Marlo Thomas Declares 'Free to Be' Dead Due to Anti-Gay Bullying
Marlo Thomas, author of the beloved, groundbreaking classic 1972 record album and illustrated book Free to Be...You and Me, has declared the concept she espoused nearly 40 years ago dead to children because of bullying.
Writes Thomas in a Huffington Post piece:
Just how many dead teenagers, driven to end their own lives, is it going to take for adults to stand up and say,What the hell is going on? There was a time when the words "Free to Be" embodied a hope that whatever a kid was, was good enough. But "freedom" doesn't describe the world of this generation. Or of their parents.
For all the walls we thought we'd broken down with Free to Be -- and all the stereotypes we thought we'd shattered -- children today are not free to be anything they want to be, nor anything they are, and they are dying for it. And no beautiful lyric can fix that.
If there's one thing I've learned over the years about tackling problems, it's that the first thing you need to do is spark the conversation. So let's start talking about bullying. With our neighbors. With our friends and family. With fellow parents at PTA meetings. And with each other -- right here. Let me hear what you think. It's time to take bullying down.
In the meantime, if you're worried that a child in your life might be a victim -- or is, in fact, the bully -- there are some helpful thoughts at such websites as stopbullying.gov. I'm sure there are countless other sites, and I'd like to know about those, as well. We don't have the time -- or any more kids' lives -- to waste.
Watch the opening to the 1974 TV special based on the book and album, AFTER THE JUMP...
Free to Be...Not Anymore [huffington post]