Here is the letter from Kerry.
On Saturday, January 24 at 9pm EST, the Lifetime Network will premiere "Prayers for Bobby". This is the true story of Mary Griffith and her son, Bobby. Because of her religious beliefs, Mary is unable to accept it when Bobby comes out as a young, gay man. Mary's rejection and the rejection of the culture results in Bobby's suicide. This is the story of a parent who pays the price of losing her child to suicide before coming to realize how valuable her child was - gay or straight. When parents bring a child into this world, they typically do so with a promise in their hearts: to love and cherish their child. This promise should not be discarded when you realize your child is gay. Gay teens are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. Suicide can often be prevented if the family is able to provide loving support of their gay teen. Suicide or other destructive behaviors are not caused by the gay identity of the adolescent - it is caused by the rejection by the culture and by those who are important in the life of the teen.
"Prayers for Bobby" will be rebroadcast , and . "Prayers for Bobby" also has a local connection. It will feature an original song written and performed by a former local resident, Megan McCormick. Megan is a former student in ETSU's Bluegrass Music program. She currently lives in Nashville and works as a professional musician.
PFLAGTriCities (Parents, ) is a local chapter of a national not for profit organization which provides support, education and advocacy for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and their families and friends. We are here to help families come together and rally around each other in an oppressive society. Our meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month at 7pm on the campus of ETSU. Please visit our website for detailed information about our meetings at www.PFLAGTriCities.org. I want to encourage parents to remember the promise you made to yourself and to your child when you brought him or her into this world...to love unconditionally. For teens who might be struggling, is a free, confidential hotline available 24/7 for gay teens who might be considering suicide. The number is . The phones are staffed by trained counselors who care and understand. Please, parents, do not make the same mistake Mary Griffith did.
Kerry Holland, Ph.D.