07 October 2009

Service Project

On 25th February 2000 Stuart Matis drove to the Los Altos chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and took his own life in despair and frustration over the Mormon Church's treatment of its gay members.

Almost ten years later, remembering Stuart and hoping to do something to prevent any more of such tragedies, I drove to that same chapel and inaugurated its participation in the 1st Annual Nationwide You Are Loved Chalk Message Project. The Project is simple: the week before National Coming Out Day on 11 October, draw messages of love and encouragement on (mostly) school sidewalks, e.g. "You are loved," "You are wonderful." Gay kids can't hear enough of that. Maybe if Stuart had heard more of it he'd still be with us.

Statistically there are thousands of Stuarts growing up all around us. If there is one who attends the LDS Los Altos chapel, then by now he or she will have seen the messages and, one hopes, looked up the URL also drawn on the sidewalk by the chapel entrance where the kids usually go in. And maybe he/she will be a little more confident that somebody out there understands and cares and loves and accepts him/her just the way God made them. And won't leave us the way Stuart did. You're not broken. You don't need fixing.

4 comments:

boskers said...

It hurts to hear about kids that have to go through hate in schools and in the community. I hope, too, that some young people can find hope in the messages from others and that they won't feel like the only choice is suicide.

I really respect the Matises for what they do for gay people in the church in Utah. They're amazing.

Sean said...

Everything we can do to bring the righteous cause of love and justice can only help. If it saves but one from taking their life. I hope and pray that there will be reconciliation and extended hands of friendship and unconditional love from the church. That is were I place my hope and faith.

Bravone said...

Thanks Alan.

AmbiguouS One said...

Awesome