The Words That Kill

June 8, 2011
There are words for everything. They can represent love and kindness. They can make a day brighter for someone who is heartbroken. But they can easily be sputtered and spat in a hateful way. They can even kill, and so the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones; but words can never hurt me” is a contradiction in many ways. In our society, names such as “Dyke”, “Faggot”, and “Queer” are commonly used. And the knowledge of the pain they can cause are lost.

When I hear classmates, friends, or even family members say these words, I feel a slight sting, as if they were directed at me. They are thrown around in the hallways of my school, in a disturbing way of laughter, like the outcome of a funny joke.

The homosexual and transgendered are often targeted. I never understood why. I asked my mother about it one day and she said thoughtfully, “Because they are different, and they go against the common rules of society. People bring attention to them, in order to make themselves feel better.” I pondered this explanation, and realized how hateful people can be. After researching the issue I found startiling statistics regarding the sucicide rate for L.G.B.T. teenagers. About 40,000 lives are lost in the United States alone, and they are 40% more likely to commit sudicide than heterosexual peers.

40,000 dreams are shattered, 40,000 families broken. It is indeed a horrible reality. Although one could simply look at the number of lives lost and become appalled, what I find more disturbing was the reason the numbers are so high.

All of this could have been prevented, if words were chosen more wisely.

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Jayme said...
Jun. 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm
You are so right, words do kill. They killed my bestfriend. They almost killed me. Words are powerful, use them carefully.
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