An 11-year-old Massachusetts boy hung himself after daily anti-gay bullying. Hs name was Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.
My first though: Massachusetts? Really? Aren't they supposed to be all pro-gay?
My second thought: He was just a little bit younger than my sister.
My third thought: ...Shit.
What do you say to that? Eleven years old. He would have turned 12 on April 17.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, which has a significantly less liberal-y reputation, school staff joined in taunting a gay high school student, calling him "disgusting" and mocking him in front of other students. The principle responded by telling the gay student to "tone it down," "it" presumably being... what? His sexual orientation? Because obviously, all gay kids have a little volume knob that goes from "No-homo" to "Fabulous" and can adjust it as needed.
In middle school, when I was eleven years old, I don't think I even knew what being gay meant, much less that it was something you could be made fun of for. In high school, my teachers have been nothing but supportive.
The closest I have ever been to gay-bashed is when someone wrote something clever like "ur so gay" on the wall near the place where my other gay friend and I hang out in the mornings. My friend wrote "Yes I am, bitch :D" under it, and that was the end of that.
I can't imagine being my sister's age and so tormented that suicide seems like a good idea. I can't imagine being ridiculed by teachers. I know there are statistics to show these sort of things happen, but I can't begin to know how to respond to it. What do you say to that?
April 17th, the day Carl Walker-Hoover would have turned 12, happens to be Day of Silence.
I don't know what to say to all of this. So I'm going to stay silent, and hope someone notices.