Davina Kotulski

Don't Try Suicide Nobody's Worth It

Filed By Davina Kotulski | October 03, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: anti-gay bigotry, anti-gay bullying, teen suicide

"Suicide, suicide, suicide baby, don't do it, don't do it, don't it baby." --Queen

Perhaps you remember Freddy Mercury, Gay Asian American rockstar and lead singer of the band QUEEN singing on the B side of the 45 of "Another One Bite's the Dust."Thumbnail image for School bullies

A 45 was a small record for you youngin's.

As you know, there has been a rash of LGBTQ youth suicides. Freddy Mercury might have warned these young boys that despite their current circumstances, "you got a good thing going." Author Dan Savage is trying to reach out to tell LGBTQ youth that "It gets better!" A reminder that while Hell School sucks for many out and closeted queers, life does get better.

Having been a queer kid who came out in rural Oregon in the early 1980s I know what it's like to be shunned in high school. The high school football captain told me "I'm going to bring my shotgun to school and blow your fucking head off dyke." On my birthday one year the prom queen told me I was an "ugly dyke," the jocks called me names when I walked by Jock Corner and tried to run me down with their pick-up trucks when I crossed the street. I know a thing or too about homophobia, bullying in schools, and hate crimes. Of course before I came out and fully accepted myself there was a brief time when I thought about ending my life at age 13.

But I did learn how to love and accept myself and that externalized homophobia is much easier to deal with then internalized homophobia which you eats you upside and makes you contemplate suicide.

That's why I do coming out workshops for a living now. I know that coming out and loving yourself is the key that sets you free, (despite what some closeted ivory tower queer theory students might think). When you come out there's no more hiding. Ask Senator Roy Ashburn who described his overwhelming sense of peace about not having to hide any more.

"You f***ing dyke." Yeah, so what. "You're a carpet muncher." Tell me something I don't know. "Queer, homo." Uh-huh. "Faggot!" Well, you're close. Sticks and stones baby! But it's the inside talk that'll hurt me.

Internalized homo/bi/transphobia is a toxic cancer. It will eat you alive. For most, it requires personal work, support, and specific strategies to overcome help you love and accept yourself 100% for the beautiful queer gift you are to the world.

Trans is grand! Gay is great! If you're bi, celebrate!

LGBTIQ people rock (Melissa Etheridge, Freddie Mercury). We renovate (Micheangelo, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Guys). We are funny! (Ellen, Wanda, Roise, Margaret)
We are foxy actors, singers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, civil rights leaders (Bayard Rustin) and mystic Sufi poets (Rumi).

We're here, were queer, were fabulous and it's time we know it, not just say it. May all those who are considering suicide call the Trevor Project or a suicide hotline. Go to a PFLAG meeting an LGBT center, MCC, or contact a therapist.

If you know you're still believing that being queer is a bad thing reach out and get support. Eliminate those last vestiges of internalized queerphobia. It's time to change that story that you've bought into that something is wrong with you. Get support.

But please, please, please don't take your life. You are precious and worthy. Things that seem overwhelming now can change. Reach out!!

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Thank you, thank you, thank you. I totally agree that it's the internalized homophobia/biphobia/transphobia that is killing our youth more than anything else. It almost happened to my best friend Gavi; fortunately, she was able to get help and learn to accept herself.

I am so glad you are doing coming out workshops and I would love to help if I could. I really believe that we need to teach our children to have self-esteem...real self-esteem, not just telling them to like themselves without teaching them what to do to make that a reality.

Joe-Allen Doty | October 4, 2010 1:40 AM

Lynn Riggs from Claremore, Cherokee Nation Indian Territory (later Claremore, Okla.) who wrote "Green Grow the Lilacs" and had a Broadway play based on the historical novel he wrote was openly gay in real life outside of Oklahoma. The play existed before "Oklahoma!" was a Broadway musical.

I was asked at an intake interview at Tulsa Indian Health Care Resource Center in the spring of 1993 by a person the the Behavioral Health Department, "Have you ever thought about suicide?"

My answer was "Only symbolically. There are times that I could just disappear so some people would think I no longer existed. I have never desired to literally kill myself."

A couple of months after I said that, one of those people told two other people that he was going to kill me. And he even tried later. That's why I became permanently disabled on August 13, 1993 and in early forced retirement.

Paige Listerud | October 4, 2010 11:54 AM

Every day you live is a beautiful gift. Every day you survive is your opportunity to bring yourself to the world and make a difference. And every day you live loving and accepting yourself is that beautiful gift doubled. Thank you for writing such a great, comprehensive reminder.

Listen to Davina, kids. Forget the haters. They never win.

Davina Kotulski | October 4, 2010 4:25 PM

Thanks Paige. All those years of therapy, self-help workshops, and new age thinking has really paid off. But seriously, loving yourself should be easy, but it does take changing your thinking and deprogramming yourself.

We are a a beautiful people!

Just one comment: please fact-check before you post. According to Wikipedia: "Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara (Gujarati: ??????? ?????????), 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991)was a British musician, best known as the lead vocalist and a songwriter of the rock band Queen... Mercury, who was a Parsi born in Zanzibar and grew up there and in India until his mid-teens, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star".


Davina Kotulski | October 4, 2010 4:19 PM

Thanks for your response. My apologies to all the British people. Fact check, well heck it gave you something to do and a chance to feel smart. Thank God for Wikipedia!

Coming out is great! But breaking down all binaries is good too, so I'll keep my mouth shut on that contingent.