It Does Get Better
I’m a little late with this, but I was inspired by some things I saw and read on other blogs.
This is for anyone who has ever questioned their sexuality and thought about taking their own life. As the new slogan goes: It gets better.
My story: When I was 13 I had a major crush on my straight best friend. Nothing ever came of it, and I pushed the feelings away. A few years later, when I was 16, I was very depressed. I thought about suicide a lot. In fact, I thought about it so much that I was actually planning it out. I knew I was not like the other people at my school. I never had a ton of friends and I was a bit of a loner. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew something was different about me. I met L during that year. She was a foreign exchange student in my high school, and we quickly became friends. I seemed to always be drawn to the foreign kids – probably because they were different too. L truly saved my life. I never had a sexual attraction to her, we just had a really deep emotional bond. One night I told her about my thoughts of suicide. She stopped in her tracks and started to cry. She told me that she thought that was a selfish thing to do, that I shouldn’t do it, and that she loved me. Before that moment, I never thought anyone would care if I were gone. I know how silly that sounds now, but in the moment, it was how I felt. I will never forget that night.
The following year is when I had an experience I have written about before with the new exchange student, and realized that I truly am gay. When I went to college it was the mid-90’s, and being out still wasn’t really accepted. I found a group of friends that were also GLBTQ, and some that weren’t, but were supportive. I finally came out in my Sophomore year, and got more and more comfortable over the years with my sexuality. My coming out to my parents went much smoother than I expected.
After college I had my first serious girlfriend of 4 years, who ultimately broke my heart. I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world though. She taught me what I definitely don’t want in a relationship. And if I had never met her, or if I was still with her, I would never have met D, who is the love of my life.
That night with L was over 16 years ago. She came to our wedding in May and still fully supports me to this day, even though she lives in another country.
I know some of you may not have someone like L in your life. That’s why we are here. To let you know, no matter what, it will get better. It may take a long time, but it’s worth the wait. It’s worth the struggle and the heartache. It’s worth all the years you and I couldn’t express ourselves fully. It’s worth everything. Your life is special, no matter who you are or where you come from.
I would never have known the joy that life is all about if I had left the Earth 16 years ago. I would never have had the amazing experiences I have had.
Please, if you are out there reading this, please, don’t do it. It WILL get better. There is a whole community of people out here that do care about whether you live or die.