Arts & Entertainment
A year ago, Dan Savage, author of the “Savage Love” syndicated advice column and his husband, Terry Miller, decided to do something about the alarming number of suicides by bullied lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) youth.
They wanted to send a simple message directly to bullied youth: “It gets better.” The couple made a YouTube video empathizing with the victims of bullying. As a teen, Savage struggled with his gay identity while growing up in an evangelical Catholic community. Miller describes the harassment he received growing up in Spokane.
“People were really cruel to me. I was bullied a lot, beat up, thrown against walls and lockers and windows, stuffed into bathroom stalls, people (expletive) on my car, people scratched my car, broke my windows,” Miller says in the video. “And my parents went in once to talk to the school administrators about the harassment I was getting at school, and they basically said ‘If you look that way, talk that way, walk that way, act that way, then there's nothing we can do to help your son.’ Honestly, things got better the day I left high school… Life instantly got better.”
A study by Dr. Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, published in “Pediatrics,” revealed that LGB youth were significantly more likely to attempt suicide (21.5% vs. 4.2%.) Hatzenbuehler's studies show that youth who live in areas with with a negative sociopolitical climate toward LGBT or questioning attitudes and no community support were especially at risk. The 24/7 Trevor Lifeline, a suicide prevention service of the Trevor Project, reports that 35% the thousands of calls they receive originate in the South, where social support systems for LGBT youth tend to be scarce.
By Michael Prochaska
"Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive!" Able to leap from hall to hall in the Morgan County Primary School. It’s hundreds of spirited superheroes!
MCPS held an annual costume-themed fundraiser for juvenile diabetes awareness Friday. Parent Tammy Mitchell had the idea of dressing up the children as superheroes and princesses as a good way to introduce awareness of the disease to other students.
Mitchell participates in walks at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta and other diabetes causes with her daughter, Kaily, 6, who has Type 1 diabetes.
“A lot of the kids in the school don’t know about diabetes,” said Misty Rhoades, mother of Jordan Rhoades, 6, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 3. She said sometimes it’s challenging but also rewarding to see how her son has matured from living with the disease. Jordan turned down the opportunity to dress up as Batman so he could be a real hero for a day – a police officer. “He said, ‘Mama, a policeman helps people. Batman just pretends to help people,’” Rhoades said.
Jordan Rhoades and Kaily Mitchell share a classroom with teacher Teddi Sue Wilson, who said the children are very independent about telling when they need their blood sugar tested. Wilson said teaching children with diabetes has made her feel more like a mother to her students.
As many as three million Americans may have Type 1 diabetes, according to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The school raised more than $1,000, which will be allocated to JDRF.
Printed in the September 29 edition.
Printed in the September 29 edition.
story by michael prochaska | photos by michael prochaska and courtesy of anthonywalksamerica.com
On a journey from Charleston to San Diego, Anthony Lambing finds southern charm and true hospitality
If Anthony Lambing’s journey across the United States doesn’t strike a comparison to Forrest Gump, then surely his philosophy on life does. He’s learned – through walking rural America – that he never knows what he’s going to get. Sometimes it’s a pair of shoes, a radio, a bottle of Gatorade or a friendly smile. It’s usually not a box of chocolates, but life is like that.
On a journey from Charleston to San Diego, Anthony Lambing, 26, stopped by Madison last week for only a few hours, most of which he spent entertaining morning customers at Perk Avenue. As he took a bite of his first slice of strawberry cake, the patrons of the coffeehouse took note of his week-grown beard, blonde and matching the hair on his arm that flared up and curled with sweat and grime; his American flag bandana tied across his forehead in a way that flaunts the stars but conceals the stripes; a 40-plus-pound backpack draped with canteens, camping equipment, and a white poster board that reads AnthonyWalksAmerica.com in black and red letters; and his animated, bluish eyes, spanning the room for a new friend to talk to. It turns out people are just as eager to talk to him.
Lambing, who is traveling across America on foot, has seen many small towns in the few weeks he began his journey, but though he said they never blend together, sometimes they do hearken to places once traveled.
story by michael prochaska
photos by angelina bellebuono