Ignoring the crisis at home?

Guest Commentary

As an LGBT activist and advocate, I believe it is projects like Mitchell Gold’s new book, “Crisis,” that must be produced to put real faces and real stories to the trauma faced by our community (“Documenting the crisis,” Sept. 20). I commend Mitchell Gold for being instrumental in putting together this project.

However, our local LGBT community should not forget to hold Mitchell to task for ignoring the “crisis” in his own backdoor. Proceeds from this new book go to benefit the “LA Gay and Lesbian Homeless Shelter and MCC-NY Homeless Youth Services/Sylvia’s Place Homeless Youth Shelter.” None of it’s proceeds goes to benefit rural youth who are facing some of the most harsh crisis in our country.

- - - advertisement - - -

I’m not here to diminish one crisis from another. They are all sad, but why does Mitchell send thousands of dollars to the big cities while youth are experiencing real crisis in our own communities — literally his own backdoor?

As a mental health employee, I see the worst of a community that has no physical, financial or moral support for LGBT youth. Our mental health system is full of LGBT youth who have reverted to substance abuse and extreme acts (suicide, self-mutilation, etc) to cope with the coming out process, their family rejecting them, bullying, etc.

A group used to exist in the Catawba Valley, it was called Catawba Valley Time Out Youth, but, like every other group that has existed or attempted to exist, they have all dissolved and fallen away. These groups require financial support, volunteers and community support.

- - - advertisement - - -

Leaders like Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams could be the life blood of such an organization by simply offering their public endorsement. However, outside of Mitchell’s name being mentioned as a sponsor of the annual Mr. Gay USA contest at Club Cabaret, you rarely hear about their support of our local LGBT community.

I wish the book, “Crisis,” a huge success. I’m sure its words will serve as a wake-up call for many Americans (like a book contributor, Brent Childers, shares in his own personal testimony). I also wish that Mitchell, Bob and others would see the crisis we face here in the Catawba Valley (and other rural parts of America) and decide to focus funds (in the future) on organizations serving needy LGBT youth (while fighting to keep their doors open). Because it doesn’t take common sense to realize its more difficult to find support for LGBT-causes in Valdese, N.C. than it is in Los Angeles and New York City.

Q-Notes strives to afford the Carolinas LGBT community an open forum for discussion and commentary. The views of guest commentators do not necessarily represent the official views or positions of Q-Notes, its editorial staff or publisher.

- - - advertisement - - -