Before Jason Collins revealed that he is gay, I suppose I'd never really pondered the amount of courage it takes, even in this day and age, to come out of the closet. And it does take more than a fair amount.
Although the increasing visibility of LGBT people and gains in equality may be associated with short-term rises in homophobic violence, these changes are merely triggers. We must move beyond superficial and individualistic analyses of such heinous events and target their root causes.
Violence against local gay men and lesbians continues unchecked, with three incidents in as many weeks recently, including a double murder. And why is this so? Tradition? Christ? A misplaced morality that is in fact immoral?
Thirteen years ago Matthew Shepard was clinging to life as a result of a brutal, anti-gay attack. It was only a few weeks prior to Matthew's attack that I was contemplating suicide, having endured years of anti-gay bullying and torment.