The results are in from the autopsy on a high school student in Miltona who died from what some said was a suicide but which is father insisted was a heart condition.
KSAX TV in Alexandria reports Lance Lundsten died from a mixed drug ingestion. The Douglas County medical examiner has ruled the case a suicide, the station reports.
Lundsten's death had fueled a renewed debate over suicides of gay teens who had been bullied, but it quelled somewhat when his father said Lundsten died from a known medical condition.
The debate also sparked an usual public argument between the Alexandria Echo Press newspaper, which had criticized the TV station for not accepting the father's version of events.
Gay and transgender commit suicide at a much higher rate than the rest of society. I don't know of statistics on gay people, but a recent national survey of 6450 transgender people showed that 41% had attempted suicide, compared 1.6% of the population. And of course this 41% are the people who didn't succeed in their attempts.
Often it is hard to pinpoint a direct link to a specific bullying incident. The things that drive GBLT people to suicide often build up over years and decades of a lack of acceptance. For those who are closeted, years of homophobic and transphobic comments from people you otherwise trust takes it toll. And for some it is more than they can bear.
With this teen we may never hear whether the suicide was motivated by bullying, the most extreme and blatant form of homophobia. But it is only one form. It may have the the underlying current of comments of those he loved or those in his peer group or the larger society. Maybe it was unrelated to being gay. But regardless, many GBLT folks are driven to that point by a lot less than outright bullying.
Be kind to GBLT people. It can be a brutal existence. And of all the people you meet in a day, you often don't know who is GLBT.
I commented on this early today and I got a message saying it would be posted after being reviewed. Did that comment drop into an electronic black hole somewhere or was there something wrong with it?
My fault; I never saw it in the queue. It got picked off because of the inks.
Thanks, Bob. Nothing wrong the post...other than the numerous typos. Sorry! Like I said, it was early this morning, as in pre-coffee.