Marsha Ambrosius’ new music video for her single “Far Away” is getting a lot of buzz, especially in the gay community. I watched the video in its entirety for the first time yesterday. And while I believe the directing is on point and the visuals are stunning, the video sends the wrong message about suicide as it relates to homophobic bullying.
Gay teens are not committing suicide because they are the targets of homophobic bullying; they are committing suicide due to their undiagnosed mental issues (depression being one of them).
If, as Marsha suggests, society succeeded in eliminating homophobic bullying, the suicide rate among gay teens would stay the same. That’s because the core issue (depression) is not being addressed properly.
Homophobic bullying is not the problem — bullying is a natural part of growing up. The problem is the lack of government funding for mental health programs in schools to identify and treat depressed teens.