Think of your son. Think of the surprise and delight when you first saw his little face, when you dubbed him, "A BOY!", and the dreams you had for him before he was even an hour old. I imagined my little boy growing tall like his father, awkward in his early teens, having smelly feet and a messy room, and becoming a man I'd be proud of. Think of Robert Munsch's book "I'll Love You Forever". That's kind of what I pictured when I learned that my firstborn child was a boy.
Now imagine your grief if your beloved son was judged as "wrong" by his peers, the very people whose opinions matter most to him. He is judged because he chooses figure skating over hockey in a hockey-obsessed culture. He is tormented on the bus, and is eventually held down so that his peers can shove batteries down his throat. Imagine the terror he experiences, and his confusion that people could be so mean, when all he wants is to be loved and accepted. It doesn't seem like much to ask.
Your son tells you he thinks he is gay. You tell him that you love him, and that you want him to be healthy and happy.You know that this world seems more and more "okay" with homosexuality, that he will be able to get married someday to a person he loves, and that he will enjoy the same rights as all Canadians.
But then your son is fifteen, and he is depressed. He is different, and his peers see it, and they torture him with words and actions. Your talented, sweet son, the one you took care of when he was a baby and through all the years of childhood and early adolescence, becomes sad and withdrawn. He gives up figure skating, even though he was ranked amongst the top ten for his age group in Ontario, and you know he loved it.
And then one day, you learn that he is gone.
Your son has taken his own life. The son that you taught to give to his community, that smiled in photographs, that delighted you with his personality and red hair, couldn't take the pain of not being accepted any longer.
James Hubley was an Ottawa teen who killed himself this past weekend after unimaginable torment at the hands of other kids. What I will never forget is the sound of his father's voice on the radio as he talked about his son, telling his story, and the helplessness and bewilderment he expressed that his darling, "this beautiful, beautiful child" was taken from him.
No matter what your religious beliefs are, please take a moment to whisper a prayer for the family and friends of this beautiful child whose death came too soon.