gay teen suicide
During the spring semester of 2002, while I was teaching my creative-writing class at Sheepshead Bay High School in Brooklyn, a student finally shared and read aloud a poem that he had just written. And after he read, our jaws dropped with amazement, our eyes widened with shock, our brows curled with concern, our hearts stopped with empathy, and our bodies froze with fear.
I've been thinking of my own early years as a queer youth: how despairing I was, how wrong I felt, how terribly unseen and unheard. Then I remembered my suicide notes, how occasionally I would write one and leave it around to be found.
How many times have you heard someone ask, "Is everybody choosing to be gay these days?" Why, now that you mention it, my dear keen observer of universal truth, yes! And because of that, I now quit being gay! That's right, y'all. The jig is up.
My youth was consumed by loneliness, feelings of not belonging, and thinking of ways to kill myself. I experienced many dark nights of the soul. And television saved me. Although I read a lot, I looked to TV for the noise to comfort me and make me feel less lonesome.
Many American bullies who victimize gay people do so confident, at one level or another, that they are furthering the cause of God -- just like the pastor up the street, or the pastor on the radio, or the pastor on TV, or the pastor at any of the "ministries" that trade in the hectoring of gay people.