Just recently I wrote about the It Gets Better Project, in response to the spate of youth suicides in the USA. This amazing project, by Dan Savage and his team, has brought visibility of suicide in same-sex attracted youth as high as the office of the President of the USA.
A bit further back in May I wrote about victims of religious bigotry. Sadly this problem shows no signs of going away. There are still desperately unhappy people who are struggling with their sexuality and not receiving the help they need from their parents, family and peers. Worse still, their plight is often diminished or simply erased.
Thanks to some great people out there, such as Eric Ethington, this invisibility is being turned around. We are able to get a better understanding of the true person, and their life, loves and the wonderful impact they had on their friends and networks they contributed to.
Just the other day Colt David Hansen of Salt Lake City, Utah died. It is unclear if his death was accidental. From what I understand he had been struggling with depression and questions were raised as to whether this was due to a conflict with the Mormon faith. We may never find out the truth. You can read about the story as it has come to hand on Eric’s site “Pride in Utah” here and here. Also take time to read the comments from friends and family.
Colt David Hansen
I have been trying to raise awareness around this issue of religious intolerance of homosexuality in the fundamentalist/Orthodox Jewish world for a long time now. One year ago I wrote an article about it on Galus Australis and just recently have contributed to a discussion on the same site about some seemingly misguided efforts to address it in the local Jewish community.
It’s only a matter of time before news of a suicide due to intolerance of sexuality comes to light in this community. I don’t want this to happen but it is inevitable. Right now the community is for the most part burying its collective head in the sand about it. There has been some superficial discussion, but for the most part the community leadership won’t acknowledge the problem and is certainly not in any hurry to address it.