1. I just got home from Arizona trip where I took tours around Grand Canyon to soak in the breathtaking views. While the tour guide educated us that Grand Canyon was created over 100 million years ago, he also mentioned many people fall off every year. Some of it which is from suicide. Alright, I realize this topic is incredibly uncomfortable, which was how I felt when the tour guide said it, but it is still important to talk about.
2. Suicide among teenagers is alarmingly high and even more so for LGBT youth. When a person is rejected by their own family, friends, community and feels so isolated, not being existent may feel better than rejection and isolation. When I realized I was gay in high school, I was fortunate enough to have a best friend who was also gay. Read about Dave here: Bros befo’ hoes. I also had several friends who had either felt suicidal or died from suicide.
3. I watched the Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and I thought about Ethan, my first boyfriend in high school who also had suicide ideations. Read about Ethan here: It DOES get better.
4. When I was in college, one of my good friends, Matt, struggled with depression and substance abuse. One night I was hanging out with some friends at a gay bar we went frequently. It’s the bar where the owner took me home (Read about that here: Stranger Danger). Because I was having so much fun, I called my friend Matt to see if he wanted to join. He sounded really upset and I could tell he was in tears. I immediately left the bar and went over to his place. Matt was in his bathroom, sitting on the floor, crying and the bathtub water was going. Judging by half-full bathtub, it wasn’t too long when I called him on the phone. He told me he had planned to kill himself by drowning, but was too scared to do it. I stayed over at his place that night to keep him company and ensure his safety. He stayed well as he could for several years but few years after we graduated from college, I got an e-mail from his sister saying Matt had “died in his sleep.” Although I will probably never understand how a 20 something year old would die in his sleep, it’s hard for me to not believe he killed himself.
5. Also, it got me thinking about horrible events like Pulse night club in Orlando (Read that story here: Love is Love) and recent tragedy in Las Vegas. When the rest of the world is trying to create more peaceful and harmonious place, there are people who can do such an act to be destructive to humankind. Wether you call it terrorist act, massacre, or mass shooting, while motives are so hard to understand the same way we will never know what the people were thinking just before the die from suicide.
6. This guy:
7. About 3 years ago, I went to my friend’s wedding in NYC. At the reception table, I met this cute guy name Greg, who sat next to me. We connected instantly and had so much fun dancing with him. At the end of the night, he was sitting in the corner by himself so I went up to him. He just stared into space and was silent. It was a bizarre behavior so I didn’t really get to exchange any contact information with him. Instead, I stole his name tag on the table place setting so I can internet stalk him. Well, only thing I can find him is his obituary from last year. He was in his late 30’s and does not explain how he died. But it does mention having a husband, who happens to be a gaysian.
11. These courageous youth:
12. This girl and her mom:
13. I, too, had thoughts of what would it be like if I was not around. Then I realized, I have many reasons to be around and enjoy life, like the amazing view in Grand Canyon.