Ellen Degeneres Speaks Out on the Lawrence King Murder

Ellen Degeneres Speaks Out on the Lawrence King Murder

I'm late on this but I don't think it can be repeated too many times. We need to internalize Ellen's message:

“I would like you to start paying attention to how often being gay is a punchline of a monologue or how often gay jokes are in a movie and that kind of message, laughing at someone because they're gay, is just the beginning. It starts with laughing at someone then it's verbal abuse, then it's physical abuse, and then it's this kid Brandon killing a kid like Larry.”

Countless candlelight vigils are being held in remembrance of fifteen year-old Lawrence King. Online you can join the MySpace or Facebook group. This year the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) annual Day of Silence, April 25th, will be held in memory of Lawrence.

Why, oh, why in 2008 is being gay or identifying yourself by traits that aren't traditionally associated with your gender still often treated as a laughing matter or worse? We're people, with limitless variations in personality and ways of expressing ourselves, not binary numbers.

It's unthinkable that an eighth grade student was killed because of his sexual orientation and gender expression and we need to make sure this doesn't happen again. As Ellen passionately points out, it's an election year in the U.S. and it's of the utmost importance that you vote for a candidate who truly believes all people are equal under the law.

At the moment there are only ten states that protect students from bullying based on sexual orientation (and only half of those protect students based on gender expression and identity). If you're a student or educator in the U.S. find out how you can get involved with the Day of Silence here. You can also check out GLSEN for resources on starting a GSA, developing a safe school campaign and research on bullying.

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