Bullying | Kathleen McKinley

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Houston Chronicle Columnist Instructs Parents to Tell Their Gay Kids to Stay in the Closet for Their Own Safety

Houston Chronicle columnist Kathleen McKinley has penned an incredibly homophobic and irresponsible column suggesting that LGBTQ teens should be told by their parents to stay in the closet for their own safety.

MckinleyMcKinley says she came up with her brilliant idea after reading a People magazine about gay teen suicides due to bullying.

Am I mad at the hateful mean kids who bully and tease these teens? You bet I am. But I am just as mad at the idiotic adults who force our adult views on kids, and pull them into our adult world long before they are mature enough to handle it. The 13 year old that killed himself told his Mom he was gay. She said she already knew and hugged him. She said she just assumed that everyone else would be as accepting as she was.

Really? Have you been around teenagers? They are cruel and mean. They constantly tear each other down. It was bad when I was a teenager, I can only imagine what it’s like now. No, I don’t have to imagine how it is now. This is how it is now. Why in the world would you give teenagers a REASON to tease you? Oh, yes, because the adults tell you to embrace who you are, the only problem? Kids that age are just discovering who they are. They really have no idea yet.  The adults tell you to “come out,” when what we should be telling them is that sex is for adults, and there is plenty of time for figuring out that later.

McKinley then trashes Gay-Straight Alliances:

Because we adults and celebrities and our culture are so determined to sexualize EVERYTHING, we have created a climate where everyone is put into sexual categories (gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgendered, transvestite, sluts, man hos, cougars, ect), which is just so high school, isn’t it?  The 15 year old who committed suicide had started a “Rainbow Club” at his high school. Was there NO ADULT anywhere that could have said that maybe that isn’t such a good idea? Oh, no. Because that would be politically incorrect. Good grief. The idea of a high school club based on who you want to sleep with is absurd to begin with.

She accuses LGBTQ kids of flaunting their sexuality:

If my 13 yr old had told me he was gay, I would have hugged him too. I also would have told him that I would love him no matter what. But I wouldn’t have pretended that he could just put that out there among his peers, and everything would be great. There is NO reason to flaunt sexuality of ANY kind that young.

And says that the "It Gets Better" campaign is killing kids:

These kids were sold a bill of goods by people who thought they were being kind. The “It will get better” campaign just didn’t think it through. They didn’t think about the fact that kids are different from adults. They handle things differently. They react differently. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE KIDS...They don’t see it getting better no matter how many times Lady Ga Ga says it will. So, enough with our politically correct campaigns aimed at kids. It’s killing them."

Are Adults Also To Blame For Gay Teen Suicides? Yes. [houston chronicle]

(thanks, tipster nathan)

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Comments

  1. We live in a big ass state here in Texas; therefore, we also live with a lot of big ass, well, assoholics like this incredibly ignorant homophobic "Houston Chronicle" columnist. Apparently she's so stupid she literally doesn't know her ass from that pie hole in her head (bless her little ol' heart)!

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Nov 4, 2011 8:43:16 AM


  2. I wonder,does she also believe that straight kids should hide their sexuality as well? You know, no dating, or dancing, or holding hands, because all of that is "flaunting" their sexuality. Somehow, I doubt it. Fact is, she just has a problem with gay sexuality.

    Posted by: LiamB | Nov 4, 2011 8:53:50 AM


  3. When I was younger, I was hospitalized for depression. They put me in a room with a homophobe. I didn't hide my gay identity from him. He made all kinds of a stink, and made life unbearable. The so-called professionals at the institution gave me the same advice this crackpot is giving--hide who you are. You can't be out, it makes life difficult. I left the institution. They did me no good. It is time for society to take up the burden of realizing who the problem is. The problem is not that we are out. The problem is the bigotry. That is where you have to put your efforts...fixing the haters, not the victims.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Nov 4, 2011 8:54:14 AM


  4. Are adults responsible for teen suicides? Yes -- the adults who raise their children to be hateful bullies. The adults who raise their kids to hurt others who are different from them. The adults who twist their kids' minds so that they think it is OK (or even good) to belittle others, to demean them, to despise them. Adults who condone all that -- like McKinley -- yes, yes they are responsible for teen suicides.

    Posted by: kit | Nov 4, 2011 8:54:39 AM


  5. Following that logic: Girls should be told to pretend to be boys so they can hide from bullies and not get raped. Black kids should paint themselves white to hide from bullies. Short kids should pretend to be tall so they don't get bullied. Better yet -- why don't we just teach each of our kids to be a bully? Problem solved! What a tracking moron. This is a professional journalist? Shame!

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Nov 4, 2011 8:57:49 AM


  6. You see the problem with you GAYS is NOT that we refuse to give you the same rights we have; ....It's that you KEEP asking for them. Cant you just shut up...


    These people are unbelievable

    Posted by: Allen | Nov 4, 2011 9:01:47 AM


  7. She talks about kids coming out to their parents, parents being supportive, and then receiving abuse from other kids. What if it is the other way around? What if they are rejected at home, and the only place they can receive any support is from fellow students in a "Rainbow Club" at school? Kids should have options for sources of support.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Nov 4, 2011 9:07:56 AM


  8. Has anyone actually read what she wrote? This woman is not homophobic at all. The world of adults IS different than kids and adolescents. She has some totally valid point: particularly about it being inappropriate to flaunt sexuality at a young age, and how hostile adolescents can be. I don't think the It Get's Better campaign is killing kids, but I still see that she's looking out for the best interests of kids.

    Posted by: Moses | Nov 4, 2011 9:08:54 AM


  9. So, Moses, do you also propose that the straight kids be forced to stop flaunting their sexuality too? Because by dating, holding hands or just gossiping about who they like, they are flaunting their sexuality. Being honest about being gay isn't "flaunting sexuality." Dating someone isn't "flaunting sexuality." These kids would only be flaunting their sexuality if they were engaging in over the top displays of sex in public. And if your are going to ask the gay kids to hide their sexuality, you'd better be expecting the same thing from the straight kids.

    As it is, expecting teenagers to not be sexual is plain ignorant. In spite of whatever sexual mores society wishes to enforce, biology will always be stronger. Teens are going to be sexual, because nature expects them to be.

    Posted by: LiamB | Nov 4, 2011 9:22:10 AM


  10. Just HIDE HIDE HIDE until you're 21 presumably and hope they don't notice you.

    What terrific far-seeing advice. If you pretend you're not there then Kathleen McKinley will too. Problem solved,

    Posted by: yonquersconquers | Nov 4, 2011 9:24:16 AM


  11. The real problem I see with all of her comments is the short-sighted connection made between sexual orientation and sex. Yes, as a gay man, I only want to have sex with other men. But also: I only want to seek the companionship of men. High school is exactly the time when students are starting to learn what it is like to have someone special, to be someone special for someone else, and all the good and bad that comes along with that. I agree that 13 year-olds probably shouldn't be all up in your business about who they're having sex with, but I absolutely think it's appropriate for 13 year-olds to be able to open about the kind of companionship they seek.

    And furthermore, high school is ALSO a time for emotional & personal development. Being LGBT is not just about who you have sex with or how you feel about your own gender: it is also a part of your identity. It comes with a culture (like it or not), and it is a minority. Asking students to put off thinking about their identity as an individual in the context of being LGBT and their identity as an LGBT individual in the context of the world at large is just impeding their maturation. Why put that off?

    Blerg. So many misconceptions in that article. And what Kit said is perfect: the real problem are the parents who teach their kids that bullying is okay.

    Posted by: Mark | Nov 4, 2011 9:24:35 AM


  12. I’m only just 50 y/o but I feel that I was a teen a very different time, seems like centuries ago and it was just the 70’s. Back then in Middle America only the very brave (or crazy) would “come out” in High School.
    Most of us just counted down the years and days and hours before we could ESCAPE the silent torment while “out” straight classmates went on with what seemed to be “normal” adolescence. Four years seemed like a 1000 back then.

    For many of us we bare the emotional scars to this day sadly,

    This woman is far too young to have lived in that world and far too short sighted to understand that the “political correctness” she decries is simply time and society moving on. History is never a smooth road.

    Posted by: NE Rich | Nov 4, 2011 9:26:59 AM


  13. @ Moses: Honey, living in fear of being found out for your true nature is in nobody's "best interests." I think if you read some LGBTQ history, you will find that life was not better when we all had to hide.

    Posted by: kit | Nov 4, 2011 9:28:24 AM


  14. The flaw in her and many others' thinking is that they refuse to understand and believe that teenagers have sexual and emotional desires. They do, and that is why they manifest, whether the child is straight or gay.

    Posted by: Jack M | Nov 4, 2011 9:37:54 AM


  15. I have 2 kids ages 6 and 8. My husband and I just had this discussion. We are completely open and I'm sure their friends will know we are gay. Who knows if either of them will turn out to be gay? But I agree that it is certainly a valid option to be smart about who you tell, especially when you are a teenager, and especially if you live in a very homophobic area. If they ever tell me they think they might be gay, I would tell my kids that they need to take some time to figure it out for sure. And if they are sure, I would warn them about what they might experience if they come out at school, but tell them I'm proud of them and would help them weather any blowback they get. But I would also tell them that it's perfectly fine with me if they want to wait a while to tell people if they feel like it would be unsafe to talk about it. As a parent you want your kids to have the best experience growing up as possible. It would be best if they could come out and be themselves and date who they want to, etc. In many places in the country and at this point in history, though, that might not be the best experience for them. We don't need our kids to be fighting our battles for us.

    Posted by: Tyler | Nov 4, 2011 9:43:01 AM


  16. The "it gets better" campaign and gagas song (sited by the columnist so why I site them) were response to the killings.

    The killings did not start after said campaings

    Her logic is completely flawed

    Posted by: say what | Nov 4, 2011 9:47:59 AM


  17. @Alex Parrish

    Girls DO dress like boys, actually. And girls that wear modest clothing like LL Bean or Lands End get treated better--well, aren't groped, teased, or sexualized--than girls who wear tight fitting tops or short-shorts. I'm not arguing if this is "right"--nor is this lady. We're saying this is just how it is. Gay kids shouldn't be bullied, teased, hurt, or have anything happen to them other than being accepted, loved, and appreciated. Same goes for girls and other minorities.

    However, thinking that clubs or laws will change the hardness in the hearts of other kids or human nature itself (which a lot of you are citing in regards to sexuality) is preposterous. It won't happen. Kids must be educated to learn math. Kids must be educated to be kind and tolerant. Schools are doing neither.

    What she is saying is not homophobic or sexist--since she's also speaking to the sexualization of young girls. She's saying that her opinion is better to be safe than sorry. It is an opinion and an approach. It is saying that while women should be allowed to wear their bras and panties and walk down the street without being raped, wearing your bra and panties and walking down the street will get you raped...so put some clothes on.

    Do I necessarily 100% agree with her? No, but I see what she's saying.

    I've thought a lot about what if one of my children were gay. I'd love them, tell them its what Nature decided for them, and that God loves them as much as Mommy does. However, if I saw that they were being picked on at school instead of having them start a gay club as the solution I would probably either homeschool them or move them to a school where things were more tolerant. My job is to keep my child alive and get them through school. Their life is more important than anything else.

    Now, call me overprotective or say I'm hurting their growth and development all you want, but ... I'll do what I have to do to keep my babies safe and the entire rest of the world can hate me for it. No one loves my children like I do. I have watched them grow from tiny babies in my arms to the kind young children they are today. It would outrage people on this site if one of them were battered by school kids for being gay. It would end my own life if my child was battered to death for being gay.

    And that's the parent difference. We don't get a choice to have a political or philosophical view on our children. They are our entire existence. There is no life without them in it.

    Hell, at 25 or 30 they can yell at me for stifling them...but I'd just be happy that at 25 or 30 they were alive for me to stifle them.

    Posted by: Rin | Nov 4, 2011 9:50:37 AM


  18. Orientation does not equate with sex.

    Because a child recognizes orientation, does not mean they act on it, or frankly there would never have been a concept of the 'virgin bride'.

    I get what she's saying, but the whole premise is wrong. She ought to be asking, what is it going to take for others to simply let people live their own lives in peace & exactly why they feel they have the right to weigh-in on the lives of others.

    Because if we get to do that, darling, I have some suggestions for all of you.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Nov 4, 2011 9:57:04 AM


  19. Well she does say flaunting of ANY kind. So I assume she means straight sexuality as well. Unfortunately they can get away with it sans harrassment.

    Posted by: TyN | Nov 4, 2011 9:58:00 AM


  20. Middle-aged conservative Republican women from Texas are NOT the people who should be injecting their 2 cents into a situation they don't understand. And I'm really, really tired and beyond annoyed of constantly hearing out-of-touch people, straight AND gay, injecting their 2 cents into a debate they need to stay out of. I won't necessarily call her article homophobic; what it is, is incredibly ignorant and a woman who is out of the loop of the real world of today.

    What she's saying is she's coming from a position of "let kids grow up without having to deal with adult issues" mentality. The problem with that is, that part of growing up is growing into who you are as a person, including ones' SEXUALITY. It's not something you just shut down, especially when you're a teen. Especially in the world of today when there is imagery, videos, websites, all dedicated to sex. Another problem is that she keeps connecting sex and sexuality when they are different subjects.

    People like her also don't realize a lot of gay kids cannot just blend in, and being perceived as gay is essentially the same as actually being out. She is so concerned about protecting kids, but the only way to protect kids from anti-gay discrimination---is by fighting against anti-gay discrimination. It's just too much blind ignorance. I want to be upset, but really, all I can do is shake my head.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 4, 2011 9:58:16 AM


  21. Here's another very stupid woman who cannot grasp the difference between sexuality for sex. On top of it, if she had a gay child, she would hug them and tell them to hide it from their peers. Well by her pretzel logic, she couldn't have a gay child or any child who knows their sexuality because that equates to sex. And since she doesn't know the difference, how could they know they were gay or straight? Also, she would then tell them to hide it which means BE ASHAMED. The message is, "I love you but you're horrible."

    F*ck stupid people. The fact she's basing this on a People magazine article tells me where her level of intelligence stops anyway.

    She should be ashamed of her ignorance.

    Posted by: Bart | Nov 4, 2011 9:58:29 AM


  22. Actually, thinking about it a little deeper, it makes me pretty angry, this "solution" to the issue of anti-gay bullying. It's effectively saying if you don't want to be anti-gay bullied, be less gay or stop "flaunting" your homosexuality. Don't like gay hate, don't be gay. It makes me angry because it once AGAIN makes it seem as if homosexuality is the ultimate issue, even if that isn't the intent. It makes "gay" seem like a vice, like it's shameful. Now more than ever we have to stand up for ourselves and our LGBT children, and straight children as well, are bullied kids. Deflecting the issue isn't the answer.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 4, 2011 10:10:20 AM


  23. However, thinking that clubs or laws will change the hardness in the hearts of other kids or human nature itself (which a lot of you are citing in regards to sexuality) is preposterous.


    I'm sorry but the visual presence of GSA groups ARE making a huge impact on hate. Look at the stats. Younger people are more accepting of gay people than older. When something is open, when people can see that gay people are not these scary predators that the church tries to demonize them into then attitudes change. GSA or rainbow groups are not ONLY for gay people. They are for people who want to end the hate. Who want to fight homophobia through education and openness. You can't fight homophobia by pretending gay does not exist.

    Posted by: Jamie | Nov 4, 2011 10:11:27 AM


  24. that article makes me shake with anger. Here's the link to the article. Please let her know what you think of it.


    http://blog.chron.com/texassparkle/2011/11/are-adults-also-to-blame-for-gay-teen-suicides-yes/#comment-24687

    Posted by: andy | Nov 4, 2011 10:31:38 AM


  25. "Flaunting sexuality"? Yet another person who seems to think gay is only about sex. It's not. It's also about your heart beats for. It's also about love, and to tell a kid to deny his or her capacity for love because someone else disapproves is a huge disservice to that kid. Sure, help them be discreet if the local situation calls for it, but for God's sake, give them some outlet to let their hearts *speak*.

    Posted by: justinw | Nov 4, 2011 10:33:36 AM


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