COMMENTARY: The recent deaths, apparently by suicide, of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, remind us that we can never know what is going on with another person. One would think these two celebrities had everything to live for.
“We often assume that people who commit suicide are mentally ill, but this isn’t always the case. There are many factors that can contribute to suicide that have nothing to do with mental illness, including loss of a relationship, loneliness, chronic illness, financial loss, history of trauma or abuse and the stigma associated with asking for help,” writes Kirsten Powers for USA Today.
Even with the progress the LGBTQ community has made in being accepted into today’s society, many gay youth often feel just the opposite — not accepted by their own communities and/or families. Statistics show a staggering 40 percent of gay youth have contemplated suicide.
Help is available through numerous resources. The Montrose Center is just one of many ways of reaching out for help. They have adult programs as well as programs designed specifically for LGBTQ youth. The Montrose Center’s phone number is 713-529-0037.
While working in a psychiatric hospital many years ago, a co-worker said something that stuck with me: “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Before taking the final stage right, find someone to talk to — a friend, counselor, parent or a professional. Great things may be waiting for you just over the horizon.
Here’s a bit of what we’ve been reading on the Houston Rainbow Herald Facebook page.
The Trump administration continues to try its hardest to undo any progress made by the previous administration. The latest example came when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) sided with a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, reports WashingtonPost.com.
The Court gave a boost to advocates of religious freedom ruling that the baker cannot be forced to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, in a case that involved marriage equality and protection from discrimination. The opinion is considered a narrow win by the victors as the ruling applied to this case and this case only.
The Court did not indicate how it might decide future cases involving florists, bakers, photographers and other business owners who have cited religious and free-speech objections when refusing to serve gay and lesbian customers in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 same-sex marriage decision.
Pride parades are happening throughout the month of June. Organizers of this year’s Rome Pride say 500,000 people participated in Rome Pride on June 9, reports GayStarNews.com.
“The year’s Rome Pride theme was ‘Rainbow Brigade, Liberation continues’, signifying the country still has some way to go in embracing equality. Although civil unions are available to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples, marriage is not allowed for gay people. They can also not adopt,” reads the report.
On June 27, 1969, the funeral of Judy Garland was held in New York City. The biggest gay icon of the era had died of an accidental drug overdose five days earlier in London. She was 47.
Was Garland’s death the spark that ignited the gay rights movement? It depends who you ask.
One theory maintains it is just coincidence. Another theory surmises that fans of The Wizard of Oz star gathered at the Stonewall Inn to mourn the death of their icon after her funeral. Not in the mood to be messed with, they fought back when police raided the bar later that evening.
Time magazine wrote at the time: “The uprising was inspired by a potent cocktail of pent-up rage (raids of gay bars were brutal and routine), overwrought emotions (hours earlier, thousands had wept at the funeral of Judy Garland) and drugs.”
History.com writes: “Just after 3 a.m., a police raid of the Stonewall Inn — a gay club located on New York City’s Christopher Street — turns violent as patrons and local sympathizers begin rioting against the police.
“Although the police were legally justified in raiding the club, which was serving liquor without a license among other violations, New York’s gay community had grown weary of the police department targeting gay clubs, many of which had already been closed. Soon, the crowd began throwing bottles at the police. The protest spilled over into the neighboring streets, and order was not restored until the deployment of New York’s riot police.
“The Stonewall Riots were followed by several days of demonstrations in New York and was the impetus for the formation of the Gay Liberation Front as well as other gay, lesbian and bisexual civil rights organizations. It’s also regarded by many as history’s first major protest on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals.”