Letter to the Editor

To the Editor

Thank you for your coverage of BBH Pride. They demonstrate the welcoming spirit of our community. As a pastor and as parents, my wife and I support BBH Pride.

Suicide is four times higher among gay and trans young people. One attempts suicide every 45 seconds.

Intuitively, we know the tragedy behind these statistics. We remember seeing LGBTQ classmates bullied, harassed and ostracized. One third get rejected by parents; another third hide their identity; 28% experience homelessness.

As a pastor, I’ve accompanied parents to bury these kids after a suicide. A dad shared how he realized too late that his only child really just needed unconditional love. Religion need not complicate this; it’s just basic empathy.

Here’s hope: LGBTQ youth suicides fall by 40% when they find just one empathetic adult, 50% when they find a supportive church or civic community. Each of us can save young lives – if we want to.

Jesus gave one commandment: “love one another” (John 15:12). The most important question we will face is how kindly we treated the most vulnerable and neglected in our community (Matthew 25:31ff).

BBH Pride can’t change the number of LGBTQ youth in our community. But we can change how many we will inter in our cemeteries. All it takes is a modicum of kindness.

Please visit thetrevorproject.org for more resources. I am happy to meet with anyone for a cordial conversation.

John King

West Wallings Road, Broadview Heights ∞