I will celebrate my 48th birthday this week. Although I am undeniably middle-aged now, I feel as if I have lived two lifetimes. The number 48 is significant to me because I have lived twice as many years as my first boyfriend, who committed suicide when he was 24 years old.
I stand with my queer brothers and sisters and denounce the terrible act that took place at the Family Research Center on Wednesday, but I also say enough is enough. Our deep, dark secrets only have as much shame as we give them.
Rallying to punish Dharun Ravi does not do justice to Tyler Clementi's life, nor does it move us one step closer to preventing another young person from turning to suicide. The politics of blame are a dead end. Instead, we need to build out an ethos of shared responsibility.
I want LGBT students to know that they are worth something, that there is help out there, and not the kind of "help" offered by pray-away-the-gay pastors and other cult leaders, but help from folks who want them to celebrate who they are.