I have a friend who is a great writer. He’s also a gay teen. I wanted to share his story, in his words, with whoever happens to stumble across this page.
I hope people will read his words and think about the things we’ve all been hearing about in the media. These kids are real and this epidemic is a tragedy beyond words. No child should EVER feel so alone that they believe taking their own lives is the only way out.
I could go on and on, but it’s late, I’m tired and it’s Kody you should be listening to. He’s amazing and does the gay community proud.
So enough of my babbling…
By Kody Boye
Asher Brown. Seth Walsh. Billy Lucas.
What do the three have in common?
They were all teenagers, ages thirteen to eighteen, who committed suicide in the month of September because they were gay.
Life is an extremely precious thing. I learned that when I was fifteen-years-old, after I sunk the tip of a knife into my side because I was trying to ride the endorphin high infamous from such activities. Most people at such an age never contemplate hurting themselves or cutting their lives off short because they don’t have to worry about the world or the people around them. To them, life is simply an adventure, a road always fun to walk, and youth is merely an obstacle, one that can’t be conquered with just a hop and a step. For others though, life is an extremely hazardous place, a road lined with snakes, linen and stones.
I grew up in southeastern Idaho. Most people look at me like I’m insane whenever I tell them that, as I’m not particularly one to hide who I am. I stand five-feet-five, have bleach-blonde hair and am heavily-known to have my regular, insane moments. I’ve been called a ‘giggling badass,’ an ‘absolute lunatic’ and a ‘very odd little boy’ by friends. It’s safe to say that I’m very-obviously gay and not afraid of being who I really am, so when people look on in shock after I tell them where I was born and raised for eighteen years of my life, it’s easy to see that most people find it hard to believe that someone like me can make it out of such an area in a fairly-normal state.
When I was nine, I started having feelings for the same sex. By the time I was in my early teens, the issue had been so completely blown out of proportion that I often felt extremely uncomfortable, even in my own body. I used to change in toilet stalls during gym class, wear long-sleeved shirts to cover my arm hair, and had, at a time, told my peers I was asexual in order to avoid persecution. This form of mental and emotional overpowering eventually led people to force me out of school, and even after I left, they continued to taunt me—metaphysically, at least. I’d dream about people calling me names and whispering things behind my back, telling people I was ‘gay’ and that I was ‘not like other people.’ Pastors told my mother I needed to be saved even before I came out to her. Friends stopped speaking to me once I fully came out. People refused to exist, coexist or even pretend to exist if they even believed I was something without any form of concrete proof. I was the victim of a deranged cyberbully who called repeatedly called me a ‘faggot’ and said that I should be ‘beaten and raped’ because of who I was. With all of this going on around me at any given time, it’s no wonder that I once considered suicide—particularly when I was thirteen, when I was being so heavily bullied at school that counselors wouldn’t even help me. So when I read that these teenagers—two younger than me, one my age—committed suicide, all because they were gay, my past came flooding back in but an instance.
Infuriated is not a word to describe what I feel. Sadness is.
There was one a time in my life when I tried to consider all the ways I could kill myself. Pills, cutting, hanging, throwing myself from a cliff, running in front of traffic, tying a rope around my neck, then around a horse’s neck—it’s easy to say that I’ve been extremely depressed for the first eighteen years of my life, especially since I came up with such morbidly-creative ways of killing myself. I, however, have survived, unlike many who endure the abuse I have, but I have not come out unscathed. To this day, I continue to battle with depression and an anxiety disorder that I’ve been clinically diagnosed with. Will I ever fully recover? I doubt it, but at least I can say I survived.
Teenagers like Asher, Seth and Billy—they didn’t survive. They killed themselves because others deemed they should, which leads me into the second part of my article.
Celebrity—it’s a gift and a curse at the same time. Become a martyr to some and a rebel to others and you’ll have the power of audience, of projection. Someone like 50 Cent, a prolific and well-known rapper, has such a gift, yet some gifts aren’t always good, nor should they be mishandled like the way this man recently did. In light of his ‘Perez Hilton called me a douchebag, so I had a homie shoot up a gay wedding’ Tweet, he recently Tweeted that all men ‘over the age of twenty-five’ that ‘don’t eat pussy’ should ‘kill themselves,’ as ‘the world would be a better place without them.’ Oh, and to top it off, he added the acronym LOL at the end of it.
Don’t know what LOL means?
It means laugh out loud.
Does he not realize the power he has over people, the influence he has over the influenceable? Does he not realize that a thirteen-year-old boy struggling with his sexuality might look at this and say, ‘I’m not this,’ and as such, kill himself, just because someone with an iron mouth and a black heart says the world would be a better place without him? Does this man—does this celebrity—realize the power he has over others, just simply by stringing a few words together? Does he realize that I, at the time of my sexual awakening, could have seen this and as such, killed myself from the resulting depression? I’ve always told people that ignorance is a beautiful thing, but such beautiful things often lead to misguided sentiments, which in turn can become pure-out arrogance, a deadly weapon to those who do not know how to use it.
Once upon a time, I used to want to kill myself, all because I was gay and people told me it was wrong.
I survived. Some don’t. Asher, Seth and Billy are testament of that.