Blog

Dec12
2016

An Open Letter to Those Afraid of What Comes Next

By To Write Love on Her Arms

This month, we’re looking back on the top 10 blog posts of 2016. This post was originally published on November 10, 2016.

I need to know, can you help us? Can you help LGBT youth get through these rough looking four years? Can you spread the word for surviving? Because if I’m going to be completely honest my whole body hurts from crying because of this election. I’m fourteen and I’m worried for LGBT youth being sent to conversion “therapy” and pushed to commit suicide because this country is too much to handle. I reached out for help when I first saw this blog but now I can just feel myself being pulled into an endless abyss of suffering. I just think that LGBT Youth and minorities in general need your help.

Although we received this message privately, we wanted to respond publicly as we know many of you might be struggling with these concerns as well. Because if we’ve learned anything over the past ten years of our history, it’s that we often love and dream and, yes, fear together.

If you’ve found your way here, you might know that To Write Love on Her Arms is a nonprofit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Our longer mission statement includes this sentence: TWLOHA exists to inform, inspire, encourage, and also invest directly into treatment and recovery.

That’s what we do. That’s who we are. In the wake of this election and whatever else the future brings, that will not change.

The message of hope and help we talk about in that mission statement is present in everything we do. It’s there in the messages you see on our merchandise. It’s there in our social media posts and in the words of our contributors. It’s what we come back to time and time and time again because we know that constant reminders like these are necessary. In the face of seemingly relentless fear, we must – and we will – stand unwavering in our message of hope.

But we know, because we’ve heard from asks like these, from emails we receive, from blog post and social media comments, that it can be difficult to hold on to that hope. You go online to your favorite sites or pull on your favorite TWLOHA hoodie, and you feel like you can make it to tomorrow. But the next day you wake up and don’t know how to carry that hope with you, especially in the face of what you read on the news or what people say to you in their ignorance or hatred.

These are your questions:

Can you help us? Can you help LGBT youth get through these rough looking four years? Can you spread the word for surviving?

This is our answer:

We will do everything in our power to help you.

We will do everything we can to make sure that people of color and members of the LGBT community know that there are people fighting for them, that we are fighting for them.

We will do everything possible to spread the word that there are reasons to keep living.

We believe that hope and help are real. We believe that love is the movement. We believe that better days are ahead. And we believe that you are enough.

If you are reading this and are feeling hopeless, please know that we’re holding the hope for you, and we will continue to do so as long as there is fear or ignorance or hatred in the world.

There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with who you are, where you come from, what religion you do or don’t believe in, what you look like, or who you love.

You matter.

Your life matters.

We need you here, and the world needs you here.

You can make it to the other side of this, to a place where you believe in hope even as you acknowledge your fear. That suffering you mentioned? It feels endless, but it is not.

It is not.

If you are reading this and need a reminder, please email us at info@twloha.com. Our team responds to each and every single email we receive.

We will be waiting for your email. We will see you on the road. We will wear our merchandise in solidarity with you.

We will stand here with you, and we will do everything we can to help you.

Elections come and go. Leaders come and go. Please remember this: Love is still the most powerful force on the planet.

If you are struggling, we encourage you to reach out to one of the resources listed on our FIND HELP page. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to get connected with a crisis counselor for free at any time.

Leave a Reply

Comments (28)

  1. Vanessa

    Thank you because I know young ppl in that community and I worry for them.

    Reply  |  
  2. Joseph Rosendo

    Thank you for all you do and are doing — our PBS television show, Travelscope, has attempted to keep things positive as we introduce people to people worldwide. That is what we will continue to do and we welcome all allies. The world and its people are still wonderful. This is a time to remember Ann Frank who said, “In spite of everything, I still be believe that people are basically good.” So do we at Travelscope. Peace and Blessings, Joseph Rosendo

    Reply  |  
  3. Pingback: TWLOHA Offers Words of Hope In a Time of Need | The Nocturnal Times

  4. Destiny Garrett

    One day I’ll love to join your mission, I’ll love to travel I am 17 and my name is destiny I know that I am young. But one day I will love to join you guys. I know my life right now that looks like a distant star. I know my destiny and it’s in others stories. You might not reply ..but my dream is to travel and write on your adventures. The adventures you have with others. This is bold and fierce to make a statement like this but one day ..

    Reply  |  
  5. bellla

    An attack on one person is an attack on us all. We are all one. We are all worthy. Thank you for your work. May we all do our part, use our voices, our goodness, our power, our love.
    And to anyone reading, you are loved.
    God bless

    Reply  |  
  6. Lauren Carter

    I needed to read this today. Thank you. You guys are right, Love is the most powerful force, despite any leader we may have, where love is, love will always be the strongest influence.

    Reply  |  
  7. heaven

    omg i will alway help who needs help forever

    Reply  |  
  8. faryna teo

    Spread love. Spread love. Spread love. Spread love. Spread love. Spread love. – everyone is going through something. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

    Reply  |  
  9. Annie

    This letter sounds so much like what my daughter is feeling since election day. Thank you for shining your lights so brightly that all of us out here will be able to make our ways through the darkness to find you. I can’t wait to help too.

    Reply  |  
  10. April rodriguez

    I love twloha!!
    Thank you for everthing you do for me

    Beliveing is living

    Reply  |  
  11. Beth

    I am sorry there is such a feeling hopelessness and being alone. I am sad that there is so much angst because of our President-elect. So much of the race was destructive to everyone no matter which side one was on. There is only so much that is our government and WE give them too much power. It is each one of us, you and me, caring about, helping out, doing what we can for each other. As much as we need to stop this hatred towards ourselves we need to be part of stopping the hatred around us. Hang in.. We need each other, family and friends need us and our society is desperate for people like us.

    Reply  |  
  12. jo

    Im alone

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for your message. First and foremost, please know that you are not alone. We are here for you, and we are rooting for you. We are on your side, Jo. Every single one of us believes in you, and we want you to know that we love and support you. We want to help you through whatever you’re struggling with. If you’re comfortable, please email us at info@twloha.com so we can talk more. We believe in you, Jo. We are with you. Keep fighting.

      Reply  |  
    2. Anna

      Dear Jo,
      You are never alone, though we may feel that way. I don’t know you, I may never know you, but I am here for you. I know what it’s like to feel “Alone”, and it doesn’t feel good. I love and support you. When you feel alone, close your eyes and count the people who love and support you, which includes all users of this website, you are never truly alone.

      Reply  |  
  13. Lexi

    Your enough

    Reply  |  
  14. Cheyenne

    In response to the beautiful soul who sent that message, and all in the LGBTQ community: You all have so many people who love and support you. You are not alone in this. Your fears are completely understandable. We will help you. I may be just one 20 year old college student, but know that I am sending you all the love and peace I possibly can.

    In response to TWLOHA: You are amazing. Thank you for all you do for everyone who is struggling. Thank you for saving my life. I too wish to join your mission one day. Your message is beautiful, and your hearts as great. I love you all. Peace&Love

    Reply  |  
  15. Evelyn Konig

    As a Christian mother of five, I am very thankful for your answer. With two in college and two at home and one more on his own, I have instilled in my kids to love unconditionally and intentionally. There is no other way to show Gods perfect love he has for us then to just love. This doesn’t mean I condone certain lifestyles, but it also does not give me a right to hate and judge those who struggle. We all struggle with our “own stuff”. I struggle like the next person and sin like them too. I am no better. But I do realize my need for a Savior and HOPE. Thank you for speaking love into the lives of young and old. I will pray for you all and the mission you have been called to. 1 John in the bible says it best: for God is love….

    Reply  |  
  16. Kev

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  17. Captain Kevin

    I feel for those who have questions like these. Please know that there are many like myself…non-minority, conservative, straight…, who do NOT hate you, but love you. It’s unfortunate that it is the negative voices that seem to be the loudest. But they are toothless lions whose only tactic is to scare you with their roars. Do not give them the satisfaction. Let them roar, knowing all the while that they are the true minority, that there are many more who love and care, and a God who loves you more than words can tell.

    Reply  |  
  18. Cindy Reese Whittaker

    I was touched by what I have read. My daughter came out several years ago, in her early twenties. Although she has had struggles with strangers judging her. We as her family are very supportive of her. We love her so much and want her to be happy in her own skin. I hAve seen so, so many people who are condemned by their own family.
    As a mom of a lesbian, I truly want to help others who don’t have support or need a friendly person whow does not judge. It breaks my heart. I was an alcohol and drug, family counselor. I also am a certified crisis counselor. I have been on disability for quite a while. I volunteered for the association for the auto-inflammatory disease I have. I was on the board of directors, I was the director of the toll-free hotline and I served as Vice President for a 2 year period. I am hoping perhaps there is someway I can help. I don’t know if my experience as a counselor at a residential treatment center, includine working with families, or my years of volunteer work would be helpful, but, if you can tell me how I can help, I would be pleased and honored to volunteer in some way. Cindy Reese
    Whittaker. Thanks so much.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Cindy,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us and for sharing your story with us. We’re so honored that you’d want to help us with our mission. If you want, you can email us at info@twloha.com and we can talk more there. Thank you again, and we look forward to hearing from you 🙂

      Reply  |  
  19. Sharon

    I would tell these Young people there’s nothing to fear. Love conquers all and the ugly media capitalize on spreading fear and hatred. Know that you are loved and FEAR is false evidence appearing real. Stare down fear and be strong. The most powerful force on the planet is love

    Reply  |  
  20. Ana partida

    Hola, soy Ana escribo en español porque soy Mexicana, pero me gustaría contarles mi historia, vi la película y me encanto y por eso decidí buscarlos, yo fui dignisticada con depresión y ansiedad, después como bordeline, tuve un intento de sucidio, por mi mente no pasaba otra cosa más que matarme todos los días de mi vida, me drogaba y tomaba para calmar el dolor que sentía, hoy por hoy, llevo más de 6 años en rehabilitación, pase por todos los lugares que se puedan imaginar… Sentí mucho dolor por muchos años, sufri llore, grite odie la vida, a mi familia, a Dios al mundo!! Y sobre todo a mí misma!! Hoy después de todo ese dolor soy psicóloga en adicciones, tengo una clínica de rehabilitación en México especializada en ludopatia, donde tratamos todo tipo de adición, hoy el tormento que viví es mi regalo más gran.!! Ojalá mi historia pueda ayudar a alguien.!! Besos y abrazos mucho amor y a vivir el aquí y el ahora!!

    Reply  |  
    1. Claire Biggs

      Ana,

      We’re so happy to hear from you and learn a little about your story. Thank you for sharing that with us! We’re so grateful that you got the help you needed and that you’re helping people now as a psicóloga en adicciones. That’s incredible.

      Thank you again for all you do! We’re so grateful you reached out.

      Reply  |  
  21. Just Me!

    beautiful!
    the hurt is a numbing and very sobering yet consuming swallow you whole kind of thing.
    losing contact with everyone and no one comes tomorrow to make it better.
    Life is still worth more than anything.
    Look to your Right, it’s got to be better than the moment you’re in. Breathe and then tell yourself, you’ve always been alone and you’re the only one that can fix these moment your in.

    Reply  |  
  22. Becky

    I’d like to help however I can. Please feel free to contact me.

    Reply  |  
  23. kelly

    Fantastic and much love!!!

    Reply  |  
Get Email Updates

Sign up for our newsletter to hear updates from our team and how you can help share the message of hope and help.

Join our list