Did I Sign a Youth Death Sentence?

By | March 15, 2011

I am a cowardly murderer.

I stood by watching the hate and homophobia of the world devour our youth and did nothing to prevent it. I could have spoken up. I could have screamed. I could have demanded they take me.

Like Sophie, I could have done the unthinkable and offered to sacrifice what I hold most dear. I could have produced my play The Other Larry King Is Dead. What I did was do nothing.

My hands are bloody and my heart is heavy. I foolishly thought that the world didn’t want to hear about a young boy’s murder. I foolishly believed that the world was not ready and didn’t need the complex dialogue required to understand and prevent the murder of our young gay brothers and sisters. I thought, we thought, someone else would take care of it.

My play went unproduced.

My refusal to display my thinking and outrage kept me safe and all the torments of childhood at bay. No play equaled not having to dredge up all the mockery and scapegoating of my youth. In not putting out the work, I was safe, our kids were not.

We have to get in the game. At this point, lives are being snuffed out and every one wants to offer a heartfelt apology for what could have been done.

Young people, please reach out. Find an older person and demand that they listen.

Older persons, shut the hell up and offer assistance and recognition that sometimes things do suck. People are ignorant and cruel and occasionally downright stupid. We have to take responsibility for our young people.

We can no longer depend on people to do what is right and then feign shock when it doesn’t occur.

We all have our versions of not putting out our work. Where are the groups that cater to young people’s self esteem and life skills? Where are all the religious zealots who love to quote the Bible and yet pretend that God allows discrimination? Where were the adults, the educators who could clearly see what was going on with Larry King and yet thought it would blow over and get better if there was no attention drawn to it?

I am an educator and an artist. Every day in a number of ways, I am presented with opportunities to be complicit with domination, coercion, and foolishness or to take a stand.

Taking a stand is risky and uncomfortable. Witnessing danger that leads to death and doing nothing is heart crushing.

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