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Teen Bullying and Suicide: Life WILL Get Better

Posted Oct 23 2010 12:05pm
I'd like to share with you an emotional speech given by Fort Worth, Texas City Councilman Joel Burns.  Due to the recent teen suicide tragedies in the United States, City Councilman Burns uses the opportunity at a recent city council meeting to share his own personal story in regards to being bullied, coming out gay, and letting teens know that "it (life) gets better".  This isn't something that is happening only in the United States, but rather, all over the world.  Ignorance and intolerance is something that seriously needs to be addressed.  I applaud Mr. Burns for speaking up and sharing his own personal battle.  The clip is a little almost 13 minutes long, so please be patient while it loads.  Press the play button, but then pause it so it can load. It will take a couple of minutes.

In Memory Of:  18 year-old Tyler Clementi of Ridgewood, New Jersey; 13 year-old Seth Walsh of Tehachapi, California; 13 year-old Asher Brown of Houston, Texas; 15 year-old Billy Lucas of Greensburg, Indiana; 15 year-old Justin Aaberg of Anoka, Minnesota; and to all those who have been bullied to the point where the only alternative they saw was to end their own life. This MUST STOP...NOW!

I myself was raised in a physically and emotionally abusive household, but it didn't end there - I too was bullied at school - not for being gay, but because I wasn't "cool" enough.  Therefore I had nowhere to escape the constant pain I was in.  I continuously thought of suicide.  Life sucked - plain and simple - and I wanted out.  There were a couple of attempts (albeit weak attempts) - regardless - I was in so much pain I didn't see any other way.  Thank god I held on and kept telling myself - "one day I won't have to live in this house any more" and "one day I won't have to see these kids that torture me anymore"... I don't know how I did it - but I did - and I am SO grateful that I did.  Life DOES get better.

When you're a kid it's hard to see into the future when the pain you feel is RIGHT NOW - and the future seems like such a far way off.  But in the whole scheme of things - the time you spend as a kid/teen is short in comparison to the decades you spend as an adult.  I never imagined I would find myself married to a wonderful and caring man.  I never dreamed that I would eventually overcome my anger towards my Mom, but now we're actually very close.

It breaks my heart every single time I see on the news that another young person has taken their life.  If only they could have seen that it WILL get better.  But depression does that to a person.  In that particular moment - you don't see anything but your CURRENT situation.  Please know there are people you can reach out to who understand and who care.  Your life is worth so much!  Please know that you ARE loved.

If you are a parent or a teen in need of help, advice, support... please go to The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy/educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.

A future where the possibilities, opportunities and dreams are the same for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

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