stigma (related to expectations of rejection and discrimination), and experiences of discrimination—were significantly associated with five outcomes indicating psychological distress, including suicidal ideation and behavior (Meyer, 1995).
Other studies find that internalized homophobia and conflict about sexual orientation appear to contribute to suicide risk among LGB youth. One study reported that LGB youth are at higher risk of suicide if they report high levels of internal conflict about their sexual orientation (Savin-Williams, 1990). Another study of gay men (with a median age in the twenties) found that internalized homophobia was associated with depression and anxiety, which increased suicide risk (Igartua, Gill, & Montoro, 2003). A third study indicated that positive role models and high self-esteem are protective factors against suicide in young gay men (Fenaughty & Harre, 2003).
Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk -
Mental Health America
Prepared by the
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
for the Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Supported by Grant No. 1 U79 SM57392-02
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
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Newton MA 02458
Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling
By Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman
The American Journal of Psychiatry
The American Journal of Psychiatry, 158:154, January 2001
ROCHELLE L. KLINGER, M.D.
This comprehensive review of clinical care of lesbian and gay youth grew out of a conference in 1994 designed to identify primary care (including mental health) needs of this underserved population. The authors’ goal was to integrate a large database of research information into a format that could be used by clinicians, educators, parents, and advocates for sexual minority youth. They have more than succeeded in this daunting task. This volume is concise, readable, and scholarly. The coherence of this book reflects the increasingly rare phenomenon of a volume written by one or two authors rather than multiple experts. The emphasis throughout is on practical clinical application of research knowledge. To this end, the authors employ a variety of helpful tables and figures as well as seven appendixes of resources and protocols.
The book is divided into three sections. Part 1 is a thorough overview of pertinent background information about gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. Complex definitions of sexual orientation, behavior, and identity development are explained as clinically applicable. For example, because of the vicissitudes of identity development, gay and lesbian youth are not likely to present initially as such to a primary care or mental health practitioner. In one study, 5% of surveyed youth reported homosexual behavior but only 1% identified themselves as homosexual. Clinicians who treat adolescents need to be particularly conscious of not making assumptions about heterosexuality.
Multiple stressors faced by sexual minority youth in learning to live with external and internal stigma are documented by the authors. In addition, they identify the primary developmental task for these adolescents, which is learning to adapt to and manage a stigmatized identity. A great deal of information is also provided on family adaptation to an adolescent’s coming out and therapeutic work with families of lesbian and gay youth…
Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling
By Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman
Although there is an increasing amount of information about the risks and challenges facing LGB youth (with very little information about transgender youth), we know little about their strengths and resiliency, including the strengths of families in supporting their children's health and well-being. Even though the family is the primary support for children and youth, and family involvement helps reduce adolescent risk, there have been no previous studies of how families affect their LGBT children’s risk and resiliency. Prior to this study, little information was available to show how families respond to an adolescent's coming out and how family and caregiver reactions affect adolescent health, mental health and development for LGBT young people.
Attention to family reactions is critical since increasingly, youth are coming out at younger ages which significantly increases risk for victimization and abuse in family, school and community settings, and provides opportunities for helping to support and strengthen families. Victimization has long-term consequences for health and development, and impacts families as well as the targeted individuals. Early intervention can help families and caregivers build on strengths and use evidence-based materials to understand the impact of acceptance and rejection on their child’s well-being.
The Family Acceptance Project™ (FAP) is directed by Caitlin Ryan at the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at San Francisco State University, and was developed by Caitlin Ryan and Rafael Dìaz in 2002. It includes the first major study of the families of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Read complete overview:
The Family Acceptance Project™ team includes Project Director, Caitlin Ryan, Senior Quantitative Researcher, Rafael Dìaz and Project Coordinator, Jorge Sanchez. Teresa Betancourt worked on the first two phases of the project.
Caitlin Ryan is the Director of the Family Acceptance Project.™ Caitlin is a clinical social worker who has worked on LGBT health and mental health since the 1970s, and AIDS since 1982. She received her clinical training with children and adolescents at Smith College School for Social Work in inpatient and community mental health programs, and began her social work career in school-based psychoeducational settings. Caitlin pioneered community-based AIDS services at the beginning of the epidemic; initiated the first major study to identify lesbian health needs in the early 1980s; and has worked to implement quality care for LGBT youth since the early 1990s. She developed the Family Acceptance Project™ with Rafael Diaz in 2002 to promote family support, decrease risk and improve well-being for LGBT youth…
Study: Tolerance Can Lower Gay Kids' Suicide Risk
All Things Considered - NPR
December 29, 2008
Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults and teens at the highest risk of attempting suicide and having some other health problems are ones who reported a high level of rejection by their families as a result of their sexual orientation.
"A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting," says lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, "can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health."
Ryan, director of Adolescent Health Initiatives at the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University, and her researchers conducted lengthy interviews with more than 200 gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults. Ryan tried to judge whether, as adolescents, they had faced low, moderate or high levels of rejection from their families.
They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.
Acceptance Can Go A Long Way
Because the level of rejection is hard to measure, Ryan looked at things like whether the parents tried to get their children to change their sexual orientation, or tried to stop them from being with other gay kids…
Dr. Caitlin Ryan:
Reducing Risk and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth:
The Critical Role of Family Support
November 16, 2009
there will exist
well considered and
fervent public conviction
that the most deadly
is the mutilation
a child’s spirit.”
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Photo
Protect children and the entire world will be safe.
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
Power of Social Norms
Raido Broadcast Cause Panic
by Buddy Holly
"I'm In The Mood For Love"
"The Way You Look Tonight"
Performed by Maroon 5
"On The Street Where You Live"
Performed by Willie Nelson
by Ben E. King
'Valentine's Day' Trailer
VALENTINE'S DAY Movie Script (2010)
Functional Anatomy of
Positive Affect and Chronic Mental Illness
J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci 19:358-362