This I Believe

Eric - Carson City, Nevada
Entered on October 24, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

A Life Saved

When suicide became the only way I thought I could deal with middle school harassment, I almost missed out on an entire life that had not yet been lived. I was only in the eighth grade when I called my best friend and told her that I thought I was going to need her to physically stop me from going downstairs and downing the bottle of Advil in the cabinet. If she hadn’t have answered her phone I’m not sure I would still be alive. I was only thirteen steps away from making the biggest mistake of my life.

Suicide is the last resort of the last resorts, and I can’t believe that I ever got to that point. It’s hard for me to think that others may have to experience some of the things I did as a young homosexual, and of some who have and will experience much worse than I did. I’ve been spit on, had drinks thrown on me, obscene words yelled at me down a hall and on the street, pushed into lockers, and even been denied service in restaurants because I’m gay. However, other homosexuals have been killed because they love someone who just happens to be the same gender as them, so I consider myself lucky. I believe that no matter who someone loves, he or she should be treated with the respect that every person deserves. No one should be punished for loving the person that his or her heart needs.

In my short life I have had friends who were beaten nearly to death for being gay, and others who were kicked out from their homes because their parents didn’t understand that being gay isn’t a choice. Trust me, if I could have chosen to be heterosexual, as an adolescent, I would have. No one yelling words that I assumed were true of me since they were the only words I knew to describe what a gay person was. No nights of wishing I was never born, that a bus would hit me, or just wishing that I might make it through a day without being called a ‘faggot.’ I always wished I would just fit in.

Once I made it to high school, I found friends that accepted me for who I am and I did fit in, but I was one of the fortunate ones. I was allowed to just be myself and I was taken into a group that was very open-minded and wonderfully caring, which included my friend who helped saved my life. Tolerance of other people’s lifestyles is something that I’ve learned, but there are many people who would just as soon hit me as look at me. I believe that everyone should be allowed to love whomever they love. If not, the next person moving towards the cabinet might be the one to get a busy signal.