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Suicides bring awareness

September was a month of loss across the nation, as six male students killed themselves, due to harassment over being openly or suspected to be gay.
On Sept. 29, Raymond Chase, an openly gay sophomore at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, hung himself, making him the latest victim in this series of suicides, according to the Huffington Post.
The other victims included Justin Aaberg, a 15-year-old student at Anoka High School in Minnesota, Billy Lucas, a freshman at Greensburg High School in Indiana, Asher Brown, an eighth grader at Hamilton Middle School in Texas, Seth Walsh, a 13-year-old at Jacobsen Middle School in California, and Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey, according to the Campus Progress Web site.
Celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris have expressed their remorse, and the topic has blown up popular news resources such as MTV, VH1, CNN and ABC News.
This issue of young homosexual adults being harassed is only getting heightened attention now because of all the recent occurrences. Children, and even adults, have always been bullied, leading some to spiral into depression and the taking their own lives.
“Persecution drives them to suicide,” gay columnist for “The Stranger,” Seattle’s alternative arts and culture newspaper, Dan Savage, told ABC News.
It seems to always take a tragedy for people to realize the severity of an issue.
While most of the nation didn’t seem to acknowledge this problem heavily in the past, people have thankfully spoken up before and decided to do something about it.
There are programs, such as the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization created in 1998, which has been aiding depressed students and trying to prevent these occurrences.
It is still disheartening that it took six young adults killing themselves for the nation to realize that this is a problem.
I am glad, even though it is a little delayed, that people are taking notice of what hatred can do. Being a teenager is hard enough without your peers constantly ridiculing you and your family, regretting you based on who you love.
Not everyone agrees with homosexuality but that doesn’t mean that they should  lash out at and criticize them as human beings. They are just like the rest of us, trying to live their lives each day.
Children can be ruthless and will pick on anybody a little bit different because they are still learning basic rights and wrongs and how to treat their peers; adolescents are awkward and trying to blend in, while figuring themselves out. By the time you reach college, your morals and views are formed enough to have prejudices against certain groups; you should understand the consequences of your actions better at this level.
Hopefully, this will touch more than just the gay celebrities and help people realize that their actions can have a negative effect on someone’s mentality and esteem. We should teach our children, or future children, tolerance of others, not hatred.
We, as adults, should learn to set aside our views and try to get to know the person beneath the title; it could save their life.

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