The news has been full very recently of Suicide , by boys and young men in America.
It is difficult to think of anything more sad than a young person taking his or her own life.
But these stories make me uneasy. About the media, about our attitudes to sexuality, and about the agendas of the gay rights movements, particularly in America at the moment.
Some pertinent Questions have been posed by Mr Fuck Theory on this issue. I respect him for challenging received wisdom about such a current, emotive subject, especially as he is based in the U.S.
I have a few (rhetorical) questions of my own.
Can we identify a boy of 13, categorically as ‘gay’, so early on in his sexual development?
Is his own self-identification as gay to do with his sexuality or how he has been treated by those around him?
Has anyone commented on the fact that he shot himself with his step-father’s gun, which was lying around in their own home?
By labelling these young men as ‘gay teen suicides’ are gay campaigners adding to the stigma of growing up with a sexuality that doesn’t fit the straight, hetero ‘norm’?
Has the media found a cluster of examples in order to make a story, when actually suicides by young men in particular are relatively common occurrences?
When people say ‘Gay’, do they really mean white, male, middle class, liberal?
Is America a fucked-up place to grow up, no matter what your gender identity or sexual orientation?