Every year the holiday season is particularly hard on the LGBT community. Let's face it: you can't watch television without being inundated with commercials showing men and women kissing and giving each other gifts. It can be depressing, un-inclusive and make everything worse if you don't have a perfect relationship with your family. It's also hard if you're single, because friends are usually too busy spending time with their families.
Now the New Year is coming and the news media and marketing experts are spending millions reminding everybody that they're fat and need a boyfriend/girlfriend. Treadmill manufacturers and gym owners need to get paid. Not all of us are going to be having a picture-perfect New Years in Times Square either, so it's easy to feel like we have nothing at all.
Let me just say that it's flat out not true. It's all a bunch of lies and bullshit. You're fine just the way you are and, frankly, we love you. The LGBT community loves you. I love you. Hell, the Huffington Post loves you. You, all of you, are worth just too much to feel bad over TV advertisements, mass marketing and the huge number of douche bags that live in this society. We're all feeling it. It's all shitty. And really, what did we ever do to deserve this kind of treatment from society?
But let's face it: we're here. This is our life, and it is most certainly worth living. There are times that try us, where it seems like the darkness will never fade. These are all obstacles and finding happiness in life is about overcoming those obstacles. Some day, you're going to look back on times like this and know that pushing through made you a better, a stronger person. You will find happiness. As Dan Savage famously said, "It gets better."
The holiday blues are normal, and I'm here to tell you that even people with partners and picture-perfect New Years parties are still depressed this time of year. You're not alone, you're not sad for no reason and the truth is that we all need to hear this. It may seem like the gay community isn't supportive of you if you don't have a flat stomach and don't want to show up at the parties on New Years. Well, I'm here to say that's not true either. There are people out there who love you and care about you dearly. There are people who are going to love and care about you dearly in the future, too. Don't make them miss out on the great times they'll get to have with you.
Nothing is worth taking your own life. Nothing. I've had times in my life where things seemed hopeless, where life could never seem like it would get better. I am so happy that I'm alive today. I'm so happy I'm not a statistic. You'll be happy when you make it through this, too. And regardless of what you may think, you can't predict the future. Things can get better or worse, but no matter what it will not always be good or bad. You can count on that.
If you are feeling upset, or thinking about hurting yourself, please contact a good friend or family member before you do anything. If you don't have someone you can reach out to, the It Gets Better project has great resources available to you. You can call and talk to someone right away and get help. There's nothing shameful about that, and it doesn't mean you're crazy. Honestly, I'm pretty sure the holiday season is designed to make people depressed. Even the sun doesn't want to hang out as much around this time. I could have never made it through my life if I didn't reach out once and a while. The hand is out there: all anyone has to do is reach out and grab it.
For those of you who aren't feeling bad or feeling the blues, I ask you, too: please share this message. Straight and thinking this is for someone else? Share this message. Feeling good? Share this message. We all deserve to know we're loved. We all deserve to know someone's out there for us. So share this message.
Most of all, if you're thinking about hurting yourself, don't. Please, don't. We love you too much. Some day, you're going to be so happy that you listened.