borntobebrad

No Day But Today

on September 10, 2012

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Join people around the world in lighting a candle tonight at 8 p.m. (in your time zone) in memory of a loved one lost to suicide or in honor of a survivor left behind when their loved one took their own life.

I’d love to be able to say that I’ve not been touched by suicide but that would be a lie. As a gay man, I have seen hundreds of stories about young gay and lesbians that have taken their own life because life became too hard for them to deal. I could have been one of those statistics.

My junior year of high school I seriously gave suicide a second thought. I hated high school, hated it so much that I’ve blocked out most memories of it. But I do remember a particularly hard week. There was this guy and he harassed me every day. I was always picked on, taunted about my speech, my walk, my clothes, my perceived homosexuality but this guy took it to a new level. He’d corner me in the cafeteria and make lewd suggestions. I wasn’t out in high school and I thought I was “man” enough but this guy would not stop with the gay slurs. It was horror.

On top of this, every day, the same week, my locker would be vandalized. Before the day was out, I’d come to my locker to find it covered with chewing gum. The embarrassment of having to find a custodian and have him clean my locker every day was mortifying.

One day I had enough. I had the house to myself and I thought about how easy it would be to end it all. I had it all planned out. I knew I couldn’t do pills or a razor or a bullet to the head. But, the oven. I could do that. I would turn on the oven and sleep. I know now that it wouldn’t have worked but I thought how easy it would have been. I wouldn’t have to deal with the chewing gum. I wouldn’t have to deal with the bullying. I wouldn’t have to deal with my feelings for the guy I was crushing, feelings I was told would send me to hell. I could go to sleep and never wake up.

My nephew, Aaron, saved me from suicide. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites but Aaron was always my favorite nephew. He was about two at that time and I thought about how my brother would explain to him that I had died and wasn’t coming back. I couldn’t do that to Aaron so I had to find a way to deal. Twenty odd years later, I’m still finding ways to deal.

And I’m glad that I didn’t go through with it. Despite the obstacles I’m currently facing, I’ve lived a pretty good life. And I know firsthand what a suicide does to a family. My uncle, Randy, committed suicide two years ago. June 4, 2010. He didn’t leave a note. We were left with numerous questions with no answers to be found. There’s a gaping hole where my uncle should be.

If you’re reading this and thinking about suicide, don’t do it. I know that things seem bad now but I promise you that it will get better. If you need help, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. If you’re an LGBT person, you can contact either that number or The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or visit http://www.thetrevorproject.org. I love you and I want you to stick around long enough to see how great your future will be.

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