Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Pride in community, compassion

| August 4, 2022 1:00 AM

Those who were triggered by the local Pride celebration say that they fear for the morality of children, ok, let's take a closer look at children attending our local event.

As an ally to the LBGTQ community I tabled for one of the groups for a few hours, and this was what I witnessed. Children laughing and having fun with their parents, who obviously were in full support of their children, learning that love is love, we all matter and not to judge others for their differences. How nice for everyone to be in a bully-free environment.

As many Christians would have us believe, God created everyone and gave us free will. That in itself would indicate all humans have free will. Somewhere in my Vacation Bible School days, I learned that God is in charge of our final judgment not you or me, or the angry neighbors next door.

I have some sobering news for you. LGBTQ youth are not necessarily prone to suicide because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather they’re at higher risk because of how they’re mistreated and stigmatized by their families and society. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people 10-24. LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for young people, and if we want to claim to be concerned about children, working to prevent gun violence and stigmatization and bullying would be the logical course of action.

Teens who desperately need connection, understanding, and support, and trying to figure out who they are, may not be getting their needs met at home. That is not the fault of Pride, this is a failure to launch as parents and as a society that gives lip service but doesn’t stand behind its compassionate moral claims. My husband has been a mental health care clinician for many decades and sees firsthand the devastation of teens not feeling accepted in their families, school, church, or hometown.

To honor your children, be present with them, and give them a loving, safe, nurturing environment where they don’t feel judged, belittled, or shamed. Listen to what they have to say and how they are feeling. I was honored to be gifted a hug by a young teen who simply needed to be held, for a good length of time. What a precious human being she is.

I also witnessed, a few angry and or righteous men who felt it their duty to lecture or intimidate. Threatened by everything because they are not doing their own work, but instead turning their attention outward to be the world’s judge. Why not learn to better serve society and lift people up with compassion and support?  Why is it that the triggered righteous wants to deny the pursuit of happiness for others?

A well-informed and educated public makes all the difference for success in a community and country.

A big thank you to the event sponsors for providing a fun and safe environment for people from all walks of life and demonstrating we can be a kind and compassionate community. 



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