I’ll continue doing live shows on Pride 48, despite the end of My Honey Wears Plaid, but the shows will now begin at 8pm Eastern (in the Americas).
This week will be something very different (after a suggestion from Wes Stone of the Live It Up! podcast): I’m hosting a Pride 48 Town Meeting on what we as a podcasting community—podcasters and listeners alike—can do to help prevent suicides among GLBT youth. Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” Project is a great idea, and UKThom is putting together a video made by Pride 48 folks.
But what about those of us who primarily do audio? What can we do as podcasters and—especially—what can we do using Pride 48? We have the ability to reach many people, what’s the best way to use that?
So put on your thinking caps, jot down some ideas, and join us on Pride 48 at 8PM EDT this coming Thursday, October 7, 2010 (Friday, October 8 at 1PM New Zealand time).
I can not contribute that much on the subject as I can not be awake at that time.
I still have questions and maybe you may have answers to them during the conversation forum:
1) the bullying problem has been present for some time not only in the LGBT but is a general problem across the world. Are these suicide cases emerging to the surface only now because the media is talking about them and because somebody is monitoring these cases? Or is it because during the last years suicide rates caused by bullying across youngsters have fallen? I am not convinced they have. And I can not believe they have raised since our generation.
2) in a time where the Internet is present how is it possible to still have youngsters suffering from this kind of problems and finding suicide as a solution. Our generation had narrow possibilities: non existent support or only in big cities, no freedom of movement and choice (psychologists and school support professionals didn’t exist everywhere and you needed parents’ money and approval to use the services), many family subjects where taboo and many parents relationship were different. There was no anonymity. No there is anonimity on the Internet and social network possibilities. They can search for advice, any kind of advice and solutions. Discussion boards and forums are all over the place. Adult and support groups are accessible. There is enough material and tools out for them to realize it can get better. Of course it doesn’t mean no act is necessary. There are already positive guidance on the internet to avoid such things, why isn’T it working, how this project would be better?
3) are this generation’s kids mentally weaker (sensitive point of view) than our generation’s? Going through hard times and global fewer acceptance than these days, our generation seems more equipped mentally to deal with this kind of issues. We seem and seemed stronger, fitter or more aware. Or is this generation’s freedom of speech and liberty of choice weakening them and not helping them form a strong character?
4) It seems to me that this new generation’s world view is tightened to their consumer habits. We learned to be patient with things and people. Now it is the generation of the Now. Change: now. Products: now. Communication: instant. Solution for one’s problem: now, if not now then do then jump directly to the suicide option?
5) Or is it a question of teaching. Are the teachers and education professionals ready to support these youngsters? The same old teachers teaching now taught us at the time. Their methods and thinking has not been changed and they didn’t really adapt to the new generation’s lifestyle. I am not saying that the old model is good, but it seemed that the values taught at the time and the method used made thinking processes slower and wiser.
6) I disagree with many of the statements made on podcasts and videoblogs on the fact it gets better: today’s youngsters telling them you have to bear until the end of college or your reach of adulthood for it to get better is a mistaken ideal lie. They will sit there and wait for it doing nothing and once there, they will be surprised and disappointed. It doesn’t get better for everybody. Bullying is present in adult lifetimes too. It seems people are sensitive to childhood (as they do in any other situations (war, catastrophes, etc)) and ignore adults. Bullying doesn’t necessary disappear in adulthood. People saying that, doesn’t want to take social responsibility for it. Bullying is present in university, work environments and adult social groups through out all adulthood. It may take another form, another name and is ignored by many people of the society, but is still present for many of us. Youngsters shouldn’t shut up and wait until it’s over and stay passive. They are missing the opportunity to get the baggage to be able to make it better. Don’t wait for miracles! Do it now, construct your future base as you can. Ignore the bullyers or fight them. If you ignore them study, study, study. Construct your future. Get the tools to be socially and mentally strong. Don’t wait for adulthood, because once the parents kick you out or you’ll be out of college and can decide/move for yourself you won’t get any more help, people will let you down. It is no more their concern. You are alone. You decide alone. So get yourself an education when you can. You will get more opportunities and make this get better yourself! Don’t wait for it, work for it to happen.
7) Today mainly the LGBT feel concerned to protect and stand up against what is happening. It is wrong because any kind of bullying is wrong and can cause youngsters to suicide. And I am sure there is bullying coming from the LGBT comunity to the LGBT members. Or isn’t there? If it is not that present now, it will be soon, very soon.
8) In my time we would look for guidance from people more experienced, older and more mature than us, like parents or icons. Is this generation listening to the same old generation? Are we really the most influential generation for them? It may have worked for us, but will it work for them? I don’t think today’s kids are ready to hear advice and experience from grumpy old men or women. It would be like listening to their parents that doesn’t understand or hear them. Where are their age icons, celebrities, college fellows? Why don’t they stand up and help them make the change? They will surely listen to them!
The 8) smiley is and “8”
Re: HatM’s questions:
1. Don’t know. Perhaps Dan Savage’s column made people more sensitive to the issue. In any case, the violinist who jumped off the bridge was SO unusual, dealing w issues of privacy that it would have been newsworthy regardless.
3. In general, some have suggested that this whole generation, raised by “helicopter parents” may not be as strong, gay or straight. I don’t know if it’s true.
4. Immediate gratification of a cellphone generation may be at play.
6. I agree that it doesn’t get MAGICALLY better at 21, but one DOES has more money, more options (to move, e.g.)
7. Yes, bullying is wrong, whether or not the victim is LGBT. But it’s like in the medical community – the more a bad outcome happens, the more one notices. And all the stats I’ve seen say LGBT kids suffer proportionally more, and therefore need more aid.
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