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Public Service Announcement

MadCat =^-^= MadCat =^-^=: (madcat-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2010-10-22 23:59:19

Public Service Announcement

Sorry for the break in the story, but I felt I wanted to post about this issue, as it's somewhat personal to me, and close to my heart. I'll be back to being funny next strip. So here goes:

I've been hearing a lot (and posting a bit on the forums here) about the recent epidemic of suicides among LBGTQ youth, and the various organizations that are trying to fight it and give support to anyone at risk. And I just felt the need to address it again, personally.

First of all: if you are having suicidal thoughts, whether it's because you are LBGTQ or not, I'm begging you, please don't hurt yourself. I will get down on my knees and beg. See? Knees. Begging. Please... don't kill yourself.

I've been there before myself, where I felt like being dead would be infinitely preferable to living another minute. But I managed to get through it with support from the people around me, even though I struggled with it for years, and sometimes still do. But when I was in that headspace, I realized that I wasn't afraid of death anymore. Dying did not scare me... and that gave me a certain sense of power. I didn't have to be afraid, and that meant I could take more control of my life, could do things that I had been too scared to before, because the worst thing that could happen (death) wasn't as scary anymore.

What does this mean? That you're free to do anything else. Take 'dying' off the table for a second; just set it aside. Killing yourself is a last resort, giving up all your options. So why not try other things first? Think about what it is in your life that hurts, that makes it so bad that you want to leave it. You are now free to do whatever you need to fix that thing. (Short of hurting yourself or others. That's still bad.)

Are you being bullied at school, harassed and persecuted because of who you are? Then don't go. I know, I know, it's required. But you have a right to a safe space, and you have the right to make that happen. So tell your parents what's happening, and that you're not going back until it's safe for you to do so. Then go to the principal and the school administration, and let them know about the harassment, and that you want it stopped. Document the times and places and the offenders, and present that to the school authorities. Find out what legal measures you can take; if there's a particular harasser who's the worst, get a restraining order and get transferred out of any classes with that person. (Yes, people have done this before; it's an option.) Remember: you have a right to a safe space to get an education.

If your family and friends aren't necessarily supportive, or you haven't come out to them yet, etc...there are other people who can help you. Organizations like PFLAG, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, and many many others, have resources for LBGTQ youth. They can help you find good ways to come out to your family, provide people for you to talk to about your feelings and what you're going through, and other help if you need it. If things with your family go badly and you're disowned or kicked out, there are even places you can stay and people who will give you support. You can find them online.

There are other options. There are resources to help you. I know sometimes it seems hopeless, and you can feel trapped, like nothing will help and nothing will work. But I promise that you're not the only one who's ever felt that way, and you're not alone. You have the right to be safe and supported. You have the right to live, to be here on this world. You have the right to be loved. You're here for a reason - you bring your own unique voice to the planet, your own spark that no one else can provide, and the world will be a sadder place without you here in it. So please, do whatever you can do to get the support and safety you need, and please stay here with us. I promise it will get better, and that there are things worth living for... and you have the right to have them.

And here's a hug for anyone who wants one. *hug*

Also, I particularly want to share this video link here, but I have several others on the forums:

(PS... obligatory legal disclaimer stuff... I'm not a lawyer and not qualified to give legal advice, so please check in with people who are; also neither I nor Direman Press or its associates can accept any legal or financial responsibility for anything anyone does as a result of my post.)

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