I’m having a hard time processing a difficult thought about the below news story.
Summary: this kid was involved enough in activism to make one of those “It Gets Better” videos, in which he (here’s where the headline, but not the part of the story I found difficult, comes from) thanked Lady Gaga. Then he went and killed himself a year later. That part? That’s the part I found troublesome, of course.
The difficult thought: is it possible that the “It Gets Better” movement, by talking about suicide as a direct result of bullying, emphasizing a causal link, actually makes suicide feel like more of an option to a certain kind of kid, sometimes, maybe? “I’ll show them how evil they are for bullying me. I’ll show them the campaign was right.” I know that I myself was a drama queen as a gay teenager (I’m still a little bit of one as a gay old man), and I can imagine, at my worst/craziest/most stressed-out/angry, thinking that a suicide, especially if it was politically loaded within the context of an activist campaign, could “make a statement.”
This is not a logical thought, nor is it a reasonable result of participation in the campaign. But suicide is not a logical and reasonable thing. Is it possible that by talking about suicide, we make it — for some kids, maybe the most unstable kids — more likely? That’s not possible, is it?
I don’t necessarily believe the difficult thought. I don’t think I believe it. I don’t want to believe it. I want to believe that Silence = Death and Speaking Out = Life.
But it is a difficult thought, and it occurred to me, and, like I said, I’m trying to process it. And the article made that difficult thought happen in my head. Talk me down (as Rachel Maddow says), friends, please.