This morning the LGBT and New Orleans community came together at Audubon Park to participate in Out of the Darkness Walk with Pride. This event was hosted by New Orleans Pride and their goal is to bring awareness to young adults and the community about anti-bullying and suicide prevention. Ms. Boudreaux, President of Pride stated: "this event is to promote the I'm Bigger program, to let those in the community know that if they feel threatened, need a friend, or just want to be a part of the community Pride is here to assist them". It is a fact that suicide is quickly becoming the leading cause of death of youths 14 - 24, and soon to replace cancer as the leading cause of death in the United States.
Bullying is a systemic problem within our culture. It is everyone responsibility to reach out to those in need and just be a friend. I remember junior high as being one of the most difficult times of my life. The name calling, taunting from peers was relentless, and yes there was a time I wanted to just end everything. However, I was lucky to have a family friend who helped me get through those dark three years. As I look back, I am surprised that I survived (and it is survival) and could pull myself through those years.
When we as a community come together and stand for a positive purpose it does make a difference and showing a strong front sends a message to young children and adults as well. If we allow this behavior to continue we condone the behavior and teach them that it's acceptable, lets teach them a better way!
For more information on bullying visit the I'm Bigger Louisiana page. Become involved, become aware, and become proactive.
New Orleans Pride should be commended for this innovative program, their desire to reach out to the community, and their continued commitment to the LGBT community in New Orleans.
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