Friday, November 26, 2010
Prayers for Bobby
I saw the move, Prayers for Bobby, and was so impressed by Mary Griffith's journey, I started reading the book that night.
The book is a compilation of journal entries from Bobby, a gay young man who committed suicide at age 20, and his mother's thoughts. She was a fundamentalist Christian who called her gay son to repentance daily. He wrote daily of his hatred for himself and who he was. He vacillated between pleading with God to change him and cursing God for leaving him alone. He stopped writing in his journal a week before he jumped off a freeway overpass. No one knows exactly what caused him to jump that day.
His mother, Mary, has become an activist for gay and lesbian youth, and her only mission is to tell children "Don't give up on love." I loved reading her journey to find herself.
She was a traditional 1950's wife and mother. Bobby's death turned her into an assertive, strong, activist. In the end of the book, she said, "I'm no longer afraid."
I cried through most of the book. I felt Bobby's self-hatred and sadness. I felt Mary's confusion, anger, and helplessness. Her journey introduced her to many suicidal youth, and each of their stories brought me great sadness.
I also felt anger at myself. I (like Mary) thought I was doing the right thing by pushing "traditional family values" on those around me. Reading this, I want to get more involved and help change attitudes of those around me.