I give a damn because I have too many friends that have committed, thought about, or are thinking about committing suicide. One of my best friends is scared to come out because he’s afraid of being labeled as different; he struggles with it every day.
Suicide is a day-to-day choice. You don’t pick and choose when you want to be suicidal. It’s a daily struggle, to live or not to live.
I give a damn because I want all my friends and even strangers I don’t know to know that someone, somewhere cares.
I’m not a youth. I’m really old…older than the parents of college age kids, but not old enough to be your grandparent. I’ve been gay since I was a pre-teen. But it wasn’t safe back then to be gay. I completely understand the fear of violence kids, even young adults, feel today. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Bullies were also around when I was a teen. I was afraid to be identified as gay. I did everything I could to be “normal” around everyone. You didn’t “come out” like kids do today in middle school or even high school. I experimented in college, but even that was on the sly and I did everything I could to show that I was normal…even dating and eventually marrying, the ultimate cover. I was honest enough to tell my future wife long before the engagement was made public so she could back out.
I never considered suicide as a way out. Suicides weren’t publicized the way they are today. They were hushed up. I’ve known parents these days who do want to tell other parents about their teens suicides or suicide attempts to warn other parents to pay attention. They want to help those most affected by suicides of their peers. But I’ve begun to suspect something else. I think that somewhere in the dark parts of your heart, you will say to yourself, “Sure, things will get better, but what about TODAY?” On the outside you’ll be on the side of things getting better, that suicide is not the way out, that suicide is indeed a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But in that dark part of your heart you will hide the emotions of fear and abandonment and hopelessness and that all-consuming desire for relief right now. And that’s when you stop believing the truth and start believing the lie that suicide is the best way out. You make a plan and carry it out without discussing it with anyone. You may leave messages and clues that will be apparent afterwards, but you believe the lie that silence is the best way.
I’m here to tell you, like a lot of other people, that I give a damn about you. Lots of people give a damn about you…people you don’t even know. We don’t have to know you to love you as a hurting child (no matter your age). We care for you and about you. Since you’re reading this, I know you can contact someone at the Trevor Project Helpline. If you don’t there’s anyone you can talk to that you know, call the Helpline. There is someone who will listen, who can identify with you, who can help you recognize the lies that you are believing now and tell you the truth about who you are and how important you are and what the future, and probably the present, can hold for you as long as you hold on the most precious gift of all…LIFE.
Remember we give a damn. Why don’t you give a damn about the real you and talk to someone right now. Go to someone. Text them that you have so see them and talk to them, ask them to come to you. Or call the Helpline or maybe you know of something local that’s like it. Reach out and TALK, TELL somebody what you’re feeling and how you’re feeling and what’s been going on inside your head and all around you. People can help by listening. People can help by identifying the lies and telling you the truth. It works. It’s worked for me. I’ve seen it work for lots of others. Do it now.
I remember growing up in a small town in Massachusetts, described as a village once on Dateline NBC. I never really believed I was any different than anyone else, until I entered the public school system and the total chaos began. I don’t know exactly where I went wrong or what I did that was so different from all of the other kids, but I got singled out and it only continued as I grew older.
When I was 11, I was forced out of the closet. I didn’t want to be gay, I never asked for this and at the time I would never have wished this upon anyone else. I found being gay to be so troublesome that suicide seemed to be the most logical option. I remember praying to God to forgive me for taking my own life, I really thought that this was my only option to seek solace. Then, the strangest thing happened. After an unsuccessful attempt to end my life, I felt an awakening within me. I felt God in my heart and truly believed for the first time I was created in his image.
Fast forward a few years, and it did get better. Although I am skipping over chapters of hate, shame and the feeling of total isolation- I am doing so with the specific intent- the focus is, IT GETS BETTER!
Don’t ever forget how amazing you are. Don’t ever forget the color you bring to this world. I am a heterosexual female, but I could not even imagine my life without my gay, lesbian, transgender, pansexual, and bisexual friends. No one has any right to tell you you are not good enough because of the way you are. No one has the right to judge you before they know you in any case.
My heart always breaks for any teen suicide. That’s a young life gone, no longer here to laugh and smile and find the kind of love we all look for. But for those of you who are still here, who have survived and know that there are people out there who totally and completely support you…stand up! Do great things! Be the great person you are! I firmly believe that this is only the start to something really great.
Be creative. Be kind. Be generous. Be faithful. Be brave. Be happy. Be outgoing. Be selfless. Be crazy. Be fun. Be smart.
And smile, everyday..because You. Are. BEAUTIFUL.
I joined the “Give A Damn” Campaign because I do care about the rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Even though we have a different sexuality, we are all human no matter what color, shape, size or gender we maybe.
I feel so bad for the kids who get bullied and looked at differently. Some teens can’t cope with it so they commit suicide or harm themselves emotionally and physically. I joined this website to help get it across that just because we are people with different sexualities we are still human and we deserve to be respected for who we are and not pushed away because we’re not the same as everyone else.
My name is Chynna. I’m a sixteen year old bisexual and I Give A Damn.
Now we all know by now coming out in high school can be difficult and I’m no exception. I wish I had come out earlier, but like most was afraid to come out until I was 100% ready, which I still kinda wasn’t. I had waited until the middle of my junior year of high school and to my surprise a lot of people knew. All of my friends were accepting and I even found out some of my closest friends were bisexual and gay. But with that came the harassment.
Daily I would be ridiculed about being gay or teased, but I’m a lucky one because I didn’t have to deal with physical violence and I wish no one would ever have to deal with violence. Eventually when it came down to it people found out who I liked and told him. He literally tore me apart and might as well have shot me because what he had said killed me. So that same night I almost attempted suicide, but I couldn’t and to this day I am happier then ever that I didn’t do it because I may still be single and people still ridicule me, but I have a life to look forward to.
I have the chance to help people in my life that are going through the same things and since I have gone through it I can help. All those who think about suicide please push those thoughts out of your minds. All it does is let those who bully and hurt you know they have won and it takes away one very important thing that you could never replace. Your life and the love of your loved ones. So please don’t ever think about it and if you do just talk to someone so they can help you because we all can make it through this. I want you all to know that I love each and every one of you for who you are and not who you pretend to be.
I went to school in a very small town in east Texas. The bullying began in 6th grade. Being called a fag or homo was daily. High school was hell. My car tires were slashed, locker was robbed, homophobic cat calls, being beat up, you name it. This was in the 80’s, so thank God there were no cell phones or Facebook or I don’t know if I would have had the strength to get through. Absolutely, I thought of suicide daily and going to school was a struggle knowing what torture was in store. I had ONE goal, to get out of that f**king town and “re-create” myself.
It’s taken 3 years for me to decide if I should write this because it is not a solution for all you kids who read it and not heroic in the least. I decided in 10th grade that the only way I was going to end the abuse was to get out. I put every minute I had into graduating early, took every class I could, studied for the SAT like my life depended on it (which it did) and basically took CONTROL of my own situation. The hard work paid off, I was accepted to college after my junior year of high school without having to go through my senior year. College was so much different, new start and such a new beginning. Graduated from college in 3 years, went to law school and had even more acceptance. Came out to my parent (officially) at 30 and then went back to school at 35 and got my PhD in psychology.
I didn’t come out to my law firm until I was 40 but, when I did, it was basically “Big deal, like we didn’t know”. I was made partner in my firm that same year. I must give credit to Cyndi, because being a part of the True Colors Tour in 2007 & 2008 made everything make sense. I got married to my husband in California October 31, 2003, just before Prop 8.
There’s something wrong with our way of thinking even as we play
Ignorantly insulting each other as we say
“That’s so gay”
It’s not okay
Because you’re insulting so many people without a single thought
Even without trying, you simply had bought
Into the idea that you weren’t, but you’ve been caught
In a web of discrimination, so saying you’re just playing is all for naught
There are people getting hurt without even a say
Because others hurt them and don’t want them to stay
Violence against them, they don’t ever play
All because they’re gay and others don’t think it’s okay
Think about the ones who’ve been hurt and died
Of the families who’ve screamed and cried
Never told a soul, “I’m okay,” they lied
Gave up on life because there was no place to hide
Be aware of what you’re saying before it’s too late
You might be justifying someone’s hidden hate
Saying it’s alright to deny their rights like Proposition 8
All because of who they love and who they choose to be their mate
September 15, 2009 was the date that my friend almost committed suicide because he was tired off the kids in school always picking on him. My friend called me, he told me I was the only friend he had. He said I’ll be your guardian angel. He told me where he was at, I ran as fast as I could to the location. He was cutting himself, I took the knife away. I called an ambulance.
As soon as he was in the hospital I kept thinking WHY do they do this, why do they make someone want to do this. When my friend came out I told him why do you listen to what they say if you know you have a friend that is always going to be by your side. That I’m never going to let you fall. Why do you listen to them. AND, still today I keep talking to that friend.
January 1, 2009, I arrived as I would any other day, to the Randy Stone Call Center in Los Angeles, aka The Trevor Project, West Coast Call Center.
Over the past few weeks I had worked roughly 4 prior shifts, all in which superseded another; in call volume and true help line calls. My shift had just started, it was about 6:40 p.m. and the phone rang. We’ve learned to expect the unexpected.
I answered, “The Trevor Helpline, this is Kenny- what’s going on?”- My caller in a calm, confident, juvenile tone replied with a simple question “What’s this line for?”- I casually replied with a paraphrased mission-like statement of what The Trevor Project was: “Well, we’re the only nationwide LGBTQ Youth Suicide Prevention/Crisis Hotline” I quickly added “What’s your name buddy?” He quickly said “I’m Marcus”.
Marcus was 16 years old living in the great state of Texas. During the first 5 minutes of casual talk with Marcus, he didn’t sound distraught, he didn’t sound in a crisis – and what I mean by that was he’s breathing was well paced, no emotions were evident, nor was his talking irrational. When I asked Marcus why he was calling the helpline, he calmly stated he was just checking it out.
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Something has to be wrong, when 1 in 7 people who commit suicide is a child. And when suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 24.