Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-12-17
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
Myles Brady: Howard Brown's first transgender outreach coordinator Myles Brady: Howard Brown's first transgender 
outreach coordinator
Myles Brady, a Chicago native from Hyde Park, has been named Howard ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

VIEWPOINT: MOMBIAN In the wake of tragedy
by Dana Rudolph
2012-12-19

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


This was going to be a very different column. Then 20 children died in Connecticut.

A gunman opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, leaving 20 children and seven adults (including the shooter) dead.

As the mother of an elementary school student, school shootings were already one of my nightmares. Having grown up and gone to school in Connecticut myself, though—and now having a son in elementary school just one state over, the nightmare seems more real than ever. I cannot imagine what it is like for the parents, families, and friends of the victims. My heart goes out to them.

It is hard to find words in the wake of such a tragedy. Words will not suffice to convey the horror, or to comfort the surviving families and friends. But we can use words to help us take action, and to find in that action some sense that the deaths have at least helped move our society towards a place where such tragedies never happen again.

There have been 31 school shootings since the one in Columbine, Colo., in 1999, according to ABC News. One was too many. Thirty-one is unconscionable.

Many are seeing the shooting as one more reason to call for more stringent gun-control laws. I would agree. They are long overdue.

But gun control is only part of the solution. I believe mental health care and education are the other two main components of what has to be a multi-pronged approach to the problem.

Anyone who commits such a senseless act as did the gunman has clear mental-health issues. Mental health remains a little-understood and still-stigmatized area of an already shaky health care system. We need to do more to help people identify when they or others need mental health assistance, to destigmatize getting such assistance, and to provide the financial resources so those who need it get appropriate care.

We must also educate our children—future adults—to respect each other and to handle anger, frustration, and loss in ways that don't involve lashing out at others. We have made great strides in recent years in addressing bullying and violence, but we need to do even more to show children how to respect themselves and others and to solve problems in constructive, not destructive, ways. Yes, we need to teach our children to read, write, and do arithmetic, but we also need to make sure they have social and emotional skills for life.

These are not "luxury" subjects. They are not dealt with solely in a once-a-year anti-bullying or anti-violence workshop or posters on the wall. They are critical learnings that should be woven into the fabric of school life, whether it be in working together over a science project, learning about different perspectives through a book during a language class, or learning to share at recess. Schools cannot alone obviate mental health issues, but they can create supportive environments to encourage emotional well-being.

Education begins at home, however, and we as parents must set good examples of respect and non-violent problem solving. We must monitor the media our children consume, and talk with them when they encounter images of violence that could cause them concern or misunderstanding. We must also not be afraid to seek help when our own or our children's emotional needs require it.

Out of tragedy often come heroes. I think today of Judy Shepard, whose son, Matthew, was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime, and who has dedicated her life to "Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, and Acceptance" through a foundation in his honor. I wonder sometimes if I could be that brave and selfless in the face of personal tragedy. I hope I never have to find out. We cannot, however, leave it to those who were directly affected by a tragedy to take action on our behalf.

It is up to all of us, as parents and people, to make sure tragedies like this never happen again. We cannot each do everything, though. We must each pick an aspect or aspects of the problem that we feel most strongly about, or where we feel we can have the most impact—gun control, mental health, education—and do what we can, as often as we can, in our homes, schools, communities, and nation.

As a society, we give much lip service to doing things "in the best interests of the children." But if we as a society do not do what it takes to protect children's lives, even in areas like gun control and mental health that aren't traditionally associated with "children's issues," then we have failed, and our society is the poorer for it.

In fact, if we don't protect our children, we have no future as a society.

Hug your kids. Then go work for their future.

Dana Rudolph is the founder and publisher of Mombian ( www.mombian.com ), an award-winning blog and resource directory for LGBT parents. She speaks here for herself, not her employer.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

VIEWS World AIDS Day and my community's ongoing struggle 2014-12-10
Open To Thinking: The Idea of the City and Our Mayoral Election 2014-12-03
VIEWS Off the grid 2014-12-02
Holiday gift guide to new LGBTQ-inclusive kids' books 2014-12-02
Repetitive Motion Disorder: Black Reality and White Denial in America 2014-11-28
VIEWS Reflections on the Transgender Day of Remembrance 2014-11-26
VIEWS Remembering Thanksgiving 2014-11-24
VIEWS Gone 2014-11-19
VIEWS Stigma continues with new HIV-criminalization case 2014-11-19
Trans Day of Remembrance: Sacred, not to be misappropriated 2014-11-12
VIEWS The life, love and legacy of Audre Lorde 2014-11-12
VIEWS Surely, Jesus wants us to aim for church, not cult 2014-11-11
Open To Thinking: Immigration: Facts and Fictions 2014-11-05
Letters: Issues and answers 2014-11-05
VIEWS Common ground and conversation 2014-11-05
VIEWS Echoes of the AIDS hysteria as we battle Ebola 2014-11-04
VIEWS Apple CEO needs to do more than come out 2014-10-31
VIEWS: Being 'Black-ish' also being 'homophobic-ish?' 2014-10-22
POLITICAL FOCUS: Mr. Rauner: You turned your back on us 2014-10-15
VIEWS Make them hear you! 2014-10-15
VIEWS Mr. Rauner: You Turned Your Back on Us. 2014-10-10
VIEWS Family with gay dads shines in new middle-grade novel 2014-10-08
VIEWS What we owe longtime survivors 2014-10-01
VIEWS Black children are beloved and beaten 2014-09-24
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
VIEWS A gay icon gone 2014-09-17
Judy Garland on Judy Garland: Interviews and Encounters 2014-09-09
Open To Thinking: It's Your Money, Illinois 2014-09-03
VIEWS Celibacy is the new ex-gay ministry 2014-09-03
LETTERS Wards hurt 2014-09-03
VIEWS Before we go moving the Pride Parade... 2014-08-27
LETTERS By the numbers; Tunney business 2014-08-27
Depression: Not just the word of the day 2014-08-20
VIEWS The stigma of Black suicide is killing us 2014-08-20
The loss of queer space: Parlour on Clark 2014-08-19
VIEWS The perfect relationship? 2014-08-13
Children Crossing Borders 2014-08-06
Dancing around HIV: When do you know if you've done enough? 2014-08-06
Life: The Beginning 2014-07-30
As we advance LGBTI rights, the UN is a key ally 2014-07-30





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Myles Brady: Howard Brown's first transgender outreach coordinator
 
National: LGBT bill in Congress; trans soldiers; blood ban
 
Entertainment: 'Broadway Bares' news; Grindr awards; Robyn's new CD
 
Many GLBT homicides connected to sex work, rallies Dec. 17
 
LoBianco now at Chicago House
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.