As I write this Love letter, I am sending love and prayers to my soul sister and her family for the terrible loss of 14-year old Filip, who took his life because he was gay.
"He left a note explaining that he hopes his death can bring some light to the struggle of being gay in today's society. He encouraged us all to watch the film "Prayers for Bobby" and to listen to the song "Same Love" by Macklemore. Filip's message and hope was for people to become more tolerant and accept people for who they are."
This weighs heavy on my heart; I too found myself in this dark place right before coming out to my very traditional Mexican mother (at the time). It was probably the toughest thing I've ever experienced. Unfortunately, this is how the story goes for many of us. When we are young, problems sometimes feel insurmountable, and taking our life seems like the only way to take control... the only way to make the inner turmoil stop. It even seems like a bold way to get back at society to prove a point. Albeit drastic, it's definitely one that we know will be noticed. It is a profound pain many of us feel, and it stems from a rejection of something within us that we didn't choose... something we can't deny but that society tells us is wrong.
Luckily for me, I was able to get myself the help I needed at the right time... had I not been able to do that, I wouldn't be here today. Sadly, we are not all as fortunate.
This is serious. Our youth are precious and fragile and it is our duty to nurture, reassure, and protect them. We still have much, much, much more work to do and we cannot give up this fight.
Have the conversation with your kids...tell them you love them no matter what.
Tell your siblings you love them for who they are.
Make sure your friends know you're someone they can talk to.
We must be lights in the dark for those who may not be able to see.
We must stand up when someone makes a judgmental comment or joke.
We must be compassionate even if we don't understand.
We must know that we have a right to be loved for who we are.
We only get one shot at life....I myself am living proof that it gets better.