26 August 2009


26 August 2009
The media have been very busy over the last few weeks discussing whether the television programme, which was to go to air about the suicides of 4 young people from the same Geelong school, should be released at all.

A great deal of the fuss was being made by Jeff Kennett who started an organization called “beyondblue’ to deal with depression in the community.

The trouble with all of the fuss is that nowhere is there any mention of gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV/AIDS members of the community who are more at risk of suicide in the community than their heterosexual counterparts, and that is in part because of the homophobia of Jeff Kennett and much of the media in general.

Some of the arguments about publicizing the events in Geelong run along the lines of ‘if you give these suicides publicity it may, in all likelihood, lead to copycat suicides or ideations thereof.’

It seems, on the face of evidence available at the moment, that publicity would not only be a good idea, it may bring to the public attention the fact that there are very real problems among many young people in the community and these problems need to be addressed and addressed very urgently.

It is time the attitude changed of keeping so many taboo topics ‘in the closet’! Child sexual abuse is these days given a great deal of publicity – why would it not with so many religious men and male family members and their male friends guilty of child sex abuse, usually statistically of female children?

Other topics which are still taboo in the media are issues such as euthanasia, atheism, religious right-wing homophobia and intolerance and discrimination, elder abuse by governments and nursing homes and other government and non-government agencies, and other topics which haven’t been mentioned at the moment.

Suicide is a very real problem, youth suicide is an ongoing tragedy, and the refusal of all organizations such as beyondblue and the media to include gay, lesbian and transgender young persons’ suicide is part of the ongoing tragedy in the community of the endless homophobia we face on a daily basis.

Publicity is needed and organizations should be formed to address the issues which lead young people to feel so desperate that they kill themselves. It is not surprising, up to a point, when young people see how those who govern the country and those responsible for education, training and employment are so self-serving that they fail to see the tragedy at their doorsteps.

Unfortunately the present political and economic set-ups under which we live our daily lives do not provide a great deal of inspiration to young people, and if these young people do make cries for help to people in the community, these are often not heard or are ignored – ‘they will grow out of it and grow up eventually!’

People like Jeff Kennett should be told that their ignorance of the situation is such that they should shut up and get out of the business of interfering in matters about which they know nothing, or very little. And the media should publish and be damned!

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm