It gets better

Published: October 17, 2010

[I tried to make an It Gets Better video, but it didn’t work. If I spoke it sincerely I kept bursting into tears, and speaking it insincerely sounded robotic and terrible. I am much better with the written word, so inspired by Tom, here’s my contribution. This is a message to gay kids. You can read it if you’re not a gay kid, but you’re not the intended audience.]

Hi. So I know this is several paragraphs long and you were born into the age of YouTube so you may not get to the end of this. In which case, here’s the summary: it gets better. It’s really bad now, it may even get worse, it will become unbearable, but somehow you’ll bear it anyway. And then it will get better.

When I was fifteen and sixteen, I thought about suicide quite a lot. Not vague unfocused intentions, but specific plans of where, when, how high up I would start and how hard I would hit the ground.

I was going to do it because I had realized I was gay, and I couldn’t face it. My parents were pretty conservative, especially my father, and I lived in Trinidad, a small island in the Caribbean with a whole lot of religions, most of which were pretty clear that being gay was a bad thing.

My school didn’t help. It was an all-male, Catholic school run by priests. It was an all-day machismo competition and intensely homophobic. I was already unpopular for being a geek; I was already getting beat up every day, even before I realized I was gay.

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