Another gay suicide

  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1911

    Jan 14, 2018 1:45 AM GMT
    Yeah guys, it's a long story. Sorry. Read it or don't; I just needed to write it down.

    A 23-year-old guy in my town took his own life a few days ago. This is a very small town so something like this is big news. It was the featured story on the front page of our local weekly newspaper. I didn’t know him but he lived with his parents just a few blocks from my house, and worked at a local coffee shop.

    He’d come out to his accepting and supportive family at age 13. His sexual identity didn’t appear to have caused many problems in his life. He was a handsome guy with a great smile. He played baseball, he surfed, he played guitar. He had a group of very close friends. He was quick to offer help to others. In college he studied physics and math and earned straight A’s, but quit school when depression became an issue. He got counseling and took medication but somehow it wasn’t enough. The newspaper downplayed his sexuality and instead focused on the hidden danger of depression with no apparent cause.

    But I noticed in the lengthy article and a very detailed obituary that all of his friends seemed to be straight. This is a very accepting town, but single, openly gay men are few and far between. He wasn’t dating anyone. There was no indication that he’d ever dated at all.

    I know that no one decides to commit suicide on a whim. People consider it many, many times before actually doing it. And I know people who take their own lives feel hopeless, like nothing will ever change. But I don’t understand how someone can feel like that at his age, and with all the good things going on in his life. There’s an LGBT center nearby, and suicide prevention resources. It’s impossible that he didn’t know help was available. I can’t help feeling that if he’d just found the right person to talk to, things could have been different.

    I guess what bothers me most is that on paper he sounds an awful lot like I was at his age – except for the depression, which I’ve never experienced. I had friends, I had sports, I had a good academic career, and I was lonely as fuck. I wish I could have told him that at his age I was just one year away from meeting the first love of my life. Granted, the guy turned out to be a douche bag, as most first loves do. But still, he changed everything.

    I don’t ever want to read a story like this again. But I don’t know how to make it stop.
  • gayv

    Posts: 178

    Jan 14, 2018 1:53 AM GMT
    So sorry to hear about it!
  • MuchoMasQueMu...

    Posts: 1167

    Jan 14, 2018 3:23 AM GMT
    That's truly a sad story. I wish it didn't happen.

    One thing people have to keep in mind is that depression is an illness and it can be severely debilitating. For those of us who can't fathom what it's like it's best not to try and rationalize it in some way. Or hope to understand it or believe that somehow things would have changed if only other factors could have created an influence to result in a much more favorable outcome.

    There are people out there that are severely depressed they can barely stand on their own two feet. It's truly is that eviscerating on a physical level. When people reach this point they often rationalize that being dead is the only escape instead of enduring all that pain. And that's when they need to be hospitalized or committed for a period of time being so that they can't hurt themselves. Fortunately for some, they are lucky and strong enough to reach out for help. And then course, there are those who do not and it's too late.

    I've known too many people who have committed suicide throughout my life. It breaks my heart a little more each time. A neighbor I knew since I was six years old whom all the kids in the neighborhood referred to as "Uncle Art" and his wife was "Aunt Helen." They were the sweet white-haired couple that lived just two doors down ever since my family moved into our first actual house. When I turned eighteen he had shot himself in the head. His own wife found him still alive but he only lived for a few moments longer and died in her arms. Before that I knew of a classmate named Danny who hung himself in his basement where his own mother found him dangling. I can't even begin to imagine how that image must have haunted her for who knows how long after the fact. He was such a good guy. I always felt when he looked me in the eye that he saw my spirit or soul. So many kids from our high school went to his funeral. He was very well liked. In both cases no one had a clue that either one of them were at risk of taking their own lives. It hurt so much but most of all we were in shock.

    I've known about another dozen people who took their lives throughout my adulthood. I lived in a high rise building where, on average every year, two people jumped out of a very high floor window plunging to a painful and sometimes disfiguring death. It was a fifty-four story building.

    I always say a little prayer for those who leave us behind and that whatever it is they came into this life to accomplish has been completed. And for me, I am painfully reminded of how precious life is and try to move forward with grace.
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    Jan 14, 2018 3:31 AM GMT
    Thank you both for sharing those stories. Both are painful to read but I believe it is important for suicidal people to hear how their actions can cause lasting pain to others and to know that circumstances could very well change for the better just around the corner in unexpected ways.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5339

    Jan 14, 2018 10:59 AM GMT
    So sad. Just a few days ago a friend had a birthday and created a Facebook donation for the TREVOR PROJECT.
    I donated, saying "for many more happy birthdays".
    Meaning not just for my friend, but for every person whose suicide might be prevented.

    https://www.thetrevorproject.org
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 17889

    Jan 14, 2018 2:01 PM GMT
    Those are two very tragic stories about depression and suicide but unfortunately they are too commonplace in our society. I suffer from mild depression and there are times when everything is a big blah and there are times when nothing interests me or turns me on. I cannot fathom what severe depression is like and I consider myself fortunate not to suffer from severe depression. My mild depression has been ongoing for much of my life. My strained financial situation doesn't help matters any and I feel trapped in a monotonous dead end routine. Several mistakes that I have made in the past will haunt me from time to time. I have never contemplated suicide but I have harbored questions about when is this dull, depressing life going to end.
  • thunDDRbird

    Posts: 1

    Jan 15, 2018 7:16 AM GMT
    Don't beat yourself over what you think you could've said or done; none of it would've likely made a difference. Contrary to what most of us would like think, getting a boyfriend wouldn't have solved his problems (and it doesn't sound like his suicide had anything to do with his sexuality). I've read of gay writers who say they deal with depression on a daily basis, and these writers do have spouses. Clinical depression doesn't need a reason to happen, and can't be cured on a whim. Like bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, it has to do with our brains, not our life situations. Some of us out there just happened to get the short end of the stick, myself included. Like roadbikeRob, I also consider myself lucky in that though I may suffer from depression, I never once contemplated suicide (though did sometimes wish I could just stay asleep forever and not have to leave my bed).

    I can tell you that fighting it is no easy battle, even with support. It isn't a matter of days, weeks, or months, but rather years. I'm sure he did everything he could, but no matter how well he had things, depression stops you from enjoying all of it. It was only last year I myself was able to find joy and anticipation for practising my music (after sixth months on medication). I'm still trying to find that same spark for writing music, learning languages, and practising my martial arts. Let it be known I was also a straight-A student, valedictorian candidate, and made great friends (though that didn't happen until my late teens).

    Depression isn't necessarily about feeling sad, but is more about feeling something worse than sad: nothing. And if you feel nothing for your friends and family, your passions and interests, what's to stop you from suicide?

    I can tell you this, at least feeling sad is something. I remember a dream I had a few months ago where I cried in a dream. Waking up from that dream, paradoxically, made me happy.

    If you want to do something, donate to research regarding depression and other mental health issues. Watch videos on depression and hear others' stories. Spread the word to other youth (particularly high school students) so that they can watch out for the signs of depression. The earlier it is detected, the easier it can be treated.

    In hindsight, my depression likely started back on my last year of high school.

    It doesn't happen all at once; depression slowly creeps up on you, especially if you don't know the warning signs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2018 7:20 AM GMT
    Just curious why you assume his suicide was related to him being gay.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2018 7:29 AM GMT
    Sad indeed...

    Really a small town? Hermosa Beach is in GREATER LA area...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2018 8:34 AM GMT
    I've only known 3 people who took their own lives. Thier actions caused long-lasting pain for their parents. Parents never expect to outlive their children. Although we never know exactly what caused someone to commit suicide, depression seems always to be there. I'm sure all of these suffered from depression, and two of them were being treated for it. Unfortunately, treatment doesn't always work. One was a guy I knew as a junior in college. He killed himself just after final exams week. I have always suspected that it had something to do with his coming to believe he was gay. Of course there is no way of knowing, but by incipient gaydar indicator put him in the gay zone. He wasn't out, and neither was anyone else on campus that I knew of at at the time. He came from a some sort of born-again religious family. I doubt if he was getting any treatment for depression.

    Another was a gay guy with whom I was not close, but knew him to be both happy-go-lucky (maybes sometimes a front) and also depressed. He was getting treatment.

    The third was my niece. The last half of her childhood was happy. She did well in school, had top grades in law school, and was a highly respected young attorney in a DA's office. Her parents were quite proud of her, and didn't try to influence her life decisions. Although a brief marriage had ended in divorce, she had everything to look forward to. She suffered from depression and was in treatment. She didn't take drugs except for anti-depressants. But at age 25 she took her life. Probably for some reason that would seem silly to any rational person. Everyone with depression should get treatment - but some times treatment just doesn't work.
  • venue35

    Posts: 4754

    Jan 15, 2018 3:00 PM GMT
    I will never take my own life.
    It would give my enemies pleasure and I can't allow that.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1911

    Jan 15, 2018 6:10 PM GMT
    Radd saidJust curious why you assume his suicide was related to him being gay.


    The obituary written by his parents pointed out that 3 out of 10 LGBT people attempt or contemplate suicide, and asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to The Trevor Project, a national suicide hotline for LGBT youth.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1911

    Jan 15, 2018 6:24 PM GMT
    Covfefe said
    Really a small town? Hermosa Beach is in GREATER LA area...


    Hermosa Beach is a town of 17,000 people that covers less than two square miles. Yes it's part of the LA metropolitan area but it's a very insular community - I don't expect you to understand that unless you live here but it's very much a small town environment. And I grew up in an Ohio farming community so I know what small towns are all about. People know their neighbors here. They know the letter carrier and UPS driver by name. Aside from trips next door to Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, most people don't get out of the area much, because you'd have to drive at least half an hour to get to anywhere worth going.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 17889

    Jan 15, 2018 6:33 PM GMT
    bro4bro said
    Covfefe said
    Really a small town? Hermosa Beach is in GREATER LA area...


    Hermosa Beach is a town of 17,000 people that covers less than two square miles. Yes it's part of the LA metropolitan area but it's a very insular community - I don't expect you to understand that unless you live here but it's very much a small town environment. And I grew up in an Ohio farming community so I know what small towns are all about. People know their neighbors here. They know the letter carrier and UPS driver by name. Aside from trips next door to Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, most people don't get out of the area much, because you'd have to drive at least half an hour to get to anywhere worth going.
    Doesnt a range of low rugged hills separate Hermosa Beach from almost all its Metro LA neighbors helping in preserving its insular close knitted community?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2018 6:59 PM GMT
    roadbikeRob said
    bro4bro said
    Covfefe said
    Really a small town? Hermosa Beach is in GREATER LA area...


    Hermosa Beach is a town of 17,000 people that covers less than two square miles. Yes it's part of the LA metropolitan area but it's a very insular community - I don't expect you to understand that unless you live here but it's very much a small town environment. And I grew up in an Ohio farming community so I know what small towns are all about. People know their neighbors here. They know the letter carrier and UPS driver by name. Aside from trips next door to Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, most people don't get out of the area much, because you'd have to drive at least half an hour to get to anywhere worth going.
    Doesnt a range of low rugged hills separate Hermosa Beach from almost all its Metro LA neighbors helping in preserving its insular close knitted community?


    Not really other than the incline from Hermosa Ave up to PCH.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1911

    Jan 15, 2018 7:00 PM GMT
    To the south is the Palos Verdes Peninsula, basically a big hill 500 ft high, that's a bedroom community for spoiled rich people. Nothing of interest there.

    To the north is LAX, the Chevron refinery, and the Hyperion sewage treatment plant.

    To the east is the hood - Hawthorne, Gardena, Compton.

    So yeah, we're pretty isolated. And we don't have good freeway access. But we like it here just fine.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2018 12:11 AM GMT
    bro4bro saidTo the south is the Palos Verdes Peninsula, basically a big hill 500 ft high, that's a bedroom community for spoiled rich people. Nothing of interest there.

    To the north is LAX, the Chevron refinery, and the Hyperion sewage treatment plant.

    To the east is the hood - Hawthorne, Gardena, Compton.

    So yeah, were pretty isolated. And we don't have good freeway access. But we like it here just fine.


    "bedroom community for spoiled rich people"

    Other than one particular beach that we all know all about, I'll dispute that assertion. True, I only lived there for 7 years before moving up to the Westside where attitude got significantly worse. Still though nice people and assholes in every crowd. I just found an over abundance of nice people in RPV.
  • bro4bro

    Posts: 1911

    Jan 16, 2018 12:32 AM GMT
    I maintain that Palos Verdes has the spoiledest kids on earth. And friends who grew up there - the ones that turned out well - are the first to admit it, and very quick to point they're "not like other PV kids". I can usually tell if someone grew up "on the hill" just from the way they act.

    I could give you many examples of the spoiled behavior of kids and full grown adults. But is it worth having this discussion in this particular thread?
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    Jan 16, 2018 12:53 AM GMT
    bro4bro saidI maintain that Palos Verdes has the spoiledest kids on earth. And friends who grew up there - the ones that turned out well - are the first to admit it, and very quick to point they're "not like other PV kids". I can usually tell if someone grew up "on the hill" just from the way they act.

    I could give you many examples of the spoiled behavior of kids and full grown adults. But is it worth having this discussion in this particular thread?



    You do notice that I used RPV not PVE
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2018 4:43 AM GMT
    bro4bro said
    Covfefe said
    Really a small town? Hermosa Beach is in GREATER LA area...


    Hermosa Beach is a town of 17,000 people that covers less than two square miles. Yes it's part of the LA metropolitan area but it's a very insular community - I don't expect you to understand that unless you live here but it's very much a small town environment. And I grew up in an Ohio farming community so I know what small towns are all about. People know their neighbors here. They know the letter carrier and UPS driver by name. Aside from trips next door to Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, most people don't get out of the area much, because you'd have to drive at least half an hour to get to anywhere worth going.




    Yeah, the south bay isn't very gay friendly much at all unfortunately. Out of all the pacific coast areas in LA County, Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu are the most gay friendly places, just north of the south bay. South of the south bay area is of course DT Long Beach, Queen Mary which has its gay mayor and HUGE gay pride every May. Its like of lot of LA areas, you can drive east, west, north, south on the same roads, enter different cities and the entire demographic changes

    Take north-south La Cienega Boulevard, which starts in the southern part of LA south bay of El Segundo-Inglewood-LAX and goes north all the way into West Hollywood. Most of those people, killed or injured at the Route 91 country concert in Las Vegas Oct 2017 were from LA's south bay cities of El Segundo, Redondo, Manhattan, Hermosa beaches and Torrance, that should tell you something about the people who live there. The heterosexual south beaches of (Orange County), Huntington Beach experienced 2013 riots following surfing USA competition

    The south bay is very 'strange' from the rest of LA County, its a conservative mini orange county. Ive had old work friends invite me to a popular spot called Sharkeez in Hermosa Beach before it burned down 2006. Typical heterosexual dive and vibe I used to attend before coming out at 25 years old. North Marina Del Rey is much more gay friendly than Southern Redondo King Harbor, esp night life

    Meanwhile, Venice CA now has its own gay pride, Roosterfish reopened icon_cool.gif (that Dolphin gay bar Redondo is a very sad looking place)

    Beloved Venice LGBTQ Bar the Roosterfish Set to Reopen This Year
    http://www.laweekly.com/music/roosterfish-returns-to-abbot-kinney-with-help-from-the-venice-pride-organizers-8657981


    Sorry to hear of this young person taking his own life, not everyone gay in LA lives in the bubble ghetto WeHo, me included

    Was the story in the Daily Breeze?



    Southbay LGBT Center in Torrance

    http://southbaycenter.wixsite.com/southbaylgbtcenter
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2018 5:32 AM GMT
    It doesn't matter how big or small city/town you guys live in. LGBT haters are everywhere.
  • Hjalmar

    Posts: 106

    Jan 22, 2018 4:50 PM GMT
    I assume religious reasons were involved in the case icon_neutral.gif
    Where's the link to the news?
  • Red_wolf87a

    Posts: 133

    Jan 24, 2018 3:28 AM GMT
    Someone told me before that suicide among native Americans is one of the highest rates and even higher for LGBT native Americans. I googled it and found this article with tons of info: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447240/

    In my own relationship to suicide I remember being depressed and thinking about suicide by the time I was 10 or 11 years old. It was mostly my circumstance of living on a reservation with alcoholism. I didn't think much about being gay till I started developing crushes around 3rd and 4th grade but always knew I was gay since way young. I didn't start feeling shame and depression till the mid-highschool. I finally had chances with guys around the end of high school. There were two guys I fell pretty hard for and combined with drinking, irrational overemotional thinking I did attempt suicide but survived. Now I know better after at least having one or two semi-relationships that didn't work out. Its not that big of a deal now, I can't believe how emotional and hard that kind of shit is especially right out of high school. Even up till 4 or 5 years ago I struggled with alcoholism which exacerbated the depression and loneliness.
  • Red_wolf87a

    Posts: 133

    Jan 24, 2018 3:48 AM GMT
    My young cousin I also kind of took under my wing in his younger days, I could tell he was gay and so could most of my family. Ironically, that's how I came out to anyone first. Some of my other family were making fun of him and it pissed me off. So I came out to them right there and told them I was gay too, to stop making fun of him (I was in high school about age 16).

    Anyway to the point, recently he came out on social media and also talked about committing suicide because his family hates him for being gay. We all had to come together as a family and talk to him, more one on one or by phone I mean. I never did tell him I'm gay as well yet, but I'm pretty sure he knows because everyone in my family does. I almost came out to him a couple of times but it didn't seem like the right time or necessary since he most likely already knows.
  • mwolverine

    Posts: 5339

    Jan 24, 2018 4:04 AM GMT
    Pardon me for butting in, but sounds like now is the perfect time to tell him, even if he "knows" (suspects). Confirmation of that can lead to a much more productive "one on one" discussion with him.