It Gets Better: A Letter of Hope

When I was fifteen years old, I sat in the den of my house and held my pink iPhone 5C in my hands tightly. It was my only lifeline. I was trembling, mascara running down my cheeks, and my voice was barely a whisper. My parents were out and I had just finished reading text screenshots from my closest friends that had been leaked online. They were mocking, cruel and worst of all—they outed me. I came out as bisexual when I was in seventh grade. I told my best friend, Katie*, in the bathroom of the cafeteria. She told me simply, “You’re going to hell.” I didn’t tell anyone else until high school, when a close friend came out to me. I hid that part of myself, never sharing that I was a part of the LGBT community. Katie rallied my friends against me, even to the point of physical violence. They shoved me down after lunch one day and relentlessly took turns kicking me.

This was a heartbreaking experience, and led to that day when I called the Trevor Hotline. If you aren’t familiar, it is a call center for suicidal LGB youth. That might sound oddly specific, but actually applies to a surprisingly large amount of people. According the the Trevor Project website, LGB youth are three more times at risk of suicide than their heterosexual peers. The panic and despair propelling me down a rabbit hole of suicidal thoughts, depressed behavior, and isolation stemmed from the bullying I went through. I don’t like to consider myself a victim, and I rarely share my experiences for the simple reason that I now pass as heterosexual. I have a boyfriend, which makes it harder for my lesbian and gay friends to relate to me. They see a heterosexual relationship—however, I would like to take this as an opportunity to share that when a bisexual person is in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex that person does not become magically become straight. This makes me an outsider in both the straight and LGBT communities. Despite bisexual erasure being a problem, the important part of that part of my story is that I have LGBT friends! Five years ago, I could not even imagine that. I was crying on the phone, scared out of my mind (tunnel vision and all), and begged the counselor on the other line to give me one reason to keep going. I saw no future for myself, and I felt broken and lost. I never saw myself as a twenty year old going to a university, being awarded an officer position in the prestigious organization (@HerCampus!), and being surrounded by supportive and loving friends. Yet here I am. I remember watching black and white videos of Ellen DeGeneres saying in a solemn voice, “It gets better.” These videos never seemed very uplifting to me, that is, until this year. I know so much more now than I did and I know that it really does get better. To anyone struggling, I can honestly say I am a success story. I have been to those dark places and I have been back. 

There may seem to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Despite this bleakness, I promise to anyone who is going through struggles of accepting yourself, coming out, or just growing into who you are that there will be a day when you wake up in your dorm room or apartment or childhood bedroom and feel the sun shining in from the outside. The warm light will make your skin sensitive and your bed feel deliciously comfortable. And every passing second of your day, from getting ready to putting on pajamas that night, will be filled with joy. You won’t think of those days laying on your bathroom floor wondering if you want to see tomorrow. You won’t reminisce on those bullies who tormented you, or the family members who haven’t still accepted you yet. You will be taking in the crisp air, and expelling all of the negativity of the world with every breath. Support will fill your heart, and your friends will surround you with good vibes. That day will come sooner than you think, and you will be so effervescently happy that you won’t even notice it’s a monumental day of freedom from fighting your identity. It’ll just be a really great Tuesday, and as you drift to sleep that night you’ll think to yourself, “It really got better.”

*Name has been changed

Trevor Hotline: 1-866-488-7386