Usually I have sarcasm, wit and funny gifs to go along with my blogs, however today is not a day for that.
Today I am choosing to remember a 13 year old boy named Tyrone Unsworth who lived in Brisbane. Why am I choosing to remember this young boy? Tyrone took his own life this past Friday because he was bullied, mentally and physically for being gay. Tyrone had his whole life ahead of him and it was stolen from him, not by his own doing but by the ignorance in this world. Like many other LGBT youth, suicide seems like their only option. They feel that it will never get better, that they will constantly be bullied or attacked for their sexuality; something that it is not a choice, something that is beyond their control. How sad a world we live in that our youth, the future of our world is killing themselves because of hatred and intolerance.
Today, I share MY story with the world in hopes that our LGBT youth know just how precious their lives are to this world.
I came out late in life, while I knew I was gay from a young age, the fear of being accepted by my family closeted me for many years. I never felt myself, I felt I lived two lives. One that all the world could see, pretend to be straight to make mom and dad proud, smile even though the life inside my eyes had somehow faded along with who I really was. The second life I kept close to my heart, I kept it a secret, hoping one day I would have the courage to come out and tell my parents who I really was. When I finally decided to come out, I was rejected by my parents and siblings, abandoned by the two people that gave me life and were supposed to love me unconditionally, abandoned by my own blood as if I never existed. I was bullied. I was called derogatory names. I was discriminated against for who I loved.
Alcohol numbed the pain and when that didn’t work anymore suicidal thoughts crept in and haunted me. Anger and the feeling of not being good enough was a constant ferris wheel inside me.It wasn’t until I met my wife that I truly understood that IT DOES GET BETTER! I legally married my wife, I have a family, I have her parents and siblings that love me unconditionally. I have her love that helped me move on from the demons that I fought for so many years. Most importantly, I live a normal life and NOW, because I chose to stay here, I get to raise our children with dignity, humanity, respect and tolerance for all walks of life.
Dear LGBT youth:
Things may seem dim, dark and even lonely wherever you are. You may think that the bullying will never stop. Some of you may think that you have no family and thoughts that ending your life may seem like a solution to the pain you bear deep down inside.Your lives may not be easy RIGHT now, but I promise you all that, that dim, dark, lonely place is full of light, love and acceptance because YOU ARE apart of a family, you’re a part of a community that loves you and needs all of you. Your lives are so precious to the future of the LGBT community, to the fight for equality, humanity and tolerance. Stay here and fight for kids like Tyrone and others that have taken their lives. STAY HERE, stay strong, stand proud and be YOU. Know that you are loved and needed more than you know. You have a voice in this world and it should not be silenced, it should not be ignored and it should not succumb to hatred and intolerance. If you feel like you can’t, then know that I WILL BE THERE TO HOLD YOU UP UNTIL YOU CAN. I’ve been where you are and I want you all to be where I AM TODAY! This too shall pass and when it does you have a chance to make a difference in this world! Be the difference, be the change!
For all those suffering from suicidal thoughts, bullying or coming out, please reach out to any one of the following organizations for help:
It Gets Better
The Trevor Project