GAY SAN DIEGO October 8-October 21, 2010
COMMUNITY VOICES My youngest son is a senior ✭ CANDYE KANE
CLOSET TO SPOTLIGHT
at the University of California, Berkeley and will be graduating soon. He is a music major and I remember how scared I was when he flew to New York for his first year of college at Hofstra University, a private college on Long Island. He shared a dorm room with a young man from Upstate New York, sleeping just three feet away from this new stranger. Through the years, he has had some decent roommates and some not so decent ones, but generally he has been lucky to have roommates who respected him and his right to privacy. He was allowed to have the dorm room to himself on prearranged occasions and never felt like
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My son has a private room at college now, but millions of LGBT students are not so lucky. Let’s let them know that they are not alone and that things truly do get better.
had been making love with a female or masturbating, perhaps he would have been given a high five and a good-natured slap on the back. It would still have been a gross violation of privacy but perhaps wouldn’t have ended so tragically. However, Tyler was filmed in a same-sex encoun- ter and the public airing of his private moments ultimately drove
property. And, as if we hadn’t en- dured enough heartache, late last week we learned that openly gay, 19-year-old culinary arts student Raymond Chase hanged himself in his dorm room at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. When will the suicides and ha-
rassment end? When will mothers stop burying their own children? And what can we do to stop this?
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someone might spy on him or film him. The recent suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Cle- menti, who leapt off the George Washington Bridge into the Hud- son River late last month struck a deep chord inside me. Tyler was a sensitive and shy young man, a gifted violinist who earned a seat on the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra without even being a music major. This sweet-looking, bespectacled young man remind- ed me a lot of my own son. Tyler asked for the room to himself for an evening but really didn’t get what he’d asked for because his roommate decided to leave a web- cam running in their dorm room. The webcam revealed Tyler engaging in intimate sexual acts with another man, and Tyler’s roommate decided to broadcast this private event on various social networking sites. If Tyler
him to the desperate and final act of suicide. My heart aches for Tyler’s
mother, who must have been devastated to learn that her son, with a future so full of promise, had taken his own life in such a tragic way. Unfortunately, Tyler’s story is not that unusual. Nine out of 10 gay teenagers experi- ence bullying and harassment at school—and gay teens are four times more likely to attempt suicide. Many LGBT kids who kill themselves live in rural and suburban areas, places with no organizations or services for queer kids.
Just the week before, 13-year-
old Cypress, Texas, resident Asher Brown shot himself in the head after enduring months of bullying and harassment. On Sept. 9, 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Greensburg, Ind. hanged himself in a barn on his grandmother’s
Helping LGBT youth see past the pain to a better tomorrow
Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers University student who jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge, was a virtuoso violinist.
Syndicated columnist Dan Savage of Seattle has started a YouTube page for LGBT people to share their stories of overcom- ing oppression and triumph over prejudice. It’s called the “It Gets Better” project. Savage encour- ages us to share our own video stories of survival to hopefully inspire youngsters and convince them that it does indeed get better. To learn more about the project, view a video or share your own story, visit youtube. com/user/itgetsbetterproject. Unfortunately, LGBT people
are not invited to speak at schools and churches to help educate youngsters and let them know that they are not alone. In fact, if a teacher or school administrator even dares to come out publicly in a small town, they might lose their job or become the victim of far worse discrimination. This is a lovely project that allows us to use our own voices to share our pain and our strength. It’s too late for Tyler, Asher and Billy to know that it gets better. But I know there are many other kids out there, especially
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a look at what went well and what went wrong with Universal and we’ve really listened to the community,” he said. “We’re very aware of our price points. It’s go- ing to be very affordable.” The new owners say they
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menu from Wednesday through Saturday. Sundays will feature a “Brady Brunch,” a retro-themed bottomless mimosa midday meal. On Mondays, Eden will serve dinner family-style with communal seating and an organic-centered menu that will be based on locally grown and sourced foods. Tuesdays will be reserved for rotating-theme din- ing and live entertainment. The first theme is Blues & Booze with traditional Creole cuisine and a jazz band for live enter- tainment.
The grand opening of Eden Restaurant is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 28th. Eden Night- club is expected to open mid to late November.
in small towns that desperately need to hear YOUR voice and hear YOUR story. Please visit the YouTube link and share your strength with others. Maybe we can prevent another needless loss of precious life. My son has a private room at college now but millions of LGBT students are not so lucky. Let’s let them know that they are not alone and that things truly do get better.
Big Love and Gratitude, Candye
— Bedecked in bright-colored feathers, sequins and rhinestones, Candye Kane’s performance is Mississippi by way of Las Vegas with a quick stopover in San Francisco. She has recorded 10 CDs and been included in count- less blues and jazz anthologies. She was nominated this year for three National Blues Founda- tion awards and has won Best Blues Artist nine times at the San Diego Music Awards. Visit her at candyekane.com
or myspace.com/ candyekaneband.com
FROM PAGE 5 GALA
with “outreach programs for LGBT youth and seniors.” The Hillcrest Youth Center ,
which recently relocated to a space near Park Blvd. and Robinson Ave., opened in 2000 and is “committed to providing a safe, affirming space for LGBTQ youth to be proud of who they are and the freedom to discover who they might become.” The Olin/Grinchuk Senior Space opened its doors in 2003 in the Main Centre Street building and serves as a meeting place and resource center for commu- nity members ages 50 and above. Kevin Tilden, who also served as chair of The Center’s board of directors, said The Center supports San Diego’s LGBT com- munity by, “being a focal point in the news.” “Elected officials turn to The
Center on LGBT issues,” he said. “The Center has moved the needle on issues like ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and gay marriage.” Gala tickets are still on sale.
Admittance to the event is $200. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit The Center’s website at thecentersd.org
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