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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.