Friday, June 14, 2013

Reflections on Coming Out/a Creative Way/Teen Suicides

  Coming out of the closet can be a challenging process for many people.  I was reminded of  the process because June is Gay pride month. So, I feel it's important to share my personal story of how I came out to my parents. Since I was 4 years old, I've known I was gay. I was attracted to a man at church and I couldn't stop staring at him. He was so handsome, and every weekend I would look for him, but I kept quiet.
   Although a friend or two in high school knew (because they were gay, too) I kept it from my family and everyone else. It was frightening to harbor that secret in the 1970s and 80s.
   14 years ago, back in 1999, I made the decision to tell my parents and everyone else. I was tired of lying, hiding, and getting asked if I was dating a woman. I was in fact, fed up with it, because I had already dated a couple of guys and couldn't tell anyone. Telling my parents was tough... but thanks to my younger brother, it could have been much worse. I told my younger brother first and he was so supportive. He had me mail a letter to my parents (and he edited it first via email) and went to their house the day it arrived. He explained I was the same guy they've always known, but struggled to hide it for over thirty years. My dad continued talking with me, while my mother refused to speak to me for over 6 months. Then one day she called and said she just wanted me to fall in love and be happy with a partner.
THE CORRECT FAMILY'S REACTION: 
  I remember the reaction of a friend's parents in Maine when he told them he's gay. They said "thank God! We thought you were hiding a terminal illness!" THOSE are great, loving parents. 
WHAT HAPPENS A LOT:
  Fortunately, it has become a little easier for some kids to tell their peers and parents today. However, there are still some that get thrown out of their house, beaten, shunned, and even murdered by their parents. Yes, it happens and if you don't believe it, research it.  There are still so many teens that take their own lives because of hateful "preachers" telling them it's evil (and those preachers should be stripped of their position and JAILED). Gay teen suicide is a serious problem..
  According to the Huffington Post: Each year, one out of every three gay, lesbian or bisexual students in the San Francisco Unified School District reportedly attempts suicide. (And that's in a city that welcomes gay people- think of the statistics in towns and cities in Kansas for example). Read this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/lgbtq-youth-suicide-prevention_n_3398035.html
 TO GET HELP FOR SUICIDAL GAY TEENS:
   If you know a gay teen that is contemplating suicide, IMMEDIATELY CONTACT: The Trevor Project: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
     The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.   If you are in crisis or thinking about suicide you deserve immediate support please callThe Trevor Lifeline1-866-488-7386
HOW SOMEONE CAME OUT ON-LINE:

   Recently, one Facebook user wasn't afraid and he took a very clever approach. Reddit user RyanSmithN posted the following photograph, which he says he uploaded to Facebook to tell friends that he's gay: The photograph has since gone viral in the blogosphere since being posted on Reddit.


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14