I don’t know how I missed thisWaPo article about a gay teen from a small town outside Tulsa. Whatever fears we have can be easily put aside when we think of the hardships kids like Michael Shackleford face. Read the article. (Update: then read part II, which starts with Michael’s suicide attempt. Crushing.)
Then read the followup from this month, when the writer goes back to Sand Springs to cover the town’s response to Fred Phelps’ sick attack on the poor kid. Amazingly, the town comes together to support Michael–moving from “fag-bashing” to “leave our homos alone.” This gives me so much hope–even the reddest corners of a red state know what hate is when they see it. And they reject it. Our challenge is to show how there is a Phelps hiding under every Dobson. When these hypocrites are unmasked, even deeply conservative and religious Americans will reject the division and discord they sow.
Now I want to figure out what organizations are doing the most to help kids like this.