Shame & Homophobia
Authorities estimate that between three and ten percent of the world's population are gay. Today we know that people who love others of the same sex are born that way. It is neither a personal decision, nor a mental health problem.
As recently as 1970, homosexuality was listed in the DSM as a "paraphilia" or perversion. Something to be cured by years of therapy. During the McCarthy era, homosexuals were considered a security threat, easy targets for Soviet spies. They were fired from government jobs. Police raided places where homosexuals gathered, and used violence to disperse them.
The vicious bullying of homosexual boys and girls is a particularly serious problem at this moment in history. It often leads to depression, truancy and even suicide. The Centers for Disease Control has reported that LGBTQ teens attempt suicide three to four times as often as straight teens.
Beyond Bullying devotes two chapters to the bullying of LGBTQ kids and how parents can help them survive and perhaps even enjoy adolescence.