shame and silence are deadly

It’s been a bad month.  Six kids killed themselves because they were bullied, because they were gay.

Six kids.

It’s beyond tragic, because that’s six totally preventable suicides.  Six deaths that happened because our culture is such a mess when it comes to sex.  Sex is supposed to be about pleasure, about joy, about celebration, about intimacy.  Sex connects people and sometimes creates life.  Sex is closely linked to creativity and leads to relaxation.  Human sexuality is good stuff.

There’s no reason for us to be ashamed of who we are.  The cornerstones of good sex have nothing to do with the gender of your sex partner.  The vast majority of sexual acts are not gendered–good sex happens because of consent and communication and skill, not particular body parts.

And who we love is even more tender, even more delicate, even more complicated.

When we create shame and silence around who we are, or around the ways in which we have been bullied, we feed a culture of destruction that keeps us from claiming our own identities in public; it forces us to lie, which creates spaces where we are stifling ourselves and not holding space for others like us.  Our responsibility to speak out is more than a gift to ourselves–it is a duty to those who follow us.

I am many things: out queer, liberal, clergy, sexuality coach and educator, person of color.  Those things are part of who I am and I don’t have to apologize for that.  There is space for all of us in the world.  And if you’re young and queer and struggling: it does get better.