Support our LGBT youth, always
In addition to finding resources to aid disenfranchised LGBT youth (Power to Speak, 5/16), I think one of the things that is very badly needed is family counseling and support. These children would do so much better in life if their families could find a way to be supportive and stick together.
Programs offering families of LGBT youth support and guidance would go a long way in keeping these fractured families together and keeping the children safe and off the streets. There is never a guarantee that parents or family members will come around and accept their children when they come out, but it would help; and I do believe that most of the issues involve ignorance and a complete misunderstanding.
Often, religious people fall back on their bibles and look for judgment and dismissal of their children from that source. But if they read carefully and if they think about it, would their G-d seriously dismiss and reject these children? Save me from such a G-d! No, they must find acceptance in their hearts, and love and cherish their children and help to keep them safe, not send them into the streets. Let us find/develop some programs to help families accept and support their innocent and wonderful LGBT children.
Loving my own children as I do, I could never understand how someone could turn their own children out for a life choice that threatens no individual in any way and which they would never “choose” — it is who they are, actually, and not a “choice” at all. When my own daughter (in a family group session) told me she thought she was gay (when she was 16 years old) and then asked how I felt about it, I responded: “It does not affect how I love you. The only thing that makes me sad is that your life will be more difficult because people are so non-accepting. But you are who you are and I love you all the more for it.” As it turned out, she later felt she was not a lesbian and married and had children, but nothing about any of that changed how I felt. Other parents in that group were not so accepting. This was 28 years ago, and while gay marriage bills/rights are making their way into our society, support for struggling families is not.
We are always talking about our family structure and how fractured it has become, especially with the huge rate of divorce. People need to realize that your children are your children, part of your family; and no matter what you do, they will remain your children for always. What you need to do is be their parents for always. If we really want to keep families strong, then it is up to us to become more accepting and loving of the children who need us most. LGBT is not a disability, but the way it is treated by so many families, it might as well be. We do not turn learning-disabled children into the street; why do we turn our LGBT children into the street? Can we look at some programs to aid these families in learning how to accept and love and protect their children? There are programs in place for the kids, but the families need education and support as well. (By the way, I will definitely attend the Ventura County Pride Weekend in August and hope that your readers will as well.)
The fracking question is not IF we should do it, it’s WHY? WHY are we doing it? Why waste this precious resource that, when removed from the ground, slowly poisons everything around it? So the most profitable industry in the history of the world can keep making those record profits by holding us hostage at the gas pump? So we can barrel headlong into a future with no air to breathe or water to sustain us? Why do it in California, a state that already has water issues and shortages? It’s not as though the petroleum industry couldn’t pay taxes enough to provide the health care necessary to survive the asthma and cancer which that industry creates. It’s not as though there aren’t alternatives. Join a nationwide call to get involved in our future with Jackie Keller of the Climate Reality Project.
A fracking dilemma
As a result of recent high prices, the environmentally hazardous extraction process of fracking has surged. This technique consumes large quantities of water, threatens contamination of the community’s supply, and leaves behind toxic residue.
The damage can be costly. In Pennsylvania, regulators found polluted water in 161 homes, farms and businesses in the period from 2008, the start of the fracking boom, to 2012. The number of water contamination incidents during that time fivefold grew.
Fracking has been around for a long time but only recently has the practice attracted a burst of new starts. We need to know to what degree we will be damaged by this and whether we want to accept the cost.
Is a smattering of new jobs in a toxic industry worth damaging our environment, particularly our water supply?
Ventura County’s Board of Supervisors recently voted to require information about fracking on land use applications with an eye to tracking how it would be practiced, what chemicals would be used and how the byproducts would be disposed of. Santa Barbara has passed similar requirements. A bill moving through the state legislature would place a moratorium on fracking. We need to let our state representative know we support this.
Capps vs. Coyne
One of the commonest phrases heard from conservative politicians is “nobody anticipated.” “Nobody” anticipated the crumbling levees in New Orleans during Katrina, the disastrous consequences of the Iraq invasion, the environmental impacts of oil spills, the widespread infrastructural failures that happen when the funding for public works is pulled, or the horrors of 9/11 (the August 6 PDB notwithstanding). And “nobody” is anticipating the thousands of large and small repercussions of global climate change, such as invasive insect pests, resurgent tropical diseases, agricultural collapses — and profound consequences for women around the world who are struggling in poverty.
“Nobody,” that is, except environmentalists, scientists and the occasional politician like Lois Capps, who recognizes that an important and essential function of effective government is to analyze and consider the possible repercussions of our laws and policies. By mocking Representative Capps, Paul Coyne shows himself ignorant of the deeper responsibilities of public service. (“Climate change causes prostitution?” News, 5/23)