My name’s Matt and I’ll be 17 in a few weeks. I came out to my close friends as bi a couple of weeks ago and have been slowly coming out to everyone else. So far I have not been abused in anyway. I’m glad to have people around me who are opened minded and see people as who they are and not what they are. But, unfortunately everyone is not like that and it kills me inside that people are committing suicide because others are making them feel unwanted and like abominations. The hate needs to stop and that’s why I GIVE A DAMN!
My name is Gabrielle, I live in Nashville, TN, and I am straight. I’ve in the 7th grade, and I’m 12 years of age. I stand for gay/lesbian/transgendered/bisexual equality. Kids at my school are harsh to my gay friend, and other adults I know are ignorant as well. Every time I hear of a hate crime, how most of our states won’t allow gay marriage, how gay people “burn in hell”, or suicide from discrimination, I am deeply saddened and just want to go into my room and cry. But I know I can’t; I have to do something, and this website is the only way I know how to for now. Thank you all for giving a damn. I do, too.
I’m a 21 year old gay male from Arkansas, yes Arkansas of all places. It was really hell growing up here with all the hate that I got growing up. I came out at a really young age, I think I told my mother when I was 14. My mother and other family members took it really well. The outsiders is who didn’t really take it well. So being who I am I slowly started slowing down on going out and making friends or anything because around here there really isn’t any gay, lesbian or bisexual or even transgender unless they are in the closet and hide it very very well.
I have been called so many different names, I have had one person rape me and scream if I wanted to be a woman he was going to treat me like a woman… I have been beaten a few times by a couple straight guys because I was gay and that’s how they feel about gay people. I have also started standing up for myself CAUSE WE CAN FIGHT BACK!!! Just because we are gay, bi lesbian or trans doesn’t mean we don’t know how to fight back!
I am President of the LGBTQSA club at Widener University in Chester, PA. In October 2010, we were horrified at the amount of teen suicides that were occurring. We put together a Gay Youth Vigil where we started in a classroom, talking with people who have been victims of bullying and survivors of teen suicide because of orientation. We commemorated the ones who have lost their lives with music and pictures and their stories on a screen. We than moved out into the middle of the campus where we all lit candles and commemorated those lost and read a small part of their lives out loud for everyone to remember and hear.
We had 100+ people show up, news coverage and great support. This vigil I will always hold near and dear to my heart because I am a survivor of bullying and we gave those who lost their lives a chance to be remembered in a positive way. Widener University is a safe space and a great University to be out and proud.
From the time I was a little girl, I knew I was different. I was one of the boys. I went through a lot with my parents divorce from the time I was 4 years old and life just seemed so hard. Once 5th grade hit, I was a little over weight. I would get made fun of all the time. It wasn’t anything serious, we were young. The taunts were just “fatty” and “cow.” You know, the things that you’d laugh about now.
I moved to a new state and had no friends at my new school except for a selective few. I started to notice that I was very different. Not only was I over weight, but I was gay. I told my best friend who supported me through it all. It turns out, he had a secret to tell me as well but was scared he’d lose me. He is gay as well. Well, in middle school, I would have people come up to me and ask if I was gay. It would hurt my feelings because I thought that this meant there was something wrong with me. This would be 3 strikes against me; my weight, how ugly and unapproachable to making friends and that I was a lesbian. This drove me to stop going to school my freshman year. I flunked out.
Dear LGBTQ youth,
Stop! Listen! Don’t you see? You’re life is barely starting, don’t end it so suddenly. Today isn’t the day. That day should never come. Don’t do it and stay. Life will get better. So don’t throw it away. I know times are dark, and things may not seem fair. But life gets better, I can assure you that. So please don’t do it. Life gets better, and that’s a fact.
Oh, the things you could achieve! The lives you could change! You’re so special, do you not see? Your mind and soul make others sing. They sing for happiness, they sing with hope. They sing to you to cope. They know your pain, they know your suffering. They know the emotion distress you’re covering.
Life is beautiful and so are you. Do not let these close minded fiends steer you wrong. What they say is untrue. The pain and misery you feel now is not lifelong.
So stick around and you will see. What I say is true. Life gets better. You just need to believe. Believe in yourself, I believe in you. Life gets better, so please don’t end it so soon.
You ally friend,
A young girl that comes to my shows started sending me messages about who she is, and her struggle with suicide attempts because of being bullied and misunderstood. She is a bright, talented writer with an enormous amount of wisdom. Her poems are deep, insightful, brilliant. My husband and I run a studio north of Nashville TN (dubbed the recording capital of the world) and we are going to help turn one of her poems into music and record it. It is a small way of giving, but the reward is immeasurable. Thanks for listening and great job on giving others a voice.
I have always wanted to share my story with others, so they could understand that there is hope even when they feel there is none.
I found out about this site just recently when I watched ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ with my wonderful brother and his family at Christmas time. I saw that Cyndi Lauper had this charity ‘True Colors Fund’. I thought it was uncanny because when I was going through one of the worst times of my life I would listen to ‘True Colors,’ every morning when driving to work, this was when I was 19, I am 37 now.
I was bought up in a family that never really mentioned things about homosexuality, so my focus was on society’s rejection of it. When I look back I was the one that bet ‘me’ up about it. I kept it well hidden because I was so afraid of rejection.
I had many crushes on girls at school, but it was my secret. I knew I had to deal with it at some stage in my life, but it was definitely not going to be when I was at an all girls Catholic school in the 80’s.
It all started back when I entered high school as a freshman. Some people knew I was gay others not so much. I was learning who I was at the time. Back then it was my “darker” days. Or I like to call it “my emo days”. I didn’t know anything about fashion, good music, or anything that dealt with gay culture. I felt left behind and out of place. I had fears of how people would be around me cause I was this little gay freshman.
First year of high school was a drag. Of course there was the name calling and staring. I even thought about suicide to be honest with you. When you think of this type of situation it feels like the world has turned upside down. Like there will be no tomorrow. The chill you get as if your freezing on a mountain somewhere and no one can find you. Many young people think this is the best solution to make things better. Let me tell you something, its so not worth it. So, it was the middle of my sophomore year of high school and I started to see the bright side of things.
Many people had suspected that I was gay. It wasn’t hard to tell after some of the things I did and mistakes I made. I officially came out my sophomore year in high school. All my friends accepted it, and loved me for who I was. I met a girl in my English class at the time. Her name was Amber, and she was raised into a very strict Catholic family. I told her that I was gay and she completely accepted it and everything.
One day, she came over and we were just in my basement… and that’s how it all started. I’m now in the middle of my Junior year and from that day on, we fell in love. We tried keeping everything on the down low because we both knew her parents wouldn’t accept it, but somehow her parents found out around the end of March. Her parents came into the school trying to charge me with a crime, and since her family were part of the transportation department and janitorial services for my school, they started to watch out for me. Every day, I felt like I couldn’t even be myself anymore because I felt constantly watched and felt like I was going to be attacked. Amber was switched classes that we had together and her parents isolated her from every single one of her friends. A couple weeks later, she started talking to one of our friends that we shared and opened up to her, and she had felt suicidal the whole entire time she was going through everything and almost tried to kill herself. By the end of April, we had started to talk again… but it made me nervous because if her parents found out, she had the chance of being dead.
We kept it a secret until about October when they found out again. This time, they had kept her from going to school, isolated her from everyone again, and are now trying to switch her school because her parents believe that she is being “turned gay” in this school. The pain just keeps getting worse and worse for us, and the only time we talk is late at night, if we’re lucky. We don’t really know what to do from here, but I’m not giving up because I give a damn.
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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.