Open Forum: Is It Still Not Cool To Be Gay? [Teen Suicides Spark Debate]

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By: Vibe / October 18, 2010

Is it still not cool to be gay? That question has become a national topic of discussion recently following an upsurge in gay teens committing suicide after being ridiculed and harassed about their sexuality.

A couple weeks ago, 18-year-old Tyler Clementi’s body was recovered from the Hudson River. A week earlier, the Rutgers University student jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate broadcasted a video of Clementi having sex with another man.

Elsewhere in the country, teens like Indiana’s Billy Lucas, 15—who hanged himself after being bullied and taunted with gay slurs—and Asher Brown, 13, of Houston—who shot himself for similar reasons—have shed light on the destructive climate some gay individuals, especially young people, still face. 

There’s always progress. A new movement comes in the form of the It Gets Better Project. Housed on YouTube, its goal is to amass video messages of encouragement to gay teenagers, from both regular folks and celebrities, including Eve, Ellen Degeneres, Timm Gunn, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, Ciara and LaLa Vazquez. And our very own Kid Fury.

Three simple words: “It gets better.”

In an age where Proposition 8 (a constitutional amendment that makes gay marriage illegal in California) is still being heavily endorsed, are gay citizens being heard? Speak your piece.

DISCUSS: Are people still ignorant about homosexuality in 2010? Is homophobia more rampant in the Black community? How do these teen suicides affect the conversation?

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