One of the more challenging aspects to being a parent is keeping a handle on all the various things to which your child is exposed. For instance, the many studies pointing to a connection between early exposure to violent media and aggression certainly causes me to think twice about the television shows my almost-six-year old watches. And while I possibly think too much about the potential for him to turn into a pizza-eating, nunchuk-wielding vigilante as an adult due to too much “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” it’s for good reason. Children are highly impressionable sponges, soaking up as much of the world around them, and most parents want to ensure that their children are only soaking up the good stuff.
It makes sense. We’re raising the next generation and all, and we’d like them to be decent, conscientious people who aren’t car-thieving murderers who played too much “Grand Theft Auto” when they were younger. However, for as much as we’d like to have some semblance of control over what they’re exposed to, we’re not with our children every single second of the day. We can’t dictate what they’ll pick up from friends, extra-curricular activities, or school. At some point, we need to trust that we’ve instilled in them the ability to make good and reasonable choices for themselves, despite their seemingly undying love for Ninja Turtles (No, seriously. My son is obsessed. I do sort of fear he may take to the sewers one day). Keep reading »
Allie is 17 and from Stuttgart, Arkansas. She’s a regular teenager in many ways — worried about what other kids in school think of her and excited about college. But she’s also transgender, and that’s made her life more difficult and challenging than most of us could imagine. “I realized I was meant to be a girl when I was a three years old,” she explains, but had to keep her identity hidden to avoid bullying and abuse. Allie is one of two transgender teens profiled in a new film project called “Friend Film.” The project still needs funding, and if you’re inclined you can support it through Indie-Go-Go. Even if you can’t donate, remember that today is Spirit Day, a day to take a stand against bullying. Check out their website for ways you can help. [Friend Film]
Timothy Kurek grew up in a religiously conservative family, and was told that homosexuality was an abominable sin. He regularly counseled friends and families on how to approach homosexuality. “The loving thing to do is to tell my friend who is gay, ‘Hey, listen, you are an abomination and you need to repent to go to heaven.’ I absolutely believed in that lock, stock and barrel,” he said. And then four years ago, a close friend confided that she was a lesbian and that her family had disowned her because of it. Something in him broke.
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I can’t change / even if I wanted to
Such is the chorus for “Same Love,” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert, a new song released this summer which was released in a short film today. I want to say the rap is pro-gay marriage or even pro-gay rights, but really both the song and the incredibly touching video are really just pro-human decency. Keep reading »