Tonight, the Its Gets Better Project, will air it's second special at 11 p.m. ET/PT. "These specials focus on the stories of extraordinary people that LGBT youth can find hope and inspiration in." So far, over 50,000 videos have been uploaded, by all walks of life, encouraging LGBT youth. These videos have been viewed over 50 million times. When transgender youth are 5x more likely than their counterparts to attempt suicide, When 1 out of 3 gay teens attept suicide, something needs to be done. These videos are making a difference.
You might have seen some of the videos from some famous athletes, politicians or other celebrities. Well, I thought it would be important to add my voice. I’m nobody famous. I’m just someone who understands that your teenage years can seem to be some of the most difficult times of your life. It took a life time to come to the point of accepting myself. Don't make the same mistake I did.
ALL through high school and for many years after, I denied the world to see who I really was. As a good friend once told me, it wasn’t so much as I came out, but I finally let the world in. I finally summoned the courage in 2009 to let the world know the really me. You see, I wasn’t born Meggan Renee, I was born Mark Thomas.
Growing up, I truly feared what people might say or even do if they found out the real me, I did my best to hide that I wanted to be a girl. Feeling different kept me somewhat isolated from the other kids – don’t get me wrong – I had my friends and those are the people that have stuck with me for over 30 years, even when I told them I was transitioning.
All through elementary school, I was the smallest in my class. That alone made me target of bullies from kindergarten all through my senior year of high school. There were times I faked being sick and went home from school just to avoid the bullies waiting for me between classes. In high school, my Christian faith was also a source of ridicule. With all of that going on, I never had the courage to speak up and let people know I felt different – I didn’t want the bullying to get worse.
Trust me when I tell you that depression and the thought of suicide was a constant in my life. I felt many times that if I just walked off and disappeared, no one would miss me. In my adult years, I dealt with Anorexia and Bulimia, just to feel I had some control in my life. But I have just now started to truly learn that it is not the good and easy times in our life that strengthens us. It is the storms in our lives that help us learn to live. God gives us strength to endure and over come the obstacles on the road of our lives. Many times, that strength God provides us comes in the way of family, friends, teachers, pastors, and even professional councilors.
I want to tell you, You are NOT alone!! There are so many people around you that want to help if you are being bullied or feeling isolated, different, or alone. There are three words I want you to remember - It gets better!