October 1, 2010
These words by Kevin Caruso bear repeating…
by Kevin Caruso, Founder and Executive Director of Suicide.org
“I always knew that I was gay. I also remember seeing heterosexual couples and knowing that I wasn’t like them. I would get very depressed about not being like other kids. Many times I would take a kitchen knife and press it against my chest, wondering if I should push it all the way in,” said Alex, a 14-year-old gay youth. And innumerable lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youths have similar feelings.
Many do not feel safe to “come out” with their orientation because countless LGBT youths have been rejected by their families or friends, verbally abused, physically abused, or bullied as a result.
This intolerance against the LGBT community is rooted in ignorance.
Ignorant people cannot accept others that are not like them. And they do not understand that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people do not “choose” their orientation — they are born lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender just like some people are born with white skin and others are born with black skin.
Adolescence is a very difficult stage for anyone to go through. But lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender youth have the added difficulty of coping with this ignorance — and the intolerance, discrimination, hate, and rejection that often accompanies it.
It is difficult difficult to fully research LGBT youth suicide because many young lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders have not “come out.” But studies indicate that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. And those who are rejected by their family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. And the discrimination, ignorance, and intolerance that members of the LGBT community experience when they are young continue into adulthood.
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and need help, please reach out. There are many resources available.
And please remember that the people who are ignorant and insensitive are the ones with the problems — not you! Stay away from them, and surround yourself with caring and supportive people. But take steps to protect yourself, your rights, your feelings, and your physical and mental health.
If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and are suffering from depression or are suicidal, please go to this website, www.suicide.org, and get help immediately.
Or call The Trevor Hotline, which is a 24-hour toll-free suicide prevention line aimed at lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youths:
And please read the following articles for more information on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered suicide:
- Suicide Note of a Gay Teen
- Joshua Melo Memorial — Joshua, 15, Died by Suicide After Being Incessantly Bullied Because Some Cowards Believed That He Was Gay
- Hate Against Gays and Lesbians can Lead to Murder and Suicide — Remembering Matthew Shepard and John French
- I Want to Kill Myself: A Suicide Survivor Shares Her Suicidal Feelings and Suicide Attempt
Take care of yourself,