This is a really sobering statistic. What it tells us is the importance of acceptance and supporting those around you. Don’t push people down, don’t bully or harass anyone; you never know what they are dealing with.
But, some people do make it through. I was suicidal throughout high school. My journals from the period are generally composed of a combination of plans and just me pouring out how much I hate myself. My freshman year in college I hit rock bottom. Over Christmas break, while I was back home, I drove to my high school and walked up the three flights of stairs of the Commons Building, where I was fully intending on diving off. They only reason I didn’t was because of a text message from one of my best friend’s at the time, which led me to seek counseling where I learned the tools I needed to help me build my life back and come to accept myself. And here I am, 4 years later, an out and proud gay man who can honestly say that, even if given the opportunity to change my sexuality, I never would. I love being gay, being different, and the amazing culture that I am apart of. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
So, all of this to say, LGBTQ suicide can be prevented and this number can decrease. But that is going to come through strong support networks where people can feel safe and loved and accepted. I hadn’t told Chase, at that time, that I was struggling with my sexuality. All I did was text him a “Good Bye” and he knew something was wrong. He didn’t need to know exactly what. I didn’t jump off that building because he cared about me, and that was enough, knowing I had that in someone.
Be a good friend, support those around you and - who knows - you might be saving someone’s life.
September 5, 2011
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