Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Today is Spirit Day, a day when folks are asked to wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. This event was spawned by a wave of suicides among gay, lesbian, and transgendered youth.  Specific statistics have been difficult to attain, in large part because people haven't always been able to be open about their identity; however, it's estimated that LGBTQ youth are four times as likely to attempt suicide as their heterosexual counterparts. 
Over the past couple of years, many celebrities and other individuals have participated in the "It Gets Better" campaign, wherein they share inspirational messages of hope to GLBT youth who may be bullied or just feel lost. 

While I cannot know what it is like to grow up identifying as gay, lesbian, or transgendered, I do know what it's like to be suicidal, and I am absolutely certain that it does, in fact, get better. So, in honor of all those youth who are struggling, I am going to go a bit more personal today. 

I can't tell you exactly when or why or how I was such a depressed kid.  For all intents and purposes, I had a solid, middle class life, with two supportive parents.  I was smart and well-traveled, but I was never really happy. I was a fat kid, and yes, I was teased for it.  I had red hair and freckles and no ability to tan, and yes, I was teased for that, too. Being smart seems kind of cool now, but it wasn't so much as a kid.  I lost my grandma and my cat in the same year.  Believe me, I know how strange it sounds that at age eleven, I really thought I'd be better off if I could join them, but I contemplated my options on many occasions. 

My insecurities and depression led me to make stupid decisions which increased my insecurities and depression, creating a seemingly endless loop, and often I thought there was only one way to exit the cycle.  I was sure I was unlovable.  I was wrong, of course.  Thankfully, I was too stubborn to give up. 

I can't say that time was a magic wand that took away all my issues—I had to work at it, too.  A good therapist and for a time, even meds, helped me to think differently, to act differently, and ultimately, to feel differently.  But time and maturity and changes in circumstance have been important catalysts of change. 
Today, I often have the opposite problem.  I love life so damn much I can't sleep at night worrying about not being able to live it to its fullest or having it cut short for something out of my control.  I have bad self-esteem days, and there are still challenges that can seem insurmountable, but my goodness what an amazing journey we get to go on. 

Now, I know I am loved, even from myself. Maybe the love tastes even sweeter now that I can appreciate it more.  I don't know.  I only know it got better. 

Better than I ever could have imagined. 

Of course, I hope it gets better for everyone, but today, I wear purple both as a sign of support and as a pledge that I will do what I can to make it better for others, too.



  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. My daughter is a lesbian and had her issues in school. I'm glad you overcame your outlook on life :)

  2. Thank you for sharing this, T. I think you've pushed me to post a blog that I've sort of been holding on to because it sort of airs some personal business I was sort of hoarding all to myself.

    Here's to things Getting Better. And living openly.


  3. just realized i haven't seen any of your posts. so i'm back reading a bit. This makes me think we have much more in common than either of us realize. We really should find a way to get together in real life. :) Glad you made it through the dark times.