You're A Monster If You Teach Children To Be Homophobic

You're A Monster If You Teach Children To Be Homophobic

Jamel Myles should have never been driven to suicide.

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Elementary school should be a place where children feel safe to express themselves and start to figure out who they are as individuals. It should not be a place that fosters homophobia.

Jamel Myles, a nine-year-old boy from Denver, committed suicide a few days after sharing with his classmates that he was gay.

The proper response to his brave decision to come out would be to show support and compassion, but instead, he was met with bullies. Leia Pierce, Jamel's mother, explained that the same children that used to bully her son last year only bullied him even more once he came out.

Jamel first came out to his mother over the summer and her reaction was perfect. She saw that he was scared as he told her he was gay, and she reassured him and told him that she still loved him. Jamel then gained confidence and decided that he wanted to come out to his classmates at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School. Pierce stated,

"He went to school and said he was going tell people he's gay because he's proud of himself."

That is exactly how he should feel about himself, but the feeling was short-lived because his classmates told him to kill himself.

He was only at school for four days and the bullying he experienced in that time frame was enough for him to feel like ending his life was the only option.

Pierce feels that the parents of the children that bullied Jamel are responsible. She said,

"I think the parent should be held (accountable) because obviously the parents are either teaching them to be like that, or they're treating them like that."

I completely agree with Pierce, because children are naturally accepting people. Jamel's classmates must have thought that it was okay to bully him because they were being exposed to that kind of hatred at home. It does not excuse their actions, it just means that they are not the only ones at fault.

It is disheartening to know that as a parent, you can do everything right and give love to your children if they come out to you, but your positive actions might not be enough if they are faced with bullies at school. The parents of those children should be ashamed of themselves because their hatred for gay people caused the death of a nine-year-old boy. It is despicable to use your children as a means to spread your hateful agenda. It is a parent's job to teach their children to be kind and accepting and mold them into the best possible people they can be. Teaching your children to be homophobic is the exact opposite of nurturing them.

I hope that Jamel's death can serve as a lesson to those who believe that they are justified in teaching their children to hate gay people. If your ideologies make you believe that driving a gay child to suicide is okay, then you are a monster.

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What It's Really Like To Have A Miscarriage As A Teenager

You were just the size of a sprinkle, but I knew I loved you.
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I'm a teenager. Who expects to be a mother during their teen years? I sure didn't. And when I found out I was pregnant, it was the hardest thing I've had to deal with. That was, until, I lost that precious and tiny child growing inside my body. That changed me.

I wasn't ready to be a mom. I had no experience with babies. I was still in high school, I was on track to graduate. I had plans for college, I wanted to live in the dorms and to meet new friends and make incredible memories. A child was the last thing on my mind. Sure, one day I wanted children and a family. But I wasn't ready. Not now...

Being a pro-choice individual doesn't mean I would get an abortion myself. In fact, I couldn't imagine doing that. That was out of the question. My boyfriend was excited and supportive. He was more ready than I was, which gave me confidence. His family, especially his mom, were 100% supportive, too. They wanted me to achieve my dreams as much as I did. Though I was only a little over a month pregnant, I felt confident that with help, I could do this with my boyfriend.

You were only the size of a sprinkle, but I knew I loved you.

When I first told my parents, I was alone. It was just me, no one by my side. At first, they were scared with me. I was crying and I remember them on the verge of tears. Their 17-year-old daughter was pregnant. I went to sleep that night knowing they were scared and very disappointed with me, but I was not prepared for what was to come.

The next day I got a very bitter email from my dad (yes, email) while I was at school saying I couldn't drive the car now and that he would drive me to and from school. Fine, whatever. But then he said that as soon as I turned 18, that I wasn't welcome in his house. He recommended that I drop out of high school and work full time otherwise I couldn't do this. My father, a college professor, recommended I drop out of high school. I was in shock, and completely heartbroken. My mom was still very disappointed but later assured me that I would not be kicked out when I turned 18 as it was her house too.

That same day at school, I went to my guidance counselor. I talked to her and the school nurse, who happened to be pregnant too, and they gave me pamphlets and information on how to move forward through this journey. I also went to a teacher that I was very close with and confided in her too. Their support and information were a huge help.

I was at work that night when I got a text saying they wanted to talk to me when I got home. They were both very mad and forced the idea of abortion or adoption on me. I wasn't for it and they knew that but made sure I knew that they were "certain" I wouldn't succeed if I kept that child.

I went in for blood work the next day to check my levels and they called back with bad news. My levels didn't rise, which could mean a few things. 1. It was just a false reading. 2. It could result in a miscarriage. Or 3. It could be an ectopic pregnancy. I was terrified. Later that day, I felt something and went to the bathroom. It was blood. I screamed for my mom to come upstairs because I was bleeding. Very heavily and very fast. We went to the hospital, they did an internal ultrasound and verified it was a miscarriage. They started digging around to get the rest of the cells and tissues out. The entire time I was crying and did not know what to do. My mom and boyfriend's mom was there, and eventually, my boyfriend arrived too. He was almost as heartbroken as me. The child we made, we didn't get to meet.

I was miserable for weeks after that. Crying myself to sleep every night became a habit. I didn't want to eat or do anything.

Still, today, tearing up as I write this, it hurts to talk about and breaks my heart. I always wonder what life would be like now with our child in this world. But, I'll never know. I will never forget the day I lost you, my little sprinkle ❤

Cover Image Credit: Clipart

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I Chose Babysitting Over Retail And Will Never Regret Taking Care Of 'My Kids'

Children have taught me so much about myself.

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Babysitting just sounds like a high school thing. Like something you do a few days after school or on occasional weekends when your parents are pressing you to get a job but nowhere seems to be hiring. So why not watch some kids for a few hours a week? It pays well (usually) and it's easy (sometimes).

Maybe not right now, but a lot of us will want a family of our own one day.

Did you ever think about what you are going to do when a baby is placed in your lap and you suddenly become permanently responsible for someone other than yourself? First-time parents are learning every day. It's like switching your major from journalism to biomedical science. Those who've experienced children through babysitting will always have the upper hand, a little bit of background skill.

What I've learned from babysitting is that no child is the same. Each child I've babysat comes from a different family with a different dynamic and a different set of rules. Therefore, how could every child act the same?

It's easy to get mad when they're stubborn or don't listen. But how can you blame them? You have no idea what happens in their home when you leave to make it to that party you thought you were going to miss.

The children I've babysat have taught me just as much, if not more than I feel I've taught them in the short time I've had them. Kids are kids, every age group is a different version of annoying, I know, I get it. But every now and then, if you just stop and listen to what they have to say, they will surprise you every time.

Not only are kids funny, but they've had me on the ground laughing out loud, thinking, "How did that sentence just come out of a three-year-old's mouth?" The pure mispronouncing of words and insertion of quotes they must've heard on television — it's all an expression of how their brains are understanding the world and it's really quite amazing.

But every once in a while, that three-year-old will tell you something that completely baffles you.

Something about life or about the world that makes so much sense and is explained so simply, it makes us adults look stupid. That is why I love kids. They have this unique ability to teach us a thing or two about how we should be acting and how we should be treating one another.

Over the past six years, I've been peed on, fallen asleep on and creamsicle dripped on. I've had shoes thrown at me while I'm driving, I've dealt with a little boy's bloody fist after it punched a hole through a glass window.

Temper tantrums and breakdowns aside, the hardest part about babysitting is leaving.

When the end of the summer rolls around and it's time to move back into your college apartment, the hardest thing you will do is say goodbye to those kids that called you "Miss Renee" 45 hours a week, for three months. Those kids looked up to you as a role model. They didn't see you as the broke college student who needed a way to fund her senior year and pay off her credit card debt. By the end of the summer, they become so much more than that.

Those were "you're kids" no matter how many times you had to explain yourself to the moms on the playground when they told you your kids were adorable.

You'll never be able to get them out of your head, their little voices singing along to the "Lion King" soundtrack in the backseat on the way home from the pool. All the times they made you laugh, in ways your friends could never replicate. Babysitting is so important. It teaches you about yourself in ways you'll only understand when it's over. It gives you a glimpse into the future but also a look into the past — your past.

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