No, Tyler was a victim — not of an inner disturbance of depression or mental illness–but of an external and in part religiously inspired disdain and hatred of gay people.
Despite the progress we’re making on achieving equality under the law and acceptance in society for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, why this rash of bullying, paired with self-loathing, ending in suicide? With humility and heartfelt repentance I assert that religion — and its general rejection of homosexuality — plays a crucial role in this crisis.
If I thought that and I were gay, I would be an atheist, or perhaps a pagan.
But it’s hard to know whether Gene is serious or not about this:
With the exception of Brown in Texas these suicides are not happening in Bible Belt regions of the country, where we might predict a greater-than-usual regard for religious thought. Instead, they are occurring in states perceived to be more liberal on LGBT issues: California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
If religiously inspired hatred was the predominant driving force behind this, one would expect these incidents to be concentrated in the “Bible Belt regions of the country.” But, by his own admission, they are not.
What I think we’re seeing here is someone who, as a gay cleric, sees everything either through an LGBT lens, a religious lens, or both. An occupational hazard of clerics is to see every problem as a religious one, which is one reason why I don’t work for the church any more. As far as the LGBT lens is concerned, the thing this community doesn’t want to admit (or anyone else to realise) is that, in these United States, you don’t have to be gay or lesbian to be persecuted. You just have to be different. If you can redefine different–and that’s a major objective for the leadership of the LGBT community–you can shift the persecution elsewhere.
HT to The Lead.