I am sure you are all well aware of the recent tragedies that have been a daily occurrence in our country, of the young men and women who have taken their lives rather than face the pain foisted upon them by their fellow human beings. For some time it felt like perhaps we’d made progress, that we had pushed forward through ignorance and fear and just simple blind hate, to a place where we could accept those different than us; that in our deepest goodness, which we all possess, even those of us who couldn’t understand could at least empathize. It appears more and more obvious that perhaps I was wrong; that I believed in a good that our country has yet to possess. But those of us who can must help those who hurt.
In recent months several young, gay Americans have killed themselves. The world was made too ugly and painful a place for them, by those who had such inflamed ignorance or profound lack of humanity that they lost sight of the one thing that makes us human, the knowledge that we should treat others as we would be treated. It is unacceptable. It should not be abided. The world is a hard enough place without this sort of violence, be it physical, social or emotional. That these young people were driven to take their own lives is in some ways even worse than any physical violence; it is a nightmare.
I trust that most of the people who read this sympathize. I hope that those that cannot understand at least learn to accept. Each of us only asks to live, and we each deserve that right, and no one can take it from us. I also hope that those who need help seek it, without embarrassment, shame or fear. We must treat each other with respect, with basic love and kindness, with the best of ourselves, with a belief in the verities of the human heart.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature”