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Protecting Suicidal Homosexual Teens

photo- failuretoland.tumblr.comSeptember 4-10 was earmarked as National Suicide Prevention Week. It was recognised that youngsters identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) are two out of three times more likely to commit suicide when compared to their heterosexual counterparts. Tragically, one out of three lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens will attempt suicide.

As the LGBT community in Antigua & Barbuda, and the wider Caribbean, continues to grow and more young people openly declare their sexual orientation, many have and will become targets for aggressive behaviour.

This is unacceptable. Assaults often result in serious injury or death. In other cases, suicide is the answer. Regardless of how we feel about diverse sexual orientations, we have to find saner, more holistic ways to embrace each others' humanity. Yes, we may still acknowledge deep ethical differences, and at the same time, relate to one another from the context of the Golden Rule.

The school, of all places, should show exemplary leadership, social graces, and rational behaviour. Some who are put in charge of our schools ignore anti-LGBT bullying. As these so-called responsible adults remain neutral in the face of obvious and subtle heckling, unfortunately, their behaviour reinforces dark stereotypes about LGBT. They also send the wrong message to the teens that their sexual orientations do not matter. Beyond the school, I expect church leaders, without damaging their good Christian identity, to uphold ideals of human solidarity.


I don’t expect the church to abandon its ethical obligation of telling the truth to its communities. But the church cannot turn a blind eye to the social evil of harassing and inflicting serious injuries to LGBT’s. This leads to teenagers taking their own lives. No way on earth could this negligence be right in the sight of God.

LGBT teens struggle with mixed feelings over their sexual identity - be it feelings of being attracted to someone of the same sex when he or she was raised to get married and have children. These feelings of same-sex attraction are compounded by feelings of rejection. When linked to intolerance from a school system, society at large, and resistance from within one’s own family, suicide sets in.

It is particularly painful for LGBTs to be rejected by their own families. The home should be a place of love and comfort, but in many instances, it is riddled with conflict and stress. It becomes an increasing hostile environment for LGBT teens.

Unless we cultivate a passion for nurturing social commitments, even with those who are different from us, our societies will not grow and expand. LGBT teens need to feel a sense of belonging and love. They need to be integrated as full members of the family. They need to be protection by law. And they need to know that they can grow up to make their contribution to nation building, like any other teen. If we protect their individual rights, they can make a difference that inspires us all.

On September 12, the Guyana Stabroek News featured a young man who told his story of how, as a homosexual teen, three men grab him off the street in Georgetown. They took him to a dark alley where they raped him, then left him bleeding and broken. He felt so ashamed that he never told anyone the real story about what had happened to him. The men claimed that they wanted to teach the boy a hard lesson. The young man contracted HIV.


Fortunately, the youth has come to terms with what happened to him. He turned a tragedy into a triumph, and now travels all over the world speaking about his ordeal.  This is a great ending. But for many other LGBT teens, the story ends with suicide.

It is well known that people who go through life not feeling loved, respected, and accepted from peers are likely not to love themselves. Many fall back on suicide.

When we put an emphasis on community and compassion, and on values-based politics, we promote the common good. Time to save our LGBT teens.

Dr. Oswald R. Thomas is a Certified and Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist/Psychotherapist with the American Board of Hypnotherapy, the International Association of Counselors and Therapists, and the International Board of Medical and Dental Association.

He is founder of the Thomas Center Human Development, Inc. and serves on Bronx Mental Health Committee, served on Community Board #5 in the Bronx, and the Bronx Neighborhood Planning Committee as Chair of the Youth Committee. With a Ph.D. in Psychology, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies in Human Services, Dr. Thomas is a counseling therapist/Behaviorist, and Professor at Metropolitan College of New York.



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12 Comments In This Article   

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Exactly...

#12 The Punisher » 2011-10-03 14:09

*http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=zRwLMC2w P0g&ob=av2e*

to the point isn't it?
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The Punisher

Committing Suicide

#11 Gay Teen » 2011-10-01 10:57

Gave me a little chuckle this morning...thought you would enjoy....

A tough looking group of bikers were riding when they saw a girl about to jump off a bridge, so they stopped.

The leader, a big burly retired Navy Master Chief, got off his bike and said, "What are you doing?"

I'm going to commit suicide," she said.

While he did not want to appear insensitive, he didn't want to miss an opportunity, so he asked, "Well, before you jump, why don't you give me a kiss?"

She did, and it was a long, deep lingering kiss.

After she'd finished, the biker said, "Wow! That was the best kiss I ever had. That's a real talent you are wasting. You could be famous.

Why are you committing suicide?"

My parents don't like me dressing up like a girl......."
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Gay Teen

Really... @ Llamanex

#10 The Punisher » 2011-09-30 20:05

Didn't your god create everything? Isn't he omnipotent? But he didn't create Susan and Sally nor an Adam and James. They were created by your god to teach you about tolerance, understanding and compassion. Like left handed people, they are just unique, but no more and definitely no less.
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The Punisher

Are we human

#9 Gay Teen » 2011-09-30 18:37

is the Gay Teen like everyone in Antigua and Barbuda and the Caribbean worth protecting, shame you if you think not.
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Gay Teen

Re Jerry

#8 lamanex » 2011-09-29 23:15

When God created Adam, he then created Eve as a companion. He did not create a Susan and Sally nor an Adam and James. His instruction was for them to multiply (have children) and populate the earth. No male and male nor female and female can do that.
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lamanex

Really..?

#7 The Punisher » 2011-09-29 19:29

The bible also states that adulterers should be stoned. You gonna follow that dogma too Llamanex? You don't think S&G was **d by a force the then civilization did not understand instead of by an adult imaginary friend? Do a little scientific research and learn to think for your self.
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The Punisher

@ Lamanex

#6 Jerry Canterbury » 2011-09-29 19:18

So sorry you speak with such righteous error. Please read the Bible Text again. The issue was not about homosexuality. The struggle was how inhospitable people were to strangers. This article is about saving our teens . Where is it promoting any particular preference for homosexuality or heterosexuality?

There is a difference between reading the Bible and understanding what you read. Lamanex, the no where in the Bible does it condemns Lesbianism. When the text is clear then be bold. When the text is unclear then be silence and thread softly.
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Jerry Canterbury

RE: Protecting Suicidal Homosexual Teens

#5 lamanex » 2011-09-29 18:17

The Bible expresed that homosexuallity is an abomination unto the Lord. Sodom and Gomorra was destroyed by God because of their sexual culture. Why should our Churches not respect and stick to the principles of the Bible.
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lamanex

Powerful Call Part 2

#4 Dr. Isaac Newton » 2011-09-29 09:48

As a moral institution, the church must be given the freedom to align our sexual orientations with our spiritual orientations regardless of whether we are heterosexuals or homosexuals. Intolerance for those who are different on the basis of gender, sex, and race must be opposed by our religious faith. Whereas the church should not undermine the reality of difference, it can’t sever compassion from sexual descriptions. Faith in God demands living a transformed life grounded in God’s ideal for his children. Religious leaders can recognize the gaps between failure and success without abandoning their tradition of how faith transforms our sexual norms and ethical lifestyles.
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Dr. Isaac Newton

Powerful Call Part I

#3 Dr. Isaac Newton » 2011-09-29 09:48

Your reflection on civic good and religious conviction and how both should move us to save LGBT teens is both compelling and encouraging. I understand the need to be very critical about the church’s categories of interpretation that are plain wrong. We have to oppose visions and viewpoints that are destructive to our religious ideals. Off the bat, we have to fight the enormous prejudice against LGBT’s rights. But I think the church is wrongly accused of coping with difference in responsible ways. Let’s be cautious about making blanket statements.
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Dr. Isaac Newton

Serious!

#2 Say So » 2011-09-29 08:22

Clarion Call to do justice. This menace should not continue. We have to protect all of our children. Thanks Dr. Thomas
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Say So

Really...

#1 The Punisher » 2011-09-29 08:11

Good article, it's a start to addressing this situation, but i would like to make one suggestion. Change "The church to abandon its ethical obligation of telling the truth to its communities" to "The church to abandon its self imposed, dogmatic , unethical obligation of telling its version of the truth to communities". After all, propagating hatred has nothing to do with spirituality.
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The Punisher

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Dr. Oswald R. Thomas

Dr. Oswald R. Thomas Dr. Oswald R. Thomas is a Certified and Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist with the American Board of Hypnotherapy, the International Association of Counselors and Therapists, and the International Board of Medical and Dental Association. He is founder of the Thomas Center Human Development, Inc. and serves on Bronx Mental Health Committee, served on Community Board #5 in the Bronx, and the Bronx Neighborhood Planning Committee as Chair of the Youth Committee. With a Ph.D. in Psychology, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies in Human Services, Dr. Thomas is a counseling therapist/Behaviorist, and Professor at Metropolitan College of New York.

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