Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jamey Rodemeyer: Reach OUT!

It's all for OUR dogs...

Our goal: To find a producer or celeb or anyone who will help make Piper's Someday (the book River stars in) into a movie. If you can help, contact me!

Day 265 of Forever

Here's how the story begins: (start here if you are new)

Typically when I visit here to talk to readers (thank you!) I share stories about my dog who is going through a bout of canine cancer and our vision quest to get a film made out of my second book.

I've been blogging off and on all year about it.

Today is different. I'm upset about our newest casualty in the war against homophobia and bullying. It's about Jamey Rodemeyer and then it's about how quickly our minds turn to other things that press against our very important lives. It's about how quickly the media spotlights the debacle, the emotions, and then its on to the newer, more important highlight like, say, the Michael Jackson trial that will, no lie, take on epic proportions throughout the long and unending trial process. Jamey will quickly go away, along with the four other youth who died last year...and do we remember, Lawrence King, the young California teenager who was shot in the head by his fellow classmate just a few years back?

If you haven't heard by now, Jamey was a young 14-year-old from Buffalo, New York who took his life last week amongst a barrage of homophobic slurs and bullying that had been taking place since last spring when he came out of the closet. This week, there was video of him talking about what typical teenagers talk about. There were his music interests - for him it was Lady Gaga - and how he'd been and advocate, a voice, for the "It gets Better" campaign that the Trevor project and other gay advocacy groups spread about the country. He used his social media to talk about himself and then his last Twitter message was to Lady Gaga about seeing her in heaven. You could see he was REACHING OUT! And, while I can't imagine Jamey's life as the bullies ribbed him with anti-gay messages even after he was in his coffin and being buried. His parents on the Today Show discussed how the hate mail continued and that the "bullies" were glad that he was dead.

It's 2011. Aren't we all tired...tired of this.

It made me want to go out in my little street in Richmond, Virginia where I live and scream, "Stop!!!" Stop the insanity. To me, bullying of any nature puts kids in what we need to call Clear and Present Danger. It is an interpretation of the 1st Amendment that allows basically any group to assemble and say what they want UNLESS it causes "clear and present" danger. Then, it is punishable by law and people can be arrested and charged with endangering the safety of another.

It's time we started to use this interpretation, perhaps. Clear and Present danger to all the children, not just the ones who just happen to be LGBTQ youth but the ones who are different otherwise. If someone is cyber-bullied or bullied in anyway that can cause them to be a danger to themselves - suicide - then the bullies need to be cuffed up and taken to jail. Is that okay?

I think Jamey Rodemeyer's parents would think it would be just fine.

The venting here feels good.

Now, here's my story. I wrote about this actual event in my 4th book. I saw this beautiful lesbian (who will remain nameless) at a church service one Sunday...years after the event occurred...and told her I was sorry. We hugged and I told her I would honor her in the book. Now, I honor her here.

Love to you all,

Ruth and River