Young men choose death because they cannot live with the bullying, intolerance, and hate. They need to know there is hope.
I am sorry to those who I offended over the years. I am blind to see that I, as a human being, suck. I am an individual who is doing an injustice to the world and it’s time for me to leave. Please don’t ever feel sorry for me, or cry–because I had an opportunity at life and that opportunity is over. I’m sorry that I was not able to love someone or have someone love me. I guess it’s best though, because now I leave no pain onto anyone. The kids in school are right, I am a loser, a freak, and a fag and in no way is that acceptable for people to deal with. I’m sorry for not being a person that would make someone proud. –Carlos
These are the final words from Carlos, a bullied gay teen who committed suicide recently. If you’re squeamish, stop reading now.
Here’s another note:
….My pain is not caused because I am gay. My pain was caused because of how I was treated because I am gay…. –Eric James Borges
Eric, from Visalia, CA, near where I live, wasn’t a young man who you’d have expected to take his life. He had friends and was active in the Trevor Project, a group that works to prevent suicides among gay youth. But, he was also bullied. He was reportedly assaulted in his classroom in the presence of a teacher. His parents could not accept his orientation. They reportedly called him “perverted” and “disgusting” and even attempted an exorcism to rid him of his sexual orientation.
Dear Mum and Dad, All my life I have been ridiculed, abused, bullied, and excluded. You guys are fantastic. I hope you’re not angry. Until we meet again. Tim–Tim Ribberink
Tim had hoped to be a history teacher. His parents never knew he was being bullied online through social networking sites.
To all who love me and to those who did not love me. I am sick of this shit of a life. Sick, to the point of wanting to puke!!! I am so lonely. So alone with what I am suffering. I’d rather die than go on suffering like this.
PS: By the way, I was gay and I would like to say to those who still love me that I will never forget them.
Jean-Philippe was a newspaper delivery boy. His parents never even knew he was gay, but pieced it together after his death.
Sadly, many of these youths don’t leave notes, leaving their loved ones to fill in the gaps.
Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover’s mother doesn’t even know if he was gay, but his classmates certainly thought so. She was preparing to leave for yet another meeting with school officials to address the bullying when she found him hanging from an extension cord.
Jaheem Herrera’s mother had also complained to her son’s school several times. But, as his best friend recounts, the young boy grew “tired of complaining, tired of these guys messing with him. Tired of talking, I think to the teachers, counselors and nobody doing anything–and the best way out is death.”
It’s not the best way out and if there’s any message I’d send to any bullied youth, gay or straight, it is that. It is an old cliché, but true: suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
I promise you, it will get better. It isn’t just that the world is growing wiser on these issues, though it is. But as you get older, you will have more choices. You’ll have choices about where you go, what you do, and most importantly, who you spend your time with.
You may choose to leave where you live for a city with a more tolerant culture. We’ve heard from many gay youth recently who’ve made that choice. But even if you stay where you are, your greater freedom as a young adult will make things easier than as a teen. There are tolerant, caring, and loving people in every community. You’ll have the opportunity to spend time with them and ignore the rest.
I know these issues are difficult for many due to long-held religious beliefs. But if you even try to think of yourself as open-minded, humor me with one favor. Go to justbecausehebreathes.com.
On that site, you’ll find the story of a couple of Christian parents as they tried to reconcile their faith and their son after he has come out to them as gay. Their tale is honest, brutal, and gripping and if it doesn’t give you reason for better understanding and empathy, nothing will.
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Photo: Getty Images