Last night, I got into a discussion with a really good friend of mine and, as usual, we got around to discussing the most random assortment of topics that you can imagine. At some point, we wound up discussing homophobia, and the LGBT kids who have to endure its torture. One of my biggest hopes is that, of all the people who visit this blog, LGBT kids make up a significant portion. If you are a kid from the LGBT community, I want you to know that there are others like you out there. I want you to know that you aren’t lesser than anyone else just because someone says so. I want you to know that you’re amazing, and awesome and perfect just the way you are, and that there’s nothing wrong with you. Most of all, I want you to know that the best way that you can get back at those who hurt you is not to hurt them back – is not to hurt yourself – but to succeed!
Don’t give up because you think you don’t deserve good things. Don’t hurt yourself because it’s what a bunch of idiots tell you to do. And please, I beg you, don’t take your own life because you think that it’s the only way out of the torment. It isn’t. The only thing that suicide does is prevent you from experiencing the amazing life that you’re going to have in a few years. It isn’t the only way out, not by a long shot. The way out of the torment is the path of success, and with every accomplishment that you achieve, you’re going to kick another piece of sadness out of your life.
Do I realise that there are people who do and say awful things to you and other gay people around the world? Absolutely, I do. But trust me, nothing pisses off a homophobe more than seeing a homosexual succeed in life – especially if the homosexual’s success exceeds their own. Nothing breaks the spirit of a homophobe faster than knowing that it’s someone from the LGBT community who writes their pay check. Nothing drowns a homophobe in insecurity more thoroughly than realising that a gay person is better than they are. Most importantly, nothing gives LGBT individuals a greater sense of vindication than witnessing this triumph.
For those of you who think that this is out of your grasp, that things are never going to change in your life, I promise you that that’s not true! I know that when you’re fourteen years old and stuck at home having to hear your parents rage about the gay agenda, that every day merges into the next until it feels as if this is what the rest of your life will be like. This isn’t true. The greatest deception of youth is that things remain cemented in status forever. I promise you that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s only when you reach adulthood that you become aware of this misconception, and you see the reality is that, not only do things not stay the same forever, things change in the blink of an eye. You can experience this change… you just need to hang in there.
Perhaps you live in a home, school or neighbourhood that teaches that homosexuals are perverts, sexual deviants, who only crave the temporary satiation of lust. Perhaps you’re afraid that every gay person you meet in your life is going to be like that, and that you’re the only one who’s different. Believe me, you aren’t the only one. Will you find people in the gay community who are really sex-crazed like they say? Yes, of course. But you know what? There are also those in the straight community who are sex-crazed, in America just like in Europe, black like white. It isn’t a defining characteristic of the LGBT community. So, while you will come across gay men, lesbians and transgender individuals who are only interested in sleeping around, you will meet even more of those who want nothing more than to fall in love, settle down and have a family.
The most persuasive tool that the homophobes have at their disposal is the ability to make you feel like you’re the only person like you in the world. I understand how this will alienate you and make you feel isolated, but please don’t give in to that false pit of despair. In your teens, maybe you will be the only person like you that you come across, but it doesn’t mean that it’s because you’re alone. It only means that the others are just as terrified as coming out as you are. Hang in there, because that’s going to change more than you can ever imagine.
You will meet people who adore the theatre, just like you will meet those who prefer rock and roll or hip-hop. You will come across members of the community who live for dance, and you will come across those who prefer sports and paintball. Whatever interests that you have, there are millions of others just like you who share those same interests, and you will meet them in college, in your office, in your country club, in your yacht club or wherever else life takes you because you would have done the one thing that all the hateful bigots did not want you to do: you would have succeeded. If you take your own life, you end up missing out on the most mind-blowingly awesome experiences that life has to offer. You miss out on fun, you miss out on making amazing friends, and you miss out on love; because you are going to fall in love (probably multiple times) and you’re going to enjoy each one as much as – or more than – the time before. Straight people experience this every day, and they love it. Why should you not have the same experience just because some idiot tells you to do the world a favour and kill yourself? You won’t be doing the world a favour… you certainly won’t be doing yourself a favour. The only person you’re doing a favour is the moron who wants to systematically erase the entire LGBT population from the face of the earth. But why give them the satisfaction? You don’t owe them anything… least of all your life.
If you think that I’m just saying this for saying it sake, I’m not. I’m a gay guy in his twenties who is experiencing the exact same things that I’m describing to you right now, so I know precisely what I’m talking about. I’m happy and I’ve got the most wonderful friends that I could have ever hoped for… some gay, yes… a few bisexual, and others straight, like the one I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I don’t have any transgender friends yet… but it’s only a matter of time. It’s a huge world out there, and I’m not close to having explored all of it.
You, someday soon, will have the same things, or more. You’ve just got to believe that. You’ve got to keep working your butt off to become not just good, but great. You have to succeed in the most important aspects of life… that doesn’t mean that you’ve got to pass every school exam, and it definitely doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to make mistakes, because making mistakes is one of the most important parts of life. You just can’t give up when those mistakes are made, and you have to learn from them, always and constantly. You have to strive, not necessarily to be the best, but definitely to be the best you! Because, although you may not understand it right this moment, some day you’re going to look back and realise that in succeeding in all that you set out to, you didn’t only make the most phenomenal point to the homophobes… you made the same point to yourself.