PLEASE NOTE: USGA seeks to create a respectful dialogue that encompasses multiple view points on the topics of faith and sexuality. The views and opinions of the following article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect USGA’s official policy or position.
The following remarks are an excerpt from a post to the Mormons Building Bridges Facebook page by a USGA member on March 9th. While media attention may have moved on to other stories, suicide ideation remains an issue in the LGBTQ/SSA community, and we would do well to offer our continued support.
I want to speak of the suicides that keep coming up.
This is personal to me. I’ve had two suicide attempts since the policy change. They’ve been kept pretty private matters, but I feel that at this time, it may be best to bring them to light in order to help someone else. The first one was a close call, but I walked away from it without much physical damage done. The second attempt was exactly a month ago today, and it landed me in the ICU for a week. Had time lapsed even moments later than it did before being found, it’s possible that I would have not made it.
The pains being caused to the members of this community are real. They are serious. The lives that are being lost are not small. Even one person found in a grave too soon is too much. In fact, even one person being so incredibly hurt by things that they attempt to leave this world is too great a cost. But the reality is that I didn’t do what I did simply over Church members or leaders or policies. I did what I did because in my moment of pain, I didn’t know whom to reach out to. I was too scared of being inconvenient to ask for help, yet there are many who love me. I have friends and family. I have support. But the people who are going into their graves are not just hurt by the Church. They feel that everything is so burdening and huge that they cannot reach out. In order to get the support that they need, they need someone else to reach in.
Many allies and members of this community alike have those that they support and stand by. One person cannot tackle the world or this problem alone. But there are nearly 6,500 members in this group [of Mormons Building Bridges], and if each person took on just one person to check in on every couple days, that’s 6,500 people who are having someone seek to make sure that they’re okay. That’s a whole LOT of good.
I want to ask each person in this group to do something. Make checking in on just one person within the LGBTQIA+ community every few days a goal. In fact, make it a goal to check in, and to be someone who is consistently saying to those around you, “I don’t know who every LGBTQIA+ person is around me, but I sure want those around me to know that I’d be a hell of a lot without if I were to lose one of them.” This assures even the hidden people who are in pain that someone cares and is there. I can promise you that no one who commits suicide does so for the sake of being selfish. It is done thinking that no one will be inconvenienced by the loss of life save for a small moment in time. Encourage others to take on these same goals. We cannot change someone else’s heart if they do not want to be changed. But we can help safeguard a people if we choose to become an instrument in God’s hands. I cannot imagine a more Christ-like nor demanded thing at this time. I can promise you with full confidence that if we do this, we will see a difference in the loss of lives.