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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



IT GETS BETTER: Sticks and Stones
by Alexandra Billings

This article shared 4043 times since Wed Oct 13, 2010
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The following is from the blog of entertainer Alexandra Billings,

It didn't work the first time, so this time I was determined. I wasn't going to mess this up. I wasn't going to fail. I was going to make sure I didn't come back. No one was going to save me. No one.

The week before, a group of three boys in my Junior High School had followed me from math class to lunch throwing food at my back and calling out:

"Faggot." And "Hey Scotty-girl." and "Are you a girl or a boy?"

When I got to the stairs to go down to the first floor to try and escape, one of them got behind me and tripped me half way down. The other kids in the hallway either laughed or pretended it wasn't happening. I never called out for help, I never went to a teacher, and I didn't share this with my parents. It was so shameful I couldn't bear to repeat it. And no one really wanted to help, I knew that.

The one teacher I went to the year before told me: "Words can't hurt you."

I was 16 years old and my gender identity was now haunting me. I wasn't about feeling trapped, or that I was a woman inside a man's body, I had no idea what that meant, nor did I care. All I knew at that time was that my heart was aching and I had nowhere to go. I didn't have a safe place. I was sick and tired of fighting and sick and tired of trying to hide, and sick and tired of trying to find an answer.

So, this was the answer.

At 5:30 on a bright Saturday afternoon as my mother and my stepfather were outside in the back of our house, I grabbed a bottle of Tylenol and a prescription of sleeping pills from their cabinet and mixed them together in my hand. I stood in the middle of my bedroom with the sun beating through my window and the large tree that covered the front yard casting a huge shadow at my feet. It was warm and beautiful outside. I wanted to leave the earth in light, not in darkness.

I walked over to my bed, took a handful of the pills and downed them with a swig of water. I then took another handful, and then one last one.

I lay down on the bed, put the two bottles on the floor, and stared at the ceiling.

I waited for something to happen. Something huge. I wanted something extraordinary and brilliant. I was hoping I wasn't just going to lay there and then throw up. I made sure the bedroom door was locked and I left a note on my desk. The last time I was saved in the nick of time by a friend of mine who came over accidentally in the middle of the night and barged in my room on a Friday and got my mom to rush me to the hospital. But that was a Friday night. This was a Saturday afternoon. This was going to work.

And as the shadow on the floor from the huge tree began to bend from the outside world, the ceiling started to lower. My eyes got tired. My mouth got dry. My feet began to tingle. My head got heavy. My stomach ached and felt as if it was turning inside out. And then I felt my heart race. It was pounding so hard it started to hurt my chest. I got scared. Truly frightened. But I wanted this. It was the only thing I could think of.

No more name calling.

No more excuses as to why I couldn't play ball in gym class.

No more getting tripped or beat up next to the pool at Jane Addams Junior High.

No more lying to my mother so I could stay home instead of going to school.

No more dodging boys in the hallway.

No more loud, huge voices ringing in my head.

I closed my eyes. And dreamed.

And I thank God every single day of my life I was found in time by my Mom on that Saturday afternoon. My stepfather bust down the door and they got me to the hospital in time.

A lot of transgender teenagers aren't this lucky. A lot of them actually succeed. And we're worse off. We're missing voices and thoughts and ideas and brilliance and light because we think bullying and texts from other people have nothing to do with being different. That everyone's journey is the same and that there shouldn't be a difference between kidding around and abuse.

I was lucky.

Some kids aren't. Alexandra Billings It Gets Better Video

IN THIS ISSUE [ LINK HERE OR FROM THIS ISSUE'S MAIN INDEX ] Anti-suicide project reflects on cases DePaul vigil remembers teen suicides by Kirk Williamson by Tracy Baim by Toni Weaver by Amy Pirtle by Bobby Pirtle by Eric Marcus by Caleb's Story by Karlis Streips by John R. Cepek by Judy Shepard by Lee Lynch by Kristi Keorkunian by Joshua Plant by Chris Hill Trevor Project Chicago events Stopping Bullies in Illinois Mother of Slain Teen Gwen Araujo Addresses LGBT Youth Suicide by Sylvia Guerrero by Carl G. Streed Jr. by Thom Bierdz by Kit Duffy by Vernita Gray by Wancy Young Cho RESOURCES QUOTES

This article shared 4043 times since Wed Oct 13, 2010
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