Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

IT GETS BETTER: Mother of Slain Teen Gwen Araujo Addresses LGBT Youth Suicide
by Sylvia Guerrero
2010-11-01

This article shared 4163 times since Mon Nov 1, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


On the eighth anniversary of her daughter's murder, Sylvia Guerrero, mother of slain transgender teenager Gwen Araujo, released the following open letter addressing suicide and violence experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth:

Dear friends of the Transgender Law Center,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. It has been eight years since my beautiful daughter Gwen Araujo was brutally killed because she was transgender. Gwen was the light of my life. She was taken from us at the young age of 17; she was a victim of a culture where people react with violence when faced with difference. It is this same culture that led to the suicides of at least six lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people in the last week.

My heart goes out to the families of these young people. I know what it is like to be the mother of a teenager who endured constant bullying. I cannot count the times that I held Gwen in my arms while she cried at the end of the school day. My Gwen was so smart. She could have grown up to be anything she wanted. But her opportunity was taken from her. Years of bullying forced her to stop going to school. She was harassed and threatened every day. At the time, I didn't know that harassment based on gender identity and expression was against the law in California. My calls to the school went unanswered, and Gwen left school because it was not safe.

We need to do better for our children. Every young person has a right to an education. Every young person has a right to be safe. We must honor Gwen by making sure that every young person, every parent, every teacher, principal and school board member knows that discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity is against the law.

If you know a young person who is being bullied, please talk to them-let them know someone cares. Listening with your heart can save a life. If you know a teacher, talk to them about how they can support their LGBT students-whether those students are closeted, questioning, or out and proud. Be a resource in your community. Make sure our children feel loved. Make sure our schools are safe.

It has been eight years since I lost my daughter. How many more young lives must we lose before our culture changes? No young person should ever be threatened or harmed for authentically expressing who they are. Each one of us has the power to make a difference.

For information about how to address transgender issues in schools, please check out Beyond the Binary, a joint publication by the Transgender Law Center, GSA Network and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. And if you or anyone you know is being bullied, call the Transgender Law Center for help at 415-865-0176.


This article shared 4163 times since Mon Nov 1, 2010
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.