Jeez, another one. Pam:
Yes, again. A young person in Norman, Oklahoma in despair over community’s toxic comments about approving a LGBT History month resolution – which it did pass with only one dissenting vote.
A week after attending a Norman City Council meeting where a heated debate played out in public, 19-year-old Zach Harrington took his own life at his family’s home in Norman.
…Harrington’s family, who described him as a private young man who internalized his feelings and emotions, said it was this “toxic” environment at the Sept. 28 council meeting that may have pushed their gay son and brother over the edge.
…Harrington’s father, Van, said he wasn’t sure why his son went to the meeting, especially after his experiences in Norman once he revealed that he was gay as a teenager. He said he feels his son may have glimpsed a hard reality at the Sept. 28 council meeting, a place where the same sentiments that quietly tormented him in high school were being shouted out and applauded by adults the same age as his own parents.
From Zach Harrington’s parents:
Harrington’s parents don’t seem to hold any resentment toward the community that spoke out against Zach and others like him, even with the loss of their son not yet a week old.
“I don’t have any anger … I just hope those people look inside themselves and put themselves in somebody else’s shoes before saying things like that,” Van Harrington said. “Maybe if more of us did that, well, maybe things would’ve turned out different.”
Harrington’s mother, Nancy, said she hopes that other parents can learn a lesson her family is now paying for in sorrow and loss.
“This can happen to anybody,” she said. “No matter how diligent we are.”
I respect your grief, ma’m. But: No — no!
We all must be even more diligent. We can’t let this happen to anybody. It simply mustn’t happen to anybody, any more. We have to stop this. We can stop this. We have to tell our stories. Because our stories make us strong, and can give others strength to make it through.
Watch Sister Unity, unique and herself her entire life:
I sure believe this amazing person can stop some young person from making a horrible final decision.
Here’s the pledge of It Gets Better:
THE PLEDGE: We are the kids who have been bullied for being gay, lesbian, bi or trans. We pledge to stay open and strong. We are also the friends, family members, teachers, mentors, and allies of anyone who’s ever felt like they didn’t fit in, gay or straight. We pledge to talk to the kids in our lives to put an end to the hate, violence, and tragedy — and to offer advice on coping, strategies to make it better, and to remind kids that It Gets Better.
If you know a young person in crisis, can you please be sure that young person knows about It Gets Better — and on the web, now, too — and The Trevor Project? And the Make It Better Project, focused on actions we can take in our community to be sure It Gets Better. Now.
If you know a young person who is not in crisis — are you sure?
Ask. Be sure. We need to be diligent. As diligent as we need to be.
It’s got to stop.