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To all those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer, to all those who are young and old, to all those who are being bullied and think that your life is just absolute hell, I'm here to tell you something, something that I think all of you should know: IT GETS BETTER.  

  Like many of you, I was shocked and devastated about the tragic suicides that took place in Fall 2010 and again this Fall 2011. These bright young students were constantly picked on and bullied severely because they were gay or perceived as gay. I know some of you who read this are probably saying right now, "Oh, you know how kids are, they can be so cruel, kids are going to bully regardless". Those who have said it or are even thinking those words as I am speaking, you know who you are. I am letting you know how bad this hurts me as a student who once was looking for the support she never got when she was bullied and harassed in middle school. But I'm getting way off topic. This isn't about you, this is about children. The children in your community. The children in your neighborhood. The children in your family. YOUR CHILDREN. Their lives are in your hands unless you help stop the homophobic bullying that is taking place. That's all I have to say to you.
    To all of you who are being bullied and feel lost, scared, or alone, I want to tell you all that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IT GETS BETTER. I promise you it does. Listen, I've spent my whole life being both autistic and bisexual, and I'm nearly 21 years of age now. I knew from the moment I left my mother's womb, from my first day of school, from even the first birthday party I went to, I knew that I was different, I knew I was bisexual. But there was nobody to talk about it. I can't recall whether it was because I was too young at the time, because I didn't know the words to describe how I feel, or because I never knew it was normal nor that I knew it was different. Like many of you, I was scared and felt alone and like many of you, I was bullied and harassed mercilessly. I've been bashed into lockers, been spat on, been beaten up, even had objects thrown at me because I was quote unquote different by the other students' standards. There were many times I thought about taking my own life because I simply could not deal with it anymore. I contemplated suicide many times in 7th grade and again during my second year in college.
   In college, I was unhappy. I felt as if I had no direction in life.  I honestly thought I was only being a huge annoyance to the people I love and pushing them away. I even planned a date to when I was going to take the final step. It was going to be a little after New Years. I truly thought it would never get better. Pill bottles filled with God knows what was sitting in the cabinet waiting for me to consume and take me into an everlasting dark abyss away from pain. However, my attempt of suicide failed. I was interrupted by a phone call by my best friend who was inviting me to her house for New Years. That same day I met my other best friend who is gay. And things really got better. When we joined the college GSA, I gained new friends who are a huge part of my life today. I've experienced friendships and joy I never thought in a million years that I would ever have in life. I began to be more true to myself and accept me for the person I am. All the while, I cannot help but think that had I not gotten that phone call from my friend, had my suicide attempt been successful, I would have missed out on so much in life. I would never have met my many best friends. I would not have known the thrill that rushed through my body when I went to clubs in West Hollywood and had a good time like any adult should. I would miss out on my little six-year-old sister growing to be the stand-up comedian she's turning out to be. I would have missed out on my younger sister setting sail to engineer a large ship while in the Australian coasts. I thank God everyday for the phone call that saved my life and all my beloved friends for coming into my life and making it worth living.

  The reason why I told you all is this and forgive me if I sound just like that cheesy poster with the picture of a cat hanging off a tree branch: JUST HANG IN THERE. If you feel like ending your life is the only way out, it's NOT. If you feel like taking your own life, DON'T! There are people out there in your community who support you, who want you to be the person you are, and who love you. Talk to someone who will listen. A teacher, a parent, a friend, a relative, a principle, a preacher, a rabbi, ANYONE who will listen. Take part in GSA clubs in your community, if available. Participate in gay and lesbian centers in your area. Have faith and hang in there because-- I said it once and I will say it again-- IT DOES GET BETTER. I promise you. Will it be easy? No. Nothing in life ever is easy. Will it be worth the pain and struggle? YES! It will be, because the best feeling in the world is being able to be the wonderful and unique individual you are. Never think of yourself as anything less. I'm going to get a bit religious here, but if there is one thing I know, it's this: God does not make any mistakes. You were put on this earth for a reason. You make the world a wonderful place to live. Don't take yourself away from it. The world needs you. People need you. I need you. Life cannot go on without you. If you ever feel depressed or suicidal, there is a 24-hour toll free number you can reach and talk to someone who cares. It belongs to a great organization called The Trevor Project that can help you through this. That number is 1-866-4UTREVOR. Many of your favorite celebrities have contributed to the project: Ellen Degeneres, the cast of Glee, comedian Margaret Cho, Joel Madden from the rock band Good Charlotte, expert personal financier Suze Orman, the cast of the Broadway musical Wicked, the cast of HBO hit series True Blood, Daniel Radcliffe, Chaz Bono, musical artist Ke$ha, comedian Kathy Griffin, even our president Barack Obama, to name a few. The people mentioned above are many of the reasons why you should stay with us.
  By giving in and ending your life, you are letting the bullies win. And I know in my heart that you wouldn't want that. Suicide is never the answer. You have so much potential and I can see it in you. There are so many opportunities in this world. People are becoming more tolerant, things are getting easier, and together we are becoming stronger. Life is getting so much better. And you should be alive to see it. You are all very beautiful, wonderful, special people and I love you all so much. IT GETS BETTER. I promise.
                                                                    Love you Always,
                                                                     Shaina Roxanne Barnett                           
Dedicated to all those who have taken their lives because of the constant bullying and to those who are struggling. This is for you...because it DOES GET BETTER.
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:iconlivelovelifeeleni:
LivelovelifeEleni Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You're a beautiful person sweetie im glad you're alive keep spreading thr love rip all those beautiful souls...
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:iconc-y-n-d-i:
C-y-n-d-i Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
Everything you said in this is wonderful. It IS an awful thing to see kids taking their lives. It's even worse when people have the gall to call them weak. It takes serious pain to make someone throw aside their instinct for self preservation. I think people today are lacking in the empathy that used to exist in the world.

It's sad, but your words mean something and the right people who need them will see this. I can already tell by the comments. :) You're awesome!
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you so much, Cyndi! :tighthug: And I agree with you, 100%. I hate it so much when people make comments like "people who commit suicide are selfish" "they are cowards" It just pisses me off. If people could see the pain of one's suffering, maybe they wouldn't be so quick to judge. The problem with the world is lack of moral values, the values our grandparents were raised with to treat a fellow human well. It matters not who has it worse, all that matters is children getting the support they need and deserve from those whose duty is to help them grow in a safe environment.
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:iconc-y-n-d-i:
C-y-n-d-i Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
Sorry for the delay in replying! Been super busy and still super busy! LOL

I get really disgusted when I see people laughing about a suicide. The reason may not seem like big deal to them, yet it was obviously painful to the person who thought death was the only way out. We need to teach more empathy in schools, methinks.
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It's cool, I've been busy, too, studying for finals.

And I agree 100%. I do believe that there should be more supervision in schools to look out for acts of bullying and teachers should have updated training on what to do when a child goes up to them saying they are being bullied instead of brushing off saying to just ignore it. We do need to teach more empathy in schools so we can create a healthy and safe learning environment for the youngsters.
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:iconc-y-n-d-i:
C-y-n-d-i Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
I totally agree!
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Absolutely! :)
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:iconmikachusango:
MikachuSango Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow that was beautiful:') :clap: And I'm glad you didn't take your life my dear friend and I'm very proud of you^^ :huggle:
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! I wrote this from the very depths of my heart. It breaks my heart that kids would take their life because of lack of tolerance in our society. If I can't change society, I can at least help to tell our future generation that the world cannot go on without them and that they make the world go round!
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:iconmikachusango:
MikachuSango Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome^^ I can tell it's from the heart^^ Awwww you're so sweet^^ I think the same way that if I can't change somethings I at least try to be there for those I care about and sometimes even for complete strangers^^
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:iconifai:
iFai Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
This is fantastic. I'm glad that you wrote this, because more people definitely need to hear this message. I know what it's like to be bullied, though you definitely had it harder than I did. My bullies were always verbal, and the vast majority of them were Bible-thumpers (and that's what I call people that try to shove their belief system down your throat). I also know what it's like to want to die, because I've been in those shoes myself. That was a few years ago now, though.

This is very deep, and inspiring. There need to be more messages like this one, in the world today.
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for your feedback. I honestly wish that more people would be more supportive. There are times when I thought others had it harder and some of them do. I want to send the message to the younger generation out there that there are people out there who will love them unconditionally and that life is worth living.
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:iconifai:
iFai Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011
And that's a good message to want to send. I feel exactly the same way.

Whenever I hear, or see, a teenager talking/writing about wanting to die, because they think that their lives will never get better...My heart breaks. I don't know how many times I've sent out a message to someone who needed to hear it. I've commented on so many things, and sent messages on both DeviantART, and Tumblr. I try to reach out to as many people as I can, though I know that I can't make everything better for them. But in the very least, if what you say, keeps them alive...Then it's worth the effort, right?

Because if they're alive, then they have the chance to see their lives change. It will still be difficult, but you do get stronger. And you meet some amazing people, that make the good times count for more than the bad. And if you're alive, you have the opportunity to meet someone who could change your life forever, in the best of ways.
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Wow.....I honestly could not have said it better myself! That was beautiful! So deep and thoughtful!
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:iconifai:
iFai Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011
Thank you. :blush: I was just speaking from the heart, though.
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I guess that's what makes it so deep. Things said from the heart always seem to have deep meaning.
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:iconifai:
iFai Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011
I think that's what I like about things that are said from the heart. They show our deepest thoughts, and emotions.
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Darn tootin'!
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:iconmandyb82:
MandyB82 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011
Oh my...reading this almost became an emotional experience for me! I've been bullied in the past, but it was in the 90's before Facebook or Twitter or anything that could make the bullies get me where I lived...my being bullied didn't hold a candle to what kids today are going through. It breaks my heart to hear all these suicide stories about these children who are supposed to have many years ahead of them :tears:....thank you so much for writing this (and now I AM getting emotional!). You might have saved a life today! :huggle:
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
You are welcome. I wrote this because I was very shocked and depressed about those tragic suicides. I want to tell the world my story as living proof that it does get better. And that together, we are stronger.
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:iconmandyb82:
MandyB82 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
Well you did a great job! :D
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:blush: Aw, thanks! I thought it sounded a little iffy because I kinda rushed through it at like one in the morning.
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:iconmandyb82:
MandyB82 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011
It doesn't sound iffy to me :huggle:
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
It doesn't? Aw, thank you! I was so scared because I kept thinking I can do better
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:iconmandyb82:
MandyB82 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011
I think it's beautiful! :love:
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Aw, thanks! :hug:
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(1 Reply)
:iconxelanesque:
xelanesque Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Student Digital Artist
TY for writing this
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:icongreendaygirl18:
GreenDayGirl18 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
You are so welcome. :)
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