Coming Out In Droves
The Los Angeles Daily News uses Lawrence King's murder as a jumping off point to discuss gay kids coming out earlier and earlier:
The slaying of 15-year-old Lawrence King on Feb. 12 and the reaction to it illustrated a social shift characterized by gay youths "coming out" younger and their straight counterparts learning the art of tolerance. "I think we want to hope that, when something awful like that happens, there are going to be people who stand up against it," said Stacy Sigman, a licensed family counselor who works with families grappling with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender relatives.I was going to gay bars when I was in a junior in high school, but I can't imagine having come out to my fellow students. That was so not gonna happen.
"Larry's death has the potential to pick up that speed. This person will not die in vain." Roman is confident things are changing. "This was one of those turning points in society," he said. "It was a reality shock for everybody. They realized, `Hey, people are being bullied, and we're not doing anything about it."'
But even with an estimated 35,000 openly gay students in the Los Angeles Unified School District - a number based on general population statistics - teenagers, school officials, private counselors and advocates agree there's a long road ahead to wipe out discrimination. "While there is increasing acceptance, the world's still a hostile place for gay teenagers," said Virginia Uribe, a retired LAUSD counselor and founder of the district's Project 10, a support program for gay students.