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.
Sure, it’s easier to text, poke, like, or chat. But, when you TALK to someone you get a sense of how they’re really feeling. You’ll show that you care enough to listen. And, when a person has someone to talk to, they feel supported and are more likely to ask for help when they need it.
September 4th – 10th is National Suicide Prevention Week. Now is the time to check in with friends and family. Let them know that you’re available to talk. And, make sure you know what to do if someone is in crisis.
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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Over the past few weeks I had worked roughly 4 prior shifts, all in which superseded another; in call volume and true help line calls.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.
I grew up as the perfect little church boy in my town. I never did anything wrong. Yet, I knew that I was something that the church condemned. I was gay.
I knew since I was little that I was different and many of the church members defended me from my classmates saying it was ok to be different. Then, as I got older the topic of homosexuality came up and everyone said they were evil and were going to hell.
When they said what gays were, I knew instantly that was me and I realized that the people who once defended me would not do so this time. I knew that the bible condemned it. I struggled to not be gay for a very long time and eventually I was deep in depression to the point where I was contemplating suicide.
Lucky for me, my parents got me into a GLBT youth group and I discovered that I was not the only one who felt the way I did. I also learned it was ok to be gay. So, I started to work on loving myself and accepting myself.
No matter how proud I am today I still don’t think I have completely accepted myself and I am still dealing with my depression. Although now I have to deal with my hatred toward Christians. I know that not all of them are bad, but I cant help but worry when I find out I am stuck with one on a project or rooming in a dorm. I am always worried.
Faith was nearly the death of me once before, so I am not sure if it will succeed this time or not.
I grew up in the heart of the Bible belt, a college town in W. Va. during the mid 1950’s and 1960’s, to a Southern Baptist family headed by a WW II veteran, military background father. I was not necessarily “out” during high school, but I was sexually active and had feminine mannerisms. My mother and grandmother were my best friends. In fact, most of my friends growing up were adult women because I could not trust people my own age. At one point the harassment in High School was so bad that I contemplated suicide a couple of times. In fact, I did eat an entire bottle of aspirin, (the only thing I could find in the medicine cabinet at the time), and fortunately, I only got a little sick. For some unknown reason God had something else in mind for me; even though I was always taught at church that I was a sinner, abnormal, and a freak of nature, I knew in my heart that “my” God is a loving God, therefore I knew he loved and accepted me for the person I am.
Until after high school, I always thought the word “gay” meant happy. I had always been called “queer”, “faggot” and other derogatory names that definitely could not be considered as ego builders for a young teenager. After I graduated from high school, I went to work where I was befriended by another gay man who introduced me to the local gay community in my home town, such as it was. We had two gay bars that were private clubs with locked doors. I finally felt that I was among my element and made many friends and became an active part of my home town gay community. I was finally out, or at least as out as I could be in 1970, in a small W.Va. college town. We still had to be careful in those days but at least we did have a place of our own where we could be ourselves.
I’m a 16 year old sophomore and I can’t begin to say that I have the greatest group of friends in the ENTIRE world. I’m been aware of my homosexuality since sixth grade as confused as I may have been. Ever since I confided to the first person that I called my friend I’ve been able to become more and more secure with myself. Slowly but surely I began to open up to more and more people until I hit freshman year of high school. At this point the majority of people I bothered to call my friends (there were and currently are too many to count) knew of my sexual orientation. As a New Year’s resolution I essentially said “f**k it” and decided to immerse myself in what I knew I was, a homosexual young man. High school was never the same but I’ve always had friends to back me up. I’ve been lucky.
Now, openly gay and content with who I am I’ve seen the harsh reality and immense joy of being open with your sexuality. I’ve personally had to deal with the loss of many friends who didn’t agree with my life choice and I’ve been ridiculed beyond which no one should ever have to put up with. I’ve learned so much about who I am and who I DON’T have to be and I’ve overjoyed to know that no matter what I choose in life my friends, my family and anyone who has ever had the pleasure of knowing me will be right there by my side. My personal accomplishments with LGBT rights are few and far between, so small in fact that they’ve barely made a dent in the issue at hand in everyday life. However, I’ve bettered my life in High School by coming out as a homosexual, I’ve bettered the lives of others who have chosen to confide within me and I’ve bettered the lives of everyone who I’ve ever met by allowing them to say they’ve met a proud gay man who isn’t afraid to take on the world.
Hate come in all shapes and sizes. I’m been discriminated against due to my weight. I was raised by two wonderful parents who taught me to be open minded, and that’s helped shape me to think the way I do. I’ve had many friends who were LGBT, and I could care less about their preference. What matters to me is your heart, your brain if you use them correctly.
I knew someone a long time ago who was so afraid to tell their family they were gay, the pressure got to them and they had committed suicide. It was a great loss, and upsetting because I had talked to the parents later on, and they had know their child was gay and loved them just the same. Don’t ever be afraid to talk to someone. I see people as human beings, not gay or straight of transgendered.
You aren’t worthless, you aren’t just another number in statistics, you are who you are because that’s the way you were meant to be, and you are loved… whether it be family, friend or a total stranger like myself. You’re not alone.
Pretty much all my friends are gay, lesbian, or bisexual. But since I’m friends with them I’m automatically titled as a lesbian. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t hear someone judge a person just for the fact that they are homosexual. I’m so fed up with it because they are human just like them. People tell them that they need to go somewhere else because they don’t like gay people. But at least they have more balls than any straight person because they know the consequences but are okay to live with it. And I’m tired of my friends turning to self-mutilation because of all the judgement and hatred they’re faced with. Not only do they turn to harming themselves but some have even tried to commit suicide. There is nothing but hatred towards homosexuals in this town and no one wants to stand up for them. I give damn and so now I’m going to take a stand on it.
I knew that I was bisexual since probably the age of three. I was a little confused. I wasn’t born into a very religious family, but my grandparents will never understand. I hid it from both my mom and my dad and am still hiding it from my dad. I don’t think my dad would care though, since he has told me that he has no problem with gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans. I didn’t tell my mother, she somehow found out. I told my step sister, she told her mom, her mom told her friend, and that friend told my mom.
So, when she found out, she came into my room and asked me if I liked girls. At first I tried lying to her, but that didn’t work, I could never lie straight to my mom’s face. I told her the truth. She took it pretty well, the only thing that she was upset about was the fact that I told my sister before I told her. Then after that it seemed that she had completely changed. She all of a sudden asked me if I wanted her to take me to a psychologist…
I didn’t understand, I thought she was accepting me, but apparently she wasn’t. She took me to a psychologist that same week. I felt so embarrassed and naked. I felt like she was trying to rip me open to find out what was wrong with me. I told the doctor what I had been feeling and he tells my mom it’s a phase… A phase? REALLY?
My story starts about 10 years ago; I was only 13 when I met the most wonderful person in the world, my girlfriend, Meri. It was truly love at first sight for me and I hadn’t felt that way about anyone at that point. We were best friends before anything else and we shared everything. One day I told her how I felt and she agreed, that’s when our relationship began. Right away I had a bad feeling about how my parents might react if they did find out I was falling in love with another girl.
Secrets only last so long as my mom found out two years later by “accident,” but I know she had her suspicions. She was outraged and assured me that I wasn’t gay and what I was going through was “just a phase.” She wouldn’t let me see my girlfriend or talk to her on the phone. She told my other friends’ moms to make sure if I was there visiting that Meri was not. I felt hurt, I felt rejected and I started feeling more depressed everyday. Pretty soon I was at the doctor getting Prozac prescriptions. I started feeling suicidal on a daily basis. Families are supposed to love each other unconditionally and that was not true in my case.
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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.