We Got Your Back Project: A few points need to be made -A Letter to the at-risk LGBTQ Teens out there, from Neo Prodigy
My friend blogger Neo Prodigy wrote the following letter to LGBTQ Youth, with some very good tips, advice and resources.I’m going to sticky it as a page, but this needs to be out there, reposted and co-signed unto infinity.
Link to the original post is here
With that being said, the following is advice I would give to at risk LGBTQ teens out there. It’s also a letter I would’ve written to myself as a teen. Much of what I say may shock you, much of what I say may disturb you. But this is the real talk that manifested from my experience and the experience of countless others. So I make no apologies. For those of you reading this. Your mileage may vary. Take what you can utilize and disregard the rest.
1. Stay In The Closet.
If you think for one second that your family is going to flip their shit, if you think for one second that your life is about to be made a living hell, then don’t tell anyone. This isn’t about pride. This is about survival. You know who you are and you have nothing to prove. You are not under any obligation to disclose who you are. No, you are not lying or being deceitful. It’s not lying if people only force you to see their truths.You do what you have to do to stay alive. Bide your time until you can be out and open and free to be you.
But what if I’m out? Or people think I’m out? I’ll get to that.
2. There Is Nothing Wrong With You
You’re not a deviant, a pervert, a sinner, a child molester, or die of AIDS, or whatever the hell else you’ve been told. You’re as who God intended you to be. You’re not the one that needs to be fixed. It’s those who are uncomfortable and psychotic about the fact that your orientation doesn’t fall within their purview who needs to be corrected. Don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise.
3. Talk To Someone
It’s okay to ask for help. There are hotline numbers and I know firsthand that it’s often easier to open up to a stranger than it is someone you know.
4. Resources Are Available
Media You Should Also Check Out:
5. You Are Not Weak
You live in a world that hates your very existence. Surviving each day is an accomplishment in itself. Don’t ever think that you’re less than anyone else for having to endure homophobia or because it wears on you. You keep your head up and no you’re stronger than you think.
6. Learn To Protect Yourself
Real talk. The laws aren’t going to protect you. Neither are the police. You have the God-given right to protect yourself. Hit the gym, take boxing lessons, self-defense courses or martial arts. Doesn’t matter what shape you’re in or how small you are. That’s the beauty of martial arts, people of all ages, sizes are proficient in it. You learn how to take on multiple opponents, and fuck up opponents twice your size. LGBTQs get preyed on because they think we’re a bunch of weak sissies who can’t fight back. Be ready to debunk that shit. Are you gonna become a one person Jet Li/Michelle Yeoh after one session? No. But a few fundamentals might make the difference between life and death. If you get lucky and fuck up one of those attackers, they might think twice before fucking with you again.
7. Arm Yourself
If you are an LGBTQ, I would strongly urge you to arm yourself: taser, stun gun, mace, pepper spray, knife. If you are of age, I would urge you to consider getting a gun, provided you know you won’t use it on yourself or anyone who doesn’t deserve to get shot.
8. Don’t Turn It Inward
The anger, the rage, the hurt, don’t turn it inward. This is not your fault, and you’ve done nothing wrong. Easier said than done, I know, speaking from personal experience but try your damndest to love yourself no matter what. You’re not the problem and this is not your fault.
9. Religion and Orientation ARE NOT Mutually Exclusive
For those of us who are spiritual and have religious backgrounds, we’re often told that we have to either choose between our God and a critical aspect of who we are. Fuck what ya heard! You can be queer and Christian. Many of us are. We’re out there doing God’s work and being a witness for others.
10. It’s No Better In The LGBTQ Community
It pains me to say this but unfortunately the LGBTQ “community” is just as predatory and malicious as homophobes, particularly if you aren’t cis and white. That isn’t to say there aren’t good souls in the LGBTQ community (because there are) and there aren’t good groups/organizations out there but tread cautiously because unfortunately the community who should be accepting you and protecting you are the ones who will sell you out for 20 pieces of silver. The point is tread cautiously. There are good people in the community but you should be wise filtering through.
11. Have A Gameplan
If you’re stuck in a dead-end town with a homophobic family, devise a plan to get out. Save up money if possible. Try to get that scholarship to go to college. Join the military. The latter might not be the most ideal but use its resources to get you in a position where you can relocate. Whatever you decide, start forming a strategy. If you don’t have kids or dependents, keep it that way until you’re in a better position. If you do have dependents, there might be resouces out there for you.
12. Don’t Start A Family Hoping To Cure Yourself
Being queer will not go away once you meet the right girl or the right boy or once you have kids. Too many people fall into this trap and this leads to affairs, more self-loathing and well…we’ve seen what’s happened with a number ofRepublican politicians. And by then other people get hurt in the process. Decide who you are and make peace with that before starting a family.
13. You Are Not Going To Change
Mainstream and even gay media would have you believe that by becoming gay you are therefore obligated to become the one-dimensional limp-wristed caricature whose life revolves around Broadway, hair and make-up and being fabulous. And for many of us, we’d rather kill ourselves than to be something we’re not.
When I realized I was gay, the entire content of my character didn’t suddenly shift. Being gay didn’t affect my personality, my interests, my hobbies, etc. I’m still a writer and an artist, I’m a voracious comic book junkie, I’m still an obsessive compulsive overachieving perfectionist. I’m still a quirky geek. I’m those things because that’s who I am, not because my sexuality dictates it.
Being an LGBTQ is only part of who we are. We come in all ages, genders, races, socio-economic classes, etc. Some of us are effeminite, some of us are masculine, just like cis-gendered heterosexuals. We’re found in all professions, we’re doing our thing. The point is, our sexual orientation is not our end-all be-all defining characteristic. The amazing soul you were before you discovered you were an LGBTQ, is the same amazing soul you’re going to be afterwards. In fact you’re going to be even more awesome because you’ve made peace with who you are and you’re accomplish some extraordinary feats.
14. It’s Not A Wonderful World Nor Is It A Wonderful Life
I’m not going to sit here and insult your intelligence by telling you that life is beautiful and the world is a wonderful place, because if someone had done that with me, I would’ve punched them in the throat. Life is hell. This world is cruel, sadistic and depraved. And when you stop and think about what the world could be, what we could be, there’s nothing more heartbreaking.
So why should you keep going?
Because I don’t think you’d be oppressed at the level you’re at if there wasn’t something special about you. Something worth fighting for. People don’t hate you because you’re queer. People hate you because they fear you. They fear that you’re going to be something greater than they’ll ever be. Your existence forces them to think, to reevaluate the world. If you were as inferior as they claim then why do they expend so much energy trying to convince you?
I don’t know you. But I know this world and this life and the truth is, we need more good souls in this world to be the change we so desperately need.
15. More Of The Same
To my LGBTQs of color. Yeah, it’s more of the same. But the same skills you learned to survive as a POC will help you as an LGBTQ. Hang in there. It does get easier. Just keep your head up.
16. Being Gay Is Actually Kinda Awesome
For me, I’m not bound by heterosexist conformities. Being gay, I don’t have to worry about having a spouse and kids if I don’t want to. By not having a spouse and a family, I have more disposable income and more time to myself. I can travel abroad at the drop of a mood swing, I can go back to school, I can buy the latest tech. I can have as much indiscriminate sex as I like and I’ll never have to worry about unwanted pregnancies. For those who wish to start a family, they can do so. We tend to excel in our careers and stay physically attractive.
While most of those reasons are probably superficial, at least for me it gives me a sense of pride. We come from all walks of life and have myriad of experiences and perspectives. We are more than our demographics. On top of that we have rich culture and history stemming back to Greek/Roman times and eras before that.
But the most important thing. You get to decide how to live your life. Do you, and be the best you that you can possibly be. And if someone has a problem with that, then that’s their problem. Because it sure as hell isn’t yours.
So hang in there. I hear you. I’m praying for each and every one of you. Stay strong and keep flying.
Hell, everyone should keep these rules to heart, for any reason. Defending yourself is good. Valuing what makes you different is really good. You should manage these two, and make sure you’re in a safe place, before you advertise things that can get people wanting to hurt you. All true.
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