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Gay Middle Schooler Kills Himself

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: Nine days after a middle-school boy in California attempted suicide by hanging, he died. What's remarkable about this tragic story is that it reads like a script out of the 1960's. The boy, 13-year-old Seth Walsh (no relation, although his mother shares my first and last names), was reported to be gay and was being bullied at school. As in the old stories of homophobia and discrimination, the school administration in the small town of Tehachapi, California, did little to help young Seth.

Seth Walsh

According to The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual-orientation law and public-policy think tank, there are an estimated 8.8 million gays and lesbians in the U.S.; some experts say it's more like one in twenty people. The body of evidence that proves sexual orientation has a genetic component grows every day. So why are some people STILL threatened by one of nature's precious variations? Why can't middle-school kids have more compassion for each other's differences?How could what happened to Seth have happened in this day and age -- and in progressive California, no less?

The amazing thing about the Walsh family is that their grief has not exploded into anger at this senseless death. Instead, they wish to celebrate Seth's life and are asking mourners attending the October 1st funeral to be tolerant. According to the Tehachapi News, Seth's grandmother, Judy Walsh, said, "We are trying to keep it more positive. We are hoping the community will develop more tolerance for different people."

Meanwhile, the town of Tehachapi's website reads, "Tehachapi is a vibrant community known for its quiet neighborhoods and bustling business districts. With many community groups, places to worship and cultural activities, we offer something for the entire family." Hmm ... the only thing the town does not seem to offer families is a respite from horrific intolerance.

May you rest in peace, Seth.

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62 comments so far | Post a comment now
zandhmom September 30, 2010, 12:52 PM

This is very sad. Funny, the more that is put out there by the gay society, the less it seems to be accepted. It doesn’t matter that this is 2010 instead of 1960, there are still many of many of people who do not nor will not accept homosexuality. Right or wrong, it is still sad when anyone takes their own life.

Rig Dawg September 30, 2010, 4:07 PM

I look forward to the day when sexual deviants are allowed to adopt children and serve openly in the military. I can’t believe that anyone would condemn or oppose this! I am in the Navy and I want our homosexuals to be free to tell us about their sexual deviation and I want them to be loud and proud! I want to be able to look around me and 24/7 on a 6 month deployment and take comfort in knowing that the people who I’m working closely with and sharing living quarters with are sexual deviants. I want them to be able to walk around on the boat all day long proclaiming their deviation for me and all of my fellow honorable service members to hear, including the Captain, the Commodore and all of the marines on the boat! I will not rest until sexual deviants are practicing their deviation openly, loud and proud, in full military uniform. Dear God please get them into the service. And to those of you that are in the service having to conceal your sexual deviation; thank you for your service! We’re gonna make sure you can be open, it might take some more work, but we’ll make it happen!!! God bless you sexual deviants!

Anonymous October 1, 2010, 9:38 AM

Rig Dawg, you’re the reason hatred and bigotry continues in this country. Shame on you.

Kendra Cass October 1, 2010, 4:28 PM

Tehachapi is not progressive and California on the whole has only pockets of progressive thinking. On the whole I don’t believe schools feel that identity issues are of importance, with test-fever and budget cuts. However it is time that they do as more children become aware of their sexual selves. If not we will continue to lose bright young lives over misunderstanding and ignorance.

Someone2133 October 1, 2010, 6:01 PM

Tehachapi has a HUGE percentage of residents who are racist, prejudiced, and homophobic. It is not a place where diversity is championed. The teenagers who bullied Seth Walsh were raised by parents who are most likely biggots themselves. If you want to be around “good ol’ boys” and their wives, then this is the place for you. Many of the people here don’t move away from here and they are very isolated/insulated from the diversity of Los Angeles even though it’s only 2 hours away. The sad truth is that people who behave like these bullies and their parents don’t have the education to accept people for who they are. Also, some of these good ‘ol boys are the guy from “American Beauty” who kills Kevin Spacy’s character at the end.

sunson November 15, 2010, 9:29 AM

This is the reason we left Tehachapi. These people have a very narrow set of values and are very suspicious of outsiders that don’t meet their strict guidelines.

The family probably did not press charges because they thought their son was a ‘deviant’, and they have to live in a community where people would not tolerate ‘deviants’. No matter the child suffered immensely. The family should have provided the child with a ‘closet’ to live in permanantly because the school sure did and the community as well. They all were judge and jury. They provided the sentence. With the child out of their face they don’t have to deal with or see the child anymore.

Tehachapi residents remind me of the Stepford Wives Movie. Surely these people can’t be human beings with real emotions? They are indeed robots - and programmed - and cannot act on their own as individuals. Beware of this place!!! Scary.

I am so sorry for the child. May he find some peace in a very tolertant heaven.

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