Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lady Gaga Speaks Out Against Hate...And Why Did Billie Joe Jump Off the Tallahatchie Bridge?

I posted about Jamey Rodemeyer here earlier this week.

And I heard today that Lady Gaga is now speaking out against hate and she sounds like she means business.

Here's a link to the article.

Just so you know, folks. This isn't something new, this thing where gay people commit suicide because they're being bullied or they can't accept who they are, or they feel trapped and alone. It's not a trend and it's not the issue of the day trending on twitter and facebook. I grew up in a small town and I remember a very effeminate gay teenager who wound up shooting himself for reasons that were never disclosed. I can remember other incidents like this, too. I was one of the luckier ones. No one knew I was gay until I decided to come out on my own terms. But it's not like that for all gay people.

And now we're finally seeing it for what it is. Being a gay YA shouldn't have anything to do with luck. And we're not willing to sit back and take the abuse anymore. I believe changing this begins with one person and grows in magnitude. And if we can get to one person, like Jamey Rodemeyer, and show him that it does, indeed, get better, we're on our way to conquering a great deal.

Why did Billie Joe jump off the Tallahatchie Bridge?

Questions arose among the listeners: what did Billie Joe and his girlfriend throw off the Tallahatchie Bridge, and why did Billie Joe commit suicide? Speculation ran rampant after the song hit the airwaves, and Gentry said in a November 1967 interview that it was the question most asked of her by everyone she met. She named flowers, a ring, a draft card, a bottle of LSD pills, and an aborted baby as the most often guessed items. Although she knew definitely what the item was, she wouldn't reveal it, saying only "Suppose it was a wedding ring." "It's in there for two reasons," she said. "First, it locks up a definite relationship between Billie Joe and the girl telling the story, the girl at the table. Second, the fact that Billie Joe was seen throwing something off the bridge -- no matter what it was -- provides a possible motivation as to why he jumped off the bridge the next day."[3]

And I found this, here:

One night at a party, however, McAllister gets drunk. In his inebriated state, he makes love to another man dressed in drag, though later he reveals he knew what he was doing.

This is all speculation about Billie Joe. We'll probably never know the real answer as to why Billie Joe committed suicide. But I do know that a lot of young gay people have been committing suicide for many years and it's always been covered up because of fear and hate. And it's time that stopped.

All those "things" you hear in your small town, and the anxiety you have about being gay right now will change in time. Your minister, priest, rabbi, or whatever might think they know better, but they really don't. They only think they do. Talk to someone who knows about being gay. It really does get better...you just have to believe this.

6 comments:

NG said...

How ironic is it that this woman is the one who yelled into a microphone asking President Obama whether he was listening and here was Jamey Rodemeyer asking LadyGaga to listen to him and she wasn't.

mary gresham said...

Ryan,
When I heard what happened, I went to youtube and watched Jamey's videos. He seemed so full of life, maybe not completely happy. But when I saw the one where he was dancing, I thought to myself, why. Why did this have to happen to such a beautiful child.
I'm sure you read Brad's blog and how this upset him. I talked to him earlier and told him thatI wanted to do everything in my power to make a change here in my town. i told him how my son was also bullied in school, but was strong enough to ignore the name calling and yes he was called the F word. But I also said he was not gay. It was only because of the way he looks that this happened. I know it bothered him, but he never let it get to him.
Then I told him not to be hard on himself about thinking about eyeliner and other stuff, that Jamey would not want that, he would want him to live life to the fullest and it's true, even if they didn't know each other.
We can't let the bullies win, ever.
Brad is going to talk to me later about trying to help me get a support group of some sort going here, even though we live hundreds of miles apart. No matter what it takes, if we are able to save just one kid, it will all be worth it, because I realize it could have been my son.

ryan field said...

NG...I don't think any one person can solve this problem...not even the President or Lady Gaga. Like Hillary Clinton said in her book, "It Takes a Village." It has to be a group effort.

Mary...Keep me posted on this group. I also think that if you wanted to start an online group it might help a lot. YA are comfortable with technology and they know the Interwebs.

mary gresham said...

I will keep you updated. Don't know how fast it will get done, remember, I'm new to this, so I'm going to need all the help I can get.
It's kind of funny, I read your post not long after we got to the bar where Randy is playing tonight and someone just asked him to play Ode To Billy Joe. Kind of makes chills go up and down my back.

NG said...

The problem I'm having is that IGBP was specifically designed to have people come together and offer whatever resources these kids needed to make sure they go thru their day without getting grief and torment.

Instead, all it's been is a bunch of celebrities, politicians, and sports entertainment figures - many bullies themselves in their day - giving kids a false sense of hope and security, and no one wants to speak to that.

ryan field said...

NG...I fully and completely agree with you. The people who speak up first are usually those who disappear first. You have no idea how many times I question the motives and sincerity of other authors when they start campaigning about certain issues that are serious but also trending at the same time. It's like "I'm all for this!!" and then they disappear until the next book is released.

That's why I think it's important for kids to have places they can go online for help. It's comfortable and they can remain anonymous.

One reason I keep this blog rated pg at all times is because of this. But my books are for adults only and it's not easy to separate the two.

Mary...Keep me posted. I've been on this topic for a long time. I really do remember teen suicides when I was growing up and they were always covered up. The real reasons, which I suspect had to do with their sexual identities in many cases, were never discussed. Small towns!!