Ingo Rademacher recently took to social media to expand on a PSA (Public Service Announcement) involving several of his General Hospital co-stars.
Ingo Rademacher Takes A Stand
“You may have seen this week GH supporting an anti-bullying campaign @glsen in support of our LGBT high school community,” Rademacher explained. “According to research 9/10 LGBTQ experience bullying during this important developmental time of their lives. As important as it is for nonprofits and our school to tackle this problem I believe it is equally if not more important for us as parents to talk to our kids about this.
“Not just about bullying others but also their possible sexual orientation,” the GH veteran adds. “This is a difficult subject for some parents and I hope that one day we can live in a world where it is not. Conversations of growth are always difficult just like standing up for freedom of speech, you’re only standing up for it if it’s hard for you to do.
“Unfortunately,” Rademacher continues, “there’s no growth without challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone. We’ve had these conversations with both our boys at age-appropriate times and we continue to talk about it. They don’t go to school because we homeschool but they have plenty of interaction with kids during their many many sports or talking smack with their friends on Fortnite (very limited and we do listen in).
“The general conversation might go something like this and this conversation might be echoed again right before they go off to summer camp for 2 weeks…alone!” Rademacher says. “First and most important. Being LGBTQ is not a choice, it’s a feeling that a person is born with. If you come across someone who you suspect might be LGBTQ because they might sound different or have mannerisms of a girl but they’re a boy, don’t treat them any different. Just be their friend. Don’t ask inappropriate questions.
“They might not know they’re LGBTQ yet or they don’t want to talk about it or just haven’t figured it out yet,” the actor adds. “If they are openly gay and come straight out and say it, be ready for that too and an appropriate response might be…. Doesn’t bother me because I judge you by the content of your character [and], not your sexual orientation or something a little less complicated or age-appropriate but you get the idea.”
Rademacher encourages his sons to watch out for kids who are being bullied. “Both our boys are huge for their age and are incredible little fighters belting up fast in Jiu-jitsu,” he says. “With that, we tell them comes a responsibility to stand up for kids that are being bullied and to never jump on the bandwagon if they see a group of kids teasing/bullying a kid because they might be or are LGBTQ.
“We encourage our kids to put a stop to that immediately, grab that kid that’s being bullied and say, hey come hang out with us, don’t worry about them. Of course, these conversations cover more details and change as the kids grow older. These conversations are an important part of life and growth. Having heard stories from my own gay friends about how hard it was to come out to their friends and especially to their parents, it’s not right.
“How many people have died by suicide because society is insensitive to their feelings or orientation?” Rademacher concludes. “We must do better and make it easier for LGBTQ+ to come out and express who they truly are without making them feel unwanted. This growth can’t be forced. It starts with us.” General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.