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The Conversation Surrounding LGBTQ Youth: Jamel Myles Loss to Suicide

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What usually goes through the mind of a 9-year-old? Their favorite cartoon or video game? When their homework assignment is due?

Those are probably some things that the typical 9-year-olds would be thinking about. However, death or dying from suicide should never be one of the things a child should ever have to think about. Unfortunately, we lost the life of 9-year-old, Jamel Myles, last week from death by suicide after being told to kill himself by his classmates four days after he started 4th grade.

Jamel was found in his home dead by his mother last Thursday. This story made it on twitter headlines on Tuesday and started a conversation surrounding LGBTQ youth, bullying, suicide, and sympathies for the family.

So who’s the blame for the death of Jamel Myles? The kids who bullied him or the heteronormative rules set up in society. I lean more on the latter because children often get their behavior from adults.

In an academic journal a study conducted by the 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the results found that 40% of adolescent youth who identify as gay, lesbian, or questioning contemplated suicide. Unfortunately, transgender identifying teens weren’t included in this survey but the numbers would be even higher than the ones that were reported originally.

Below are excerpts from an article on the ACLU website in regards to Harassment of LGBTQ Youth.

” A study of Massachusetts high school students published in the journal Pediatrics reports that nearly one-third of gay teens had been threatened in the past month with a weapon at school, compared to 7% of heterosexual students surveyed.”

“The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) conducted a survey of 496 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students from 32 states. This survey found that over 90% of LGBT youth reported that they sometimes or frequently heard homophobic comments in their schools.”

Entire studies are done to show how LGBTQ youth are affected by bullying and harassment yet people on social media including parents are still feeding into homophobia which their own kids learn from them.

#YungMiami from #CityGirls speaks on an old tweet that’s been surfacing 👀

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

Gurl I….Get your problematic faves and their associates with this trash rhetoric off of social media.

I always hated seeing those what would do if your son/daughter were queer tweets because the people only use them as a way to bash the queer community with a hypothetical. Just admit that you’re homophobic or transphobic so we can drag you properly and move on.

Those who identify with the LGBTQ community have to go through two forms of adolescence one where they walk in the world as “heterosexual” and the one where we have to hide our true identities because society says we’re not morally right. Most times we suffer in silence in order to not be singled out by our peers or family members.

Jamel Myles was confident enough to tell his mom and sister about how he identified; however, the harassment pushed him over the edge and another queer youth was lost too soon from suicide and bullying.

Conversations are still being had over the ways we can improve society so more children and adolescents would feel safe and comfortable in their identity both in the world and in their families. Overall we have a long way to go.

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LGBTQ

Dating With HIV

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LGBTQ

THE INHERENT OPPRESSION IN WHITE QUEER SPACES

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The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of KingofReads.com

 

If you’ve read any of my writing previously, or understand how I feel about intersectionality, then you are fully aware that I am getting ready to wage war on the Midtown-Moon, previously Burkhart’s, in Atlanta, GA.

Snuggled in one of the whitest areas of Atlanta, I was at first apprehensive about traveling to this predominantly White Queer Space, as the privilege in these spaces is often insurmountable. However, because I was reassured by my Black Queer brothers, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and practice the very thing that I preach: cultural immersion. 

To give you an idea of the types of folx that venture here:

Let’s get back to why I proclaim that these White Queer spaces are indeed insurmountable: language, language, language.

For some ridiculously odd reason, White gay men love to make the most insensitive, racist, xenophobic, transphobic comments all in the name of a gotdamn joke. Do I look like a fucking joke to you? And do you know what the most unfortunate part about this is?

Come closer…closer…

BLACK QUEER PEOPLE STILL WILLINGLY TRAVEL TO THESE SPACES AND ALLOW THEM TO PERPETUATE THESE IDEOLOGIES!

Moving right along. We walk inside Midtown-Moon and we’re greeted by a seemingly friendly karaoke host. His energy was great and kept the attention of someone like myself who honestly, doesn’t do well with large group outings. Cool.

It is important to note that while this is a predominantly White Queer venue, they sometimes cater (notice I used the word “cater”) to “People of Color (POC),” not Black people.

Let’s observe the quotation around POC. This simply means folx that they love the brown and black people who help them perpetuate the xenophobic, privileged, and internalized oppression all in the name of color. It’s like a false ass “kumbaya” moment.

On this particular Tuesday Karaoke night, about 67-70% of the patrons were visibly of color, mostly Black (get into it).

We’re moving right along with karaoke and on comes “1000 miles” by Vanessa Carlton. We all know this song! This excitement is now thrown out of the window because the overly obnoxious host decides to scream,

Oh bitch! You chose the whitest song ever! This is White privilege right here!

Immediately, I’m slightly disgusted. I’ll get back into why this comment is literally vermin.

After he rants, and rants, and screams these same sentiments almost throughout the ENTIRE song, the poor patron singing takes his exit.

Next on the list is “Bye, Bye, Bye” by none other than NSYNC. Our Xenophobic host was partnering with an individual by the last name of Sanchez. Here is the next rant:

Bitch! Immigration! Immigration! Somebody find Sanchez! Immigration! Somebody call ICE!

If you are not bothered by the above statement, you need to challenge your understanding of cultural insensitivity and xenophobia and its effects.

Why did this White gay man feel as if he had the space to make “light” of experiences that he will never have. Why will he never have this experience? BECAUSE HE IS WHITE! BECAUSE HE IS WHITE! BECAUSE HE IS WHITE! BECAUSE HE IS WHITE!

People, it’s time to wake the fuck up. Some of y’all are in the period of in between snoozes. I need you to wake all the way up.

As a privileged person, especially being White, it is not your place, nor will it ever be your place to make light of oppressive situations all in the name of a fucking joke.

Language folx, creates space for thoughts. These thoughts create space for feelings. These feelings create space for perceptions. These perceptions create space for actions. Actions create the space for marginalizing people, wrongfully incarcerating them at alarming rates, allowing environments to not have clean water for years, allowing the homeless to freeze to death, allowing a seventeen-year-old’s murderer to walk free, the abrogation of DACA, the slaying of young immigrant children, and the shutdown of a government to build a gotdamn wall that literally has no benefit.

To you people who claim that everyone is “too sensitive,” wake your dumbass up.

To the Black people and other POC who uphold these ideologies, wake your dumbass up.

To the people who are offended by me insulting your disregard for human life, wake your dumbass up.

Sidenote: As this raging xenophobe cracked his “jokes,” the rest of us just looked at him.

The Black people and the other People of Color were just there for good karaoke. That’s it.

White Queer people, if you would like for everything to be “kumbaya” and all inclusive like claim it should be, stop saying dumb shit that reinforces a divide. No, I don’t have to assimilate to oppressive bullshit.

-A Fed Up Black Queer Man

Photo citations:

https://thegavoice.com/news/atlanta/burkharts-gm-responds-owners-racist-facebook-posts-uncovered/ (this one even points out the racist owner in the article)

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Teyana Taylor Returns to IG, Releases WTP music video

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Teyana WTP

10s, 10s, 10s across the board! Teyana Taylor gave us body and brought it to the ballroom in her W.T.P. music video.

After leaving the platform because Def Jam didn’t release the video for WTP on time, Teyana is back. She returned to IG yesterday, posting a still frame from her video captioned with a touching message.

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First time I met YOU (LGBTQ/ballroom) I was 15. An age when I didn’t feel my prettiest, didn’t know who I really was ya know. I was still finding myself in this crazy world like any other normal 15 year old but it’s so crazy how before I became the woman I am today, most importantly, I was accepted with open arms by YOU. YOU made me feel so beautiful. YOU embraced my strong features, YOU embraced my big hair, YOU embraced everything about me like no other and I knew from that day on that YOU would a home for me and would forever be apart of who I would become & something I would love and forever embrace AT ALL TIMES. Stepping into the industry shortly after, I realized that a lot of people did not embrace YOU the way I did, I was confused I could not understand for the life of me why YOU wouldn’t be embraced! Why the hell was people ashamed of YOU!! My sweet 16 I had YOU part of it and it weirdly did not make the episode, I had YOU in my very first music video at age 16 that you also oddly didn’t make it in. I never understood why but it hurt me. But I never let it stop me from EMBRACING & LOVING YOU. So I continued to always remind people that this is me! This is who I am. Once I realized that them NOT embracing YOU had become a repetitive thing, I vowed to continue to represent YOU whenever to whoever!! And that one day when I am where I want to be and I have control and power I would WORK MY PUSSY unapologetically to the world with you and make sure the world see where I come from and not have to worry about ANYONE editing YOU out or being ashamed of MY HOME. YOU have taught me to embrace my sexuality, tap into my sexy, love my strong features, love my body and the list goes on and on. It’s so dope to finally do something for/with YOU that WE CONTROL UNAPOLOGETICALLY. I love YOU so much and thank you for everything. I want to thank my staff and crew, I want to thank all the icons, legends & kids for making this video magical W/O YOU no pussies would be WORKEDT!💕 and @_mykki_ thank you for ur voice and presence on WTP my love.❤️ swipe to see full caption.

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WTP is a self-directed ballroom tribute filled with cameos and references to Paris is Burning. Throughout the video, Teyana pays homage to the culture that helped her find herself. The video features queer dancers, models, and an iconic cameo from Lena Waithe. Establishing herself as the Muva of House Petunia, Teyana directed crews in New York, Atlanta, and L.A.. She even contributed to the editing and credits an all-female production company for the shoot.

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