The Family Foundation, an advocacy organization in Virginia often labeled as anti-gay, announced its intentions to lead “40 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance for Marriage” from Aug. 27 through Oct. 5, 2014.
More than taking a stand against human civil rights, gestures like this from organizations like the Family Foundation send a message that the average lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender young person hears and cannot help but internalize. When a teen is emerging into adulthood and beginning to make sense of all the faculties that constitute their personal identity, finding out that groups of people are devoting time, energy, and thought against your ability to one day share life and love with another person could and often does negatively impact how one forms self-perception. An individual does not have to be explicitly told they are hated or looked at as “less than” to feel discriminated against or to be given the debilitating sense that they are irreparably broken and seen as a “problem” to others. The damage this does to young person’s self-esteem and personal identity is unfortunately a logical consequence of reducing the presence of LGBT people in the
world to a “political agenda” as the Family Foundation attempts to do.
In keeping with our philosophy of addressing acts of exclusion and intolerance with inclusion and love, Planting Peace is responding in support of the LGBT community by launching our own “fast” to counteract the Family Foundation and their harmful message. Planting Peace is inviting you to join with us by giving up one meal and contributing those dollars to our fundraiser that will benefit The Trevor Project, a leading national organization focused on LGBT suicide prevention.
According to a recent case study published in the American Journal of Public Health, each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average. It doesn’t seem too far a stretch to categorize rallying against an immutable and unchangeable aspect of personal identity as such a form of harassment or abuse.
Our hope is that by uniting people across the nation to make this small gesture they will be demonstrating their positive thoughts, prayers, and energy toward these at-risk youth. It is through this platform we all can speak life into those impacted by voices like the Family Foundation, speak life that isn’t only heard but also seen and deeply felt.
Donate the cost of 1 meal to help prevent LGBTQ teen suicide