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November 23, 2012
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(Contains: ideologically sensitive material)
"To who may stumble upon this letter first, and find me with my wrists slit. I am sorry that you have to find this, even though you hate me. It's too much. I can't deal with the hand life has thrown me. People hate me because I want to marry a woman one day instead of a man. In my life, all I wanted was a human right. I wanted the human right to love who I wanted and marry who I wanted. I wanted to have a family of my own. I wanted to live a happy life. I wanted to grow old with that special person. That was every girl's dream, wasn't it?

I came out to you, and the world, because I was tired of hiding who I was. Coming out was the hardest experience that I ever had to do, and it was the one thing that eventually caused this letter to be written. I wanted to come out because I had a huge weight on my shoulders when everyone assumed I was straight. I hated telling people that no guy around interested me, and then they say that he'll be there someday. In my mind, I would scream "I'm not straight!", but could I say this? No. I knew of the hatred here towards gays and lesbians. I knew that if I came out, people would hate me. I knew all of this; I knew the risks, but I came out eventually anyway. I wanted people to know that this was who I was. I never shoved it in their face that I was a homosexual.

I tried to tell you of the pain that I was experiencing. None of you listened. You, who were my family, who were supposed to love me, hated me as well. You excluded me from family outings, and I was nothing more than a black sheep to you. Why? Why, I ask you? The tears are falling as I'm writing this part of the letter. You were my family; you were supposed to love me, no matter what happened. Why did you hate me because I'm not straight?

I guess that none of it matters now. My one wish in this world, the one thing I wanted the most, people hated me for. I was bullied constantly because I was a "fucking homo", as they put it. I came home, crying on a lot of occasions. Did you care? No. You would tell me to clean up and that my food would be brought up to me. I did that in silence.

The one person who accepted me, who loved me, was my sister. If she is the one who finds this, I am so sorry. She protected me as much as she could, and she stood up for me. She was my younger sister, and I was supposed to be the one protecting her. It was the other way around. She was there for me as much as she could be with my family being resentful of me. In the end, I was tempted to put the knife back in the kitchen, tear up this letter, and throw it outside. I changed my mind, because I'd rather she has an easy life. I don't want my family and everyone around her to hate her because of her "fucking fag for a sister". I've heard what they've said, Ali. I won't condemn you to the life I had ever since I came out.

Goodbye, to the family that hated me because I was a lesbian. Goodbye, to those who bullied me because I wanted a human right. Finally, I bid a sad goodbye to my sister, who stood by me no matter what.

Maria"


~*~

"That was the suicide letter my sister wrote because she was hated by my family, and bullied by her peers." a man exclaimed in the microphone, eying the crowd. "Maria had a kind heart. She was beautiful. She would do everything she could for those around her. She was my best friend, and she was taken from me because of homophobia." He wiped the back of his hand against his eyes as he continued. "I was the one who found her body. It took her death for my family to realize that they needed her. We buried her, and even today, my family regrets how they treated my beautiful older sister.

"Maria was twenty one years old when she committed suicide. That was ten years ago, on this day. I came to speak to all of you because I want my sister's life and her death to never be forgotten. I want her memory to help prevent others in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer community from doing the same thing. Everyone who is thinking of committing suicide, don't do it. Your family loves you, even if they don't show it. You are valued, and needed in this world. Never let anyone tell you different!

"My sister convinced me to finish my transitioning. She knew that I was transgender, and she told me these exact words, "Wait until you're older to become a man, but when you do, know that my love for you will never change." My name is Eric Karson, but my birth name was Alice.

"Maria Karson, my beloved sister, I miss you each and every day. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I think of your laugh. I think of your beautiful smile. I think of your life, snuffed out because of homophobia. I'm doing my part to put an end to the very thing that took away my sister's life. Intervene when you see bullying, and you may save a life. Thank you."

The crowd cheered and many were in tears. On the screen, there was a picture of a girl, with vibrant red hair and chestnut brown eyes. She was smiling. Under the picture, it said,

Maria Karson, we will never forget you. September 30th 1971 - October 3rd 1992.

Written by IkeFangirl14. 24-11-2o12.
This is something that I wrote which is a real reality for those within the LGBTQ community. There are people within our community who commit suicide because of being bullied and/or because of their family hating them. Each time I hear of someone committing suicide because of bullying, I feel sad for that one person who had their life snuffed out far too early.

I was one of those people who got lucky. I had a Mom who accepted me, no matter of my sexual orientation. My friends accepted me after a couple of years. My Dad is still a bit skeptical on the whole thing, but he never kicked me out or hated me. Unfortunately, many people are not this lucky. Many people have their families hating them, and get bullied at school because they're lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, or trans. Many of them feel that they have no other option.

I want them to know that there IS another option. Taking your own life is not the way to go. I know that it's hard when you're being bullied, being a victim of bullying myself. There is always someone out there who will care if you decide to snuff out your life.

I care. I care if you snuff out your life. You don't know me, and I don't know you, but I care. Each and every person out there who is considering suicide, don't do it. Please, please don't do it. Society will lose such a gifted, beautiful, and amazing individual if you do so. You were put on this planet for a reason. Don't let anyone tell you that you're worthless or you should go die. That's not true. It's never true.

I want you to know that if you need someone to talk to, I'm here. I likely don't know you, but I am here. Sometimes, all you need is someone to listen to you. I'm willing to be that person. I will not judge you based on your orientation, your race, your ethnicity, your skin color. I will not judge you period.

Please remember this. You were put here for a reason. That reason was so you could live, be happy, find that special person, and grow old with them someday. Never, ever let someone tell you you're worthless, because believe this.

You are not worthless. You have a purpose here, and by god, that purpose is to live and be the happiest you can be.



You're never alone.

*IkeFangirl14.
:icongoldfish-in-space:
This piece is very purposeful, and has very powerful themes! LGBT suicide is a terrible problem, and it's good that someone is trying to tackle it. Here I see the seeds of a beautiful story about loss and hope. It just needs some more work to release that in its full potential.

One of the most problematic aspects of this piece the way it is now, is that it's very heavy handed. It comes across this way because readers introduced to Maria and her issue postmortem. We are given a letter, by a girl that we don't know. Her death is cheapened by us not knowing her beforehand, because we have had no time to identify with her. To really have her family and peer problems hit home, we need to see them. I want to see her parents reject her. I want to see her peers make fun of her. I need to see her have interpersonal relationships, and Maria herself before I can know her and care about her properly.

This problem is repeated again in the second half, when Maria's brother is speaking. There's no mention of him being trans before, or anything other than hetero-normative, and without a few hints it feel like plot borne out of convenience. Again I want to see him. I want to see him with his sister, and feel his challenges and his love for her. I want to see the looks they exchange at the dinner table when his body is still female. To really know him and his journey, to see how his sister and her death have affected him, I need to see it!

All of this can be fixed just by writing more about these characters. Don't be afraid to explore their lives! Parts of them might be difficult, but that's what makes stories about social issues powerful. This piece has so much potential, that it's almost bursting with it. Just run with it!
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