Gay Teen Suicide

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Jordan Montgomery from Families are ForeverEvery minute of every day there are teenagers who sit in their rooms wondering if today is the day they are going to commit suicide. They are afraid of their parents, friends and family finding out that they are gay, and would rather commit suicide before knowing if they will be accepted or rejected. Most are rejected, which is why they are struggling.

I myself struggled with that for most of my childhood. I was confronted at age 13 with the fact that my step father hated gay people, and if he hated gay people, then he hated me. He said “I wish they would put all of those faggots on and island and shoot them.” Imagine being me at that very moment. Here I was afraid for my life every morning when I woke up until I went to bed at night because I wasn’t sure if I was going to get yelled at or beaten for blinking wrong, and now he has confirmed my worst fears with just one sentence.

Age 13 was when I first tried to commit suicide, and believe me, that was not the last time. The last time I tried to kill myself was when I was 23, less than a year after my mother had passed away. I had just met my partner, the same person I have loved for the last 21 years, but I wasn’t sure where my life was headed, and I was still very suicidal. Imagine his horror and disappointment when he found me lying in bed next to him unresponsive because I took an entire bottle of sleeping pills.

I was looking for statistics to add to this post about teen suicide, and I found this. It’s from 2006, but I’m pretty sure it still applies 9 years later.

“According to the Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. In addition, the San Francisco State University Chavez Center Institute has found that LGBTQ youth who come from a rejecting family are up to nine times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.”

We recently attended a monthly PFLAG meeting to say goodbye to a family who were moving to Arizona. They are the Montgomery Family who were in a documentary called Families Are Forever. Their son Jordan (image above) spoke about suicide in the documentary and it broke my heart when he mentioned taking a bottle of pills to end his life. He was afraid of what might happen to him if his family ever found out that he was gay. He wasn’t sure how his family would react, and that seems to be how it is every time a child comes out of the closet to their parents.

Every child has a 50/50 chance when coming out of the closet. They have a 50% chance of their family hugging them and saying “It doesn’t matter because you are our son and we love you no matter what.” They have a 50% chance of their family reacting negatively and yelling obscenities and telling them that they are going to hell and then either right away, or eventually kicking them out of the house.

Mongtomery Family PFLAG BakersfieldJordan’s family accepted him right away. His mother, who by the way is the mother you want to have if you are gay, hugged him and told him that she loves him no matter what. I mean, it’s her kid. And look at that adorable face! How could you say no to that adorable face. I just want to pinch his cheeks. Heck, I want to pinch her cheeks! Their entire family’s cheeks are pinchable!

My own mother screamed at the top of her lungs that it’s “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, as well as “you are going to hell” and blah blah blah. This is a woman who couldn’t be bothered to go to church and never really considered herself to be religious, then all of a sudden she starts spewing scriptures. She even told me to never adopt children because she would hate to know that my adopted children were being bullied in school for having a faggot for a father. Gee, thanks! So what am I, chopped liver? I was bullied in school for being gay. I was beat up almost daily. I literally ran home from school every day in Junior High because I was threatened that I would get beat up after school. Every. Day.

Just 2 weeks after I came out of the closet, I was given an ultimatum, it’s either my boyfriend or my mother. I was told that if I walked out that door that I could never come back. He was stranded with no way of getting home, and I couldn’t just leave him out there in L.A. (we lived in L.A. county) where he could get mugged or murdered, so I walked out the door. Ultimatums are unfair, and I’m the type of person that if you give me an ultimatum, I will never choose you, every time.

I don’t know if you would consider that running away from home or getting kicked out. I myself don’t consider that I ran away from home because I didn’t want to run away, I wanted to live at home and finish high school. My mother not allowing me to come home is what makes me feel like I was kicked out of the house. If I ran away from home, of course my mother would tell me she wanted me to come back, but even a few months later she still wouldn’t let me come home.

Why do parents do that to their own children? I don’t understand. This is why gay kids kill themselves, before and/or after they come out. They are afraid of this rejection, and wouldn’t you? This is why I attempted suicide dozens of times since I was 13, because I feared the rejection that I ended up facing. Why would you put your kids through so much needless torture?

A lot of times a parent will ask where they failed. My mother asked where she went wrong in raising me. Look, you didn’t fail as a parent because I was gay, I didn’t choose it, in fact she told me she knew that I was gay when I started walking. So why put that guilt on me about where she failed when she knew that I was gay from the get go. You didn’t fail as a parent because your child is gay, you failed as a parent because you kicked your child out of the house when you found out they were gay. Your child isn’t an object to be tossed aside when it no longer serves you, they are your flesh and blood and they have feelings, so don’t make them feel guilty for being different. Guilt trips are why children are killing themselves.

I recently watched the first episode of “I Am Cait” on the E! channel, and Caitlyn Jenner visited a mother who lost her transgender child to suicide. She told Caitlyn that it wasn’t the other kids who drove him to suicide, it was the adults. So think about that. The children don’t give a crap if you are gay or straight or if you are transgender, it’s their parents who are driving children to suicide. Do you want to be the reason someone killed themselves because of what you said that may have hurt their feelings? Just remember that words kill.

I don’t mean to be on my soapbox for this long, I just wanted to voice my opinion about something other than marriage equality and politics. I think that every person needs to think about how they speak to other people, because your words just might make a difference in a positive or negative way. Can you sleep at night knowing your words are the reason little 10 year old Johnny hung himself in his bedroom? We as adults need to hold ourselves accountable for every word that is spoken to a child. Empower children, don’t kill them with your venom.

Rush Limbaugh and Shepard Smith’s insensitive comments about Robin Williams’ Suicide

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I feel a bit upset tonight. I was on Facebook earlier today when I saw Robin Tyler post a status update from Lewis Black that said:

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I wasn’t sure what Rush Limbaugh said, but he is a jerk and everything he says is negative and insensitive. I looked up what he said and here is the quote from Rawstory:

“What is the left’s world view in general?” Limbaugh asked his audience the day after Williams’ death was announced. “If you had to attach, not a philosophy, but an attitude to a leftist world view. It’s one of pessimism, and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they?”

“They’re animated in large part by the false promises of America because the promises of America are not for everyone,” he continued, pointing to a Fox News report that suggested Williams had struggled with financial issues, and survivor’s guilt after the deaths of entertainers like Christopher Reeve, Andy Kaufman and John Belushi.

“Robin Williams felt guilty that he was still alive while his three friends had died young, and much earlier than he had,” the conservative talker explained. “He could never get over the guilt that they died and he didn’t.”

“Well, that is a constant measurement that is made by political leftists in judging the country.”

Listen to the audio from The Rush Limbaugh Program, broadcast Aug. 12, 2014.

Later he tried to back pedal by saying he was misquoted. This is what he had to say:

“[A]ll of these low-rent, despicable, irresponsible, pathetic, so-called media watchdogs on the left are trying to make it sound like I said Robin Williams gave up because he was a liberal, and he’s hopelessly doomed to misery and despair because that’s what liberals are devoted to. And I said no such thing.”

Really? “Low-rent, despicable, irresponsible, pathetic…” Excuse me? This coming from the low-rent, despicable, irresponsible and pathetic man who does drugs, more specifically OxyContin, can’t get an erection, I know this because he was detained in the Domincan Republic for traveling with a prescription of Viagra that was not prescribed to him. He has been married 4 times and I know this because of this article. So let’s not pretend he is an authority on well, anything.

He has no room to talk negative about anyone and frankly he has the biggest balls of steel to even still be on the radio talking trash about other people. I mean, what good has he done in his life? Robin Williams was a good person and he lived a good life. He made everyone happy every time he opened his mouth, what has Rush Limbaugh done to make anyone happy when he opened his mouth? All he does is talk negative trash about everyone, unless they are conservatives, then he praises them, even when they do stupid things.

Instead of saying negative things about the man, just shut the fuck up! I apologize for my language but I’m at that point where it’s going to come out.

Shepard Smith called Robin Williams a coward just hours after he committed suicide. HOURS! Can you believe that? He later apologized for it, but it’s still out there.

“Something inside you is so horrible or you’re such a coward or whatever the reason that you decide that you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today,”

You cannot give your opinion about something that you know nothing about. If you have never suffered through depression or even contemplated suicide, then you have no right to talk negatively about someone who has.

I have suffered, and am still suffering through depression. I have PTSD from my childhood. I have been depressed since I was a child. People who are depressed don’t let anyone know they are depressed, so they put up a front to make it look like they are happy. I’m constantly trying to lighten the mood by cracking jokes or making puns because I want people to think I’m happy.

Suicide is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is not easy, and you are not a coward. If you have thought about taking your own life, it is not something that you just decide to do, then do it. You have to be going through some really bad stuff for a long time and be wishing you were dead throughout that long time. You don’t just decide today I’m going to kill myself. That comes from years of depression and years of people treating you like crap.

I attempted suicide for the first time when I was around 12 or 13 years old. I didn’t just decide today is the day, no this was after years of being treated like crap by my step father. My sister had started treating me like crap when I was 9 years old, and by the time I decided to commit suicide, my baby sister had joined in on the fun. I was also being beat up at school because I was gay and being called names like fag, faggot, mother fucker, asshole… you name it, I was called it. My step father had been calling me a sissy since I learned to walk and when I was 12 or 13 made a comment that “he wished they would put all the faggots on an island and kill them all” right in front of me. My sister started calling me a bastard when I was 9 and a mother fucker when I was 11. Just imagine what I was going through on a daily basis. So yeah, I was severely depressed and severely suicidal.

How did I try to commit suicide you ask? Well, it started out punching myself in the face in my bedroom. Not because I was trying to get a bruise so I could say my family did it to me because I knew I didn’t bruise, but because I was punishing myself every time they punished me. Then I started to choke myself by holding my finger right on the spot on my neck where the airway was. I would hold it for as long as I could. Sometimes I would hold it until my natural reaction was to let go to breathe again, but then I would just keep holding it until I had passed out. I would wake up in the morning and be pissed off at myself because I thought it would work. Of course when I did that, it was while I was laying in bed. I wanted it to look like I went to sleep and just didn’t wake up. I tried that nearly every night for months.

There are other times that I tried to commit suicide that I wrote about in my book in detail, so if you want to read those stories, buy my book.

All I’m saying is, you cannot judge a person based on why they committed suicide, because you simply do not know what is going on in their private lives to make that judgment. So next time you say that it was because of this or that, well you just don’t know and you should get the facts before you say anything. I don’t know why he committed suicide and I will never know.

I am so beyond sad that he died, but I was so happy that this world had such an awesome man entertain us for so many years. It kills me inside that he died and it kills me even more that people have to be such assholes by saying such horrible things about him.

Rest in peace you wonderful funny man. I loved you so much and I will never forget you.

It Gets Better!

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To the kids going back to school now and have already been called a gay slang, I can tell you from experience that it will get better.  It’s going to be rough, you will be called names, pushed, shoved and probably beat up during lunch hour or while going to your class.  I know, it happened to me many times.

My first year in junior high was the worst.  I was jumped one day, someone literally jumped on my back and he was at least 50lbs heavier than I was.  I fell on the ground with him on top of me and he began punching the heck out of me.  Because he was straddling me, I couldn’t defend myself.  I was absolutely helpless.  There was a crowd chanting about the fight and not one person helped me.  Eventually my sister did see that I was the one getting beat up and she beat the crap out of that jerk to get him off of me, and little does she know, I praise her all the time for doing that for me.

I missed PE class one day because I had gotten kicked in a very sensitive area so hard that I was on the ground for at least 10 minutes, I even got detention for that and I was the victim.  I had to look over my shoulder and I would pray everyday that I would make it home.

I tried to commit suicide many times that year because I couldn’t take it anymore.  I was called so many names, like faggot, queer, geek and nerd.  I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve that treatment, but I took it for 2 years until we left Reseda and moved to Simi Valley where things did get better.

School is such a small part of your life and once you graduate, you will find that as an adult people are more accepting.  Not that you need anyone’s approval mind you, but it is still nice to have people accept you for who you are, not who you are attracted to.  Life is so much more and your adulthood is waiting for you, so it may seem too difficult to take the abuse and you may be sick and tired of being sick and tired, but trust me, I know from experience.  It WILL get better!

Just hang in there kiddo, the future needs you.  Your family needs you.  Your future husband or wife needs you.  Heck, if you are lucky, your future children and grandchildren need you.  Without you, we wouldn’t have lawyers, judges and politicians to change laws for the better.  Without you, we may never have a gay president.  Yes, I said it!  What if you were our future president?  This country needs you to hang in there because it will get better.

I am pleading with anyone who will listen, whether it is a gay person, a mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent or friend.  Protect your family and let them know that you are on their side.  I am so sick of seeing on the news that another child has committed suicide because they were bullied.  Not just LGBT children, straight children as well.  I’m sick of it.  My heart breaks with every death.  So please, just go to that person who is being bullied in school and tell him or her that you are on their side, because that can make all the difference in the world.  They need to hear that someone is on their side and that you will always be there for them.

I am always on Facebook, so if you need someone to talk with, don’t be a stranger.  Send me a direct message, or tweet with me @DiaryofaGayNerd.  I will be a shoulder that you can cry on, but please hang in there.  School will be over in the blink of an eye, it won’t last forever.  You can do it, I believe in you!

Prayers For Bobby

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Has anyone seen this?  This is a movie called Prayers for Bobby, a Lifetime movie based on the true story of a mother (played by Sigourney Weaver) who couldn’t accept her gay son.  Here is the IMDB Synopsis:

“True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZT9b9xp2DU

I watched this movie on YouTube through my Blu-Ray player and boy did I cry my eyes out.  This story is so emotional that I had to pause it a couple of times because I was missing the movie because I was crying so hard.

This is a movie that every religious anti-gay parent and family should watch before they decide to give up on or throw their child away for being gay.