jay leffew

jay leffew
Sant Rosa, California, USA
September 02
GayFamilyValues Hello everyone, Welcome to the official Gay Family Values blogg by the Depfox family of YouTube. Many of you know that we were a private family Living in Northern California Who began making YouTube videos to help fight the passage of California's Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in our state constitution. Those videos were meant to show our life as an average, everyday gay family. We hoped that in showing our lives that we could help dispell many of the bad stereotypes about gay families and gay people in generall. We couldn't have imagined what would happen as a result of those first videos. We began to get tons of emails asking questions, showing support, and sharing stories of tragedy and hope. This blog will be a little different in that we will offer our perspective, as a gay family, on current events in life, gay news, the struggle for marriage equality, and everything in between. And...yes...we promise...it won't all be Youtube related. Please enjoy our crazy, disfunctionally slanted view of life and please visit us at the links posted on the right at our new site: www.Gay-family-values.com and were it all began, on Youtube.

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SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 7:36PM

Where Do We Stand?...Tragedy & Triumph

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Where Do We Stand?....Tragedy and Triumph

Yesterday saw the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and one more victory was won in the long march towards equality. Celebrations are being held all over the nation and in the news. Everyone is overjoyed to see this bit of institutionalized hatred bit the dust. I know it meant a great deal to my husband, who served a tour of duty under DADT during the original "Desert Storm" operation in Iraq. Jay came to accept himself as a gay man during his time in the Army and it has always been his regret that he served in the closet and ultimately left the Army because he knew their would be no place for him in it as an openly gay man. He was particularly jazzed then to be able to make his own celebration video marking the end of DADT.

And then reality punched us in the face again....another teen had killed himself due to bullying...

our email inbox carried the sad news that another teen had committed suicide due to being bullied over being gay. 14 year old Jamey Rodermeyer of Buffalo New York, committed suicide a bare four months after he had filmed his own "It Gets Better" video. Jamey was a avid Lady Gaga fan and an active Youtuber...yet again, it seemed that we had lost one of our own. And...how I wish Jamey's bullying had ended with his death. It seems that in ANY news outlet, blog, or Youtube channel that covers his story people think its OK to offer their personal judgments of Jamey's decision to kill himself. Many have assaulted him in death by calling this emotionally beaten child a coward who took the easy way out of his problems. His personal YouTube channel has been the sight of many of the most hateful and vile comments imaginable and it utterly sickens me. Can the world really be so cruel?...oh yes, it appears that it can. This young man's spirit was literally broken by the same judgment that people feel so justified in unloading on him in the wake of his death......It makes me furious and he doesn't deserve it....no one deserves it.

To celebrate the end of one form of discrimination only to have to mourn the loss of another teen to another form of discrimination left me with the feeling of the enormity of our journey. For every brick we take out of the wall of hatred and discrimination there are still more...and the foundation for that hatred remains. In the wake of the end of DADT the nameless soldier became no longer nameless as he came out to his father and found acceptance.....and then Jamey Rodermeyer was driven to death by an utter lack of acceptance. He was told every day that he was "disgusting" and a "pervert" and I can imagine what else. Just where the hell are we in this world anyway? Do we measure our progress as a people by how many laws we overturn?...or by how many lives we are losing? I can not help but feel that any victories we have won should be celebrated in the memories of those who aren't there to share them with us.

DADT is just one battle down...there are so many more to go...

Now maybe we can put the lie to the Michelle Bachmans and Rick Santorums of the world who want to wipe out bullying programs as just another example of the "gay agenda". Maybe we can breath one small sigh of relief before we realize that our Trans brothers/sisters/friends...still face the same hurdles we just jumped through. Maybe we can take a moment to breath until we have to go to the ballot again to fight for marriage somewhere in the next state to take it to a vote. Perhaps we can breath until we have to hold that breath again to wait for yet another court verdict.

I am happy that DADT is gone because it will make such a difference in the lives of the gay men and women who choose to serve in the military. Losing that awful law did nothing but make someones life better for no longer having to hide. So I celebrate it's end with gusto..but, at the end of the day I can't help but think about how much farther we have to go....and how we can stop our own losses....

Until next time dear readers

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