Good information, Steven Hopper!
We really do need to be more free to talk about these issues. It’s sad how divided we are as a nation — by region, by religious affiliation, and by political pursuasion.
It’s so easy for people who live in progressive urban bubbles to presume that the kids are all right. We see pop culture embracing youth who fall into gender and sexual minority status. We see kids like your pan student who are hip, self aware, and self accepting.
We see loving families out supporting their queer kids at Pride marches.
We see rainbow colors on corporate merchandise.
Trans and gay kids are still suffering in so many places. Often, right in front of our noses. In my capacity as an LGBTQ advocate and writer, I see reports of LGBTQ suicides every day. Every single day.
And every single day, I see reports of people who succeed in silencing public discussion of gender and sexuality issues in school settings and other settings around teens.
Just today, I read about a Prom for queer teens being cancelled due to public protest. My heart aches for the kids who must have been so excited to go to a dance that was going to include them.
The lesson that adults in their lives taught them instead is that they’re shameful and unworthy of public celebration.
We have so much work to do as a society!
It’s awesome that we’ve come as far as we have. But we aren’t where we need to be yet, and sometimes I fear our progress blinds us to ongoing need.
Thank you for highlighting that so well!