Friday, March 16, 2012

The Rock & The Ripe

I just spent a couple hours going over this project.  Going over this project, familiarizing myself with it, caused me to go back and review some of the videos and stories about people like Phillip Parker, Jamey Rodemeyer, Ashlynn Conner, Seth Walsh, Jamie Hubley.  The list is sickeningly long.  Then, I cried.  With every different face I saw, I cried.  Then, I got mad.

I watched videos that reminded me just how important this all is because there are actually people, and I mean high-profile people, working just as hard to minimize or even eradicate everything we're doing.  To them, bullying isn't a problem; LGBT teens shouldn't have "special protection"; LGBT teens bring their problems on themselves by being out.  Thank the God of your understanding that we outnumber them.

I named this blog Enough is Enough for a very specific and obvious reason.  Our society has been plagued long enough by narrow-mindedness, ruled too long by a "moral majority" (which , by the way, they're neither) who feel that everyone should live by THEIR standards or be damned.  And, in the cross hairs are struggling, emotionally fragile LGBT teens.  And, the result is far too often...suicide.  Enough TRULY is enough.

In watching the video promoting The Rock & The Ripe, one segment stopped me in my tracks.  I watched it repeatedly.
So, don't be f*cking shocked and wonder where all these bullies are coming from that are torturing young kids and are driving them to kill themselves because they're different.  They learned it from watching you.
That's directed at every politician who continues to attempt to pass legislation that minimizes LGBT teens; that's directed at every teacher who turns a blind eye at the bullying of an LGBT teen; that's directed at every parent who speaks hatred and intolerance around their own children, ESPECIALLY if they have LGBT kids.

Watching those videos got me angry.

Mark Blane is 23-year-old gay man who was bullied unmerciful as a teen.  He is also a very talented director and playwright.  He is inspired and inspiring.  He's assembled, in his words, " incredible network of artists, actors, and activists..." in his effort to "...expose the secrets and real issues behind gay [teen] bullying in America."

"The Rock & The Ripe" the play, is set for production in Chicago June 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  Mark's ambition is to get the funding to take it nationwide.  He's going to need massive help in doing so.

"The Rock & The Ripe", the book, goes into deeper detail.
The book will be a dissection of how this process and project came to be, the atrocious facts and stories of anti-gay bullying from across the country, information commemorating the lives of 14-year-old Phillip Parker, 14-year-old Rafael Morelos, and many others. Direct quotes from phone-calls, in-person interviews in communities across the country that are affected by homophobia, ignorance, careless town officials, and unsympathetic and uneducated (ironically) school administrations. This book will be PACKED with photography, research, plus insight into the the minds of the actors/activists.
Enough really is enough.  Our numbers are growing around the world, and our voices are being heard.  People young and old, black and white, gay and straight, and everywhere in between, are standing up and saying enough is enough!!!  And, we are making a difference. The reality of it is we're going to have to create the change we're seeking.  The politicians won't do it.  The educators won't do it.  And, too many parents won't do it.  WE are the ones who will make the difference at the end of the day.  Mark is doing his part at trying to make a differnce.  He needs help getting his project up and running.

He's created a Kickstarter page for people to contribute as little as $5 towards getting his story out.  If you're unfamiliar with how Kickstarter works, it's an all-or-nothing proposition.  Anyone can contribute.  There's a set target amount.  Anything at or above that amount, Mark gets for his project.  However, if that number isn't met, he - and, the project - gets nothing.

It's a story that must get out!!!


  1. Thank you for sharing this information. I am a person who knows too well being bullied, molested and so on; I thank God have been able to move on and let it go, but that is so hard in today's world - my heart aches for the teens who go through this and feel they have no way out - it has to be stopped.

  2. I should like to point out that it is possible to be bullied as gay even if one is not gay. It happened to me.

    I should also like to point out that there was bullying 40 years ago when I was in school, and there does not seem to be any less today. I would like to hope that the current wave of outrage would do something, but I have little trust that it will. Part of the reason is my observation that, even when well-meaning measures are put in place, enforcement inevitably falls to people who have more in common with the bullies than with the victims.

  3. Ron,

    My name is Don. I live in Orlando, FL. As a gay man also and a suicide attempt survivor, I can greatly appreciate your cause with this issue. I am greatly involved with the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention here in central Florida.

    I so admire what you are doing!