Judy Shepard advocates for the most important safeguard against LGBT suicide and substance abuse — family acceptance.
In 1998 our family endured the tragedy of our 21-year-old son, Matthew Shepard, falling victim to murder at the hands of two young men motivated by hatred of gay people.
A few years before, Matt had come out to his father, brother, and me. We were so proud that we had raised him to be honest with us and trust us enough to tell who he really was, and that our love for him was strong enough to guide us in accepting him with compassion and understanding. Never in our worst nightmares did we foresee how, or why, our time with him would be so brief, but knowing that he was able to be open with us has helped us enormously in cherishing the time we did have together as a family…
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The Family Acceptance Project™
is the only community research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to decrease major health and related risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, such as suicide, substance abuse, HIV and homelessness – in the context of their families. We use a research-based, culturally grounded approach to help ethnically, socially and religiously diverse families decrease rejection and increase support for their LGBT children.
Youth Development Current Trends – Dr. Caitlin Ryan and The Family Acceptance Projects’ Study of LGBT Youth – December 13, 2010 - National Association of Social Workers
Gender-Nonconforming Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: School Victimization and Young Adult Psychosocial Adjustment - Developmental Psychology © 2010 American Psychological Association
2010, Vol. 46, No. 6, 1580–1589
The Protective Effect of Family Acceptance for Gay Teens – By ALICE PARK, December 6, 2010 – TIME
Prayers for Bobby (2009) (TV)
…Prayers for Bobby is the amazing true story of a mother torn between her loyalties, challenged by her faith, and moved by a tragedy that would change her life, and the lives of others, forever.
Bobby Griffith (Ryan Kelly, Smallville) was his mother's favorite son, the perfect all-American boy growing up under deeply religious influences in Walnut Creek, California. Bobby was also gay. Struggling with a conflict no one knew of much less understood Bobby finally came out to his family. Despite the tentative support of his father, two sisters, and older brother, Bobby's mother, Mary (three time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver, Avatar, Working Girl), turned to the fundamentalist teachings of her church to rescue her son from what she felt was an irredeemable sin. As Mary came closer to the realization that Bobby could not be "healed," she rejected him, denying him a mother's unconditional love, and driving her favorite son to suicide.
Anguished over Bobby's death, Mary finds little solace in her son's poignant diaries, revelations of a troubled boy fighting for the love of his mother and God. Finding it difficult to reconcile her feelings of guilt, her conflicted emotions over religious teachings, and her struggles with understanding her son's orientation, Mary finally, and unexpectedly, reaches out to the gay community as a source of inspiration and consolation. For Mary Griffith, it's the beginning of a long and emotional journey that extended beyond acceptance to her viable role a vocal advocate for gay and lesbian youth. In 1996, twelve years after Bobby's death, she was invited to address the Congress of the United States, establishing her as a major force in the fight for human rights.'
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Prayers for Bobby star Sigourney Weaver
December 15, 2010 – The Advocate
Prayers for Bobby star Sigourney Weaver discusses the film’s continued impact, offers words of advice for bullied gay youth, and expresses her hope for a chance to play a gay character.
Sigourney Weaver again establishes herself as one of our most dependable allies by continuing to get the word out about Prayers for Bobby, the acclaimed 2009 television film based on the true story of a young gay man who killed himself due to his mother’s intolerance. When the actress initially promoted the film before its premiere, she told The Advocate, “I’m horrified by how hard Americans are making it for my gay friends to live.” Now, nearly two years later and with teenagers still committing suicide due to antigay bullying, the film has finally been released on DVD.
The actress, who received numerous award nominations for her searing performance as Mary Griffith, Bobby’s confused, conservative mother, again volunteered to promote the film due to its special meaning for her and its potential to aid troubled gay teenagers and their families.
The wide-ranging career of the three-time Academy Award–nominated Weaver encompasses kick-ass action heroines in the Alien films and inspired comic turns in hits like Working Girl, which have endeared her to LGBT audiences. Yet her role in Prayers for Bobby is one the actress holds in a unique place apart from the rest. Weaver speaks to The Advocate about Prayers’ continued relevance, offers words of advice for bullied gay youth, and expresses her hope that someone offers her a gay role.
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GAY YOUTH SUICIDE | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – Negligence Protecting (1) Children & (2) LGBT Children | Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN
SILENCING GAY YOUTH | Catholic school paper deletes student editorials on Catholic DVD, gay teens
by Sasha Aslanian,
November 16, 2010 - Minnesota Public Radio
St. Louis Park, Minn. — A student newspaper at a suburban Catholic school has sparked a debate over free speech by criticizing a Catholic DVD and defending gay teens. The DVD denouncing same-sex marriage was sent by Minnesota's Catholic bishops to parishioners prior to the Nov. 2 election.
The student newspaper of Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park deleted two student editorials over the weekend and shut off the online comments.
The Knight Errant student newspaper published a news story last Thursday about the bishops' "Preserving Marriage in Minnesota" DVD.
But it was the two editorials that accompanied it -- and the online comments they inspired -- that created the uproar. One staff editorial challenged the bishops' arguments against same-sex marriage and called the DVD "unsubstantiated."
Senior Bernardo Vigil helped write the piece.
"We did expect a little bit of a pushback from that, which there was. A lot of the comments were 'this shouldn't have been published, this is a Catholic school,'" Vigil said.
But the op-ed that touched off the cyberstorm was editor Sean Simonson's piece, "Life as a gay teenager."
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GAY YOUTH CATHOLIC SILENCING | The student newspaper editorial Benilde-St. Margaret's doesn't want you to see - By David Brauer, November 15, 2010 – MinnPost.com
Difference Between Life & Death - Being “In” And Living “Out” Of The Closet - "Why It Is A 'Gift' From God!!!" - Monastic Wisdom – Absolute Fright For Benedict XVI
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
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UNIDENTIFIED - Internalized Homophobia
Devastating, and Horrific Consequences On Innocent Children
PERPETUATING GENERATIONS HATRED & VIOLENCE ---
DEHUMANIZATION – “The Lucifer Effect” by Philip Zimbardo (2007) | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS - Child Sexual Abuse COVER-UPS & Implicit Child Abuse of LGBT Children
AUSCHWITZ -- CHRISTMAS 2008 -- A flashback far more severe than in --- BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (NP)
…And when I heard what Pope Benedict XVI said about homosexuals and transgendered human beings at Christmas 2008, I felt that same trauma all over again. Because in some way, somehow, he was conveying in a non-verbal manner the horror of the Holocaust, in what appears to be a traumatized, trance-like, accepted social norm from that period of time dictating that some people just don’t count, aren’t important, and can be easily disposed of. And if you rock the boat, you could be next to be disposed of…
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400,000 Anti-gay marriage DVDs - $1 million Nienstedt - Minnesota October 29, 2010 - RELIGION & ETHICS PBS – video (NP)
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!!!
Sexual orientation - Internalized Homophobia
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain”
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Attachment Theory Photo
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
Gay marriage -> Restoring
"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.
maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of
all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.”
Angels In America
[Official HBO Trailer]
I'm His Child
Zella Jackson Price