It's time to talk about depression and suicide in LGBTQ2S+ communities.
That's the mailbox
and it’s full of mail, usually bills unfortunately. It’s a giant feeling of negative emotions. I hate going there. I hate looking inside. I hate seeing what it is. It’s like demands for payment, demands for bills to be paid, and… brings very few good news; it’s usually bad news.
at the endless blue sea, hoping to be loved.
We’ve come so long, but here we are: we’re painting rainbows on the street and we’re cutting health services.
do not drown the memories of sorrow.
the fear away.
Years of self unworth ended
with a re-birth of my inner spirit by finding my cultural and traditional practice again. When times seem unbearable or shawdowy, listening to songs of my childhood, speaking my language, or practicing my medicines allows the healing process from within to overpower a darker self-destructive path to dissolve and my circles to close and start new.
Let me disappear,
nothing to see here, but I didn’t want to be forgotten.
Is this working?
No one phones me. Do people care about me or am I alone in the world?
He looked me in the eyes
and promised he would never hurt himself. I wonder if I would have seen his pain if I was really looking back.
Seeing Hedwig and the Angry Inch
is what finally gave me the courage to come out to my family.
I couldn’t talk about being gay in high school and be open about it and be who I was, because it was bad. It was dirty.
Years of physical and verbal abuse
from a failed marriage left me with only one option, leap from a bridge in the heart of winter; with the hopes my body would slip under the ice sheet and not to be found.
A way out…
One of the many ways I have contemplated suicide.
was immense shame. I wouldn’t even have known to label it as such.
He left us too soon
and my memories of him get weaker each passing day. He’s missing out on so much.
They remind me of how far I’ve come.
Where I sit, worry
and look for work.
don’t feed me—A 20 years struggle with anorexia helped me to cope with the warped world in which I was living in.
As much as people tell you
that it’s not your fault, it’s impossible to not feel wrong for not being able to protect someone you live.
No answers, but occasional evidence of beauty in non-conformity.
a whirl of confusion and uncertainty.
My lovely shared backyard
on a spring day. Despite it only being several steps from my front door, around the house and to the back, there were entire seasons during which my depression and exhaustion kept me from visiting.
But is it
just one step?
I couldn't seem
to really connect with anybody anymore.
I am locked
in the closet and hope to free myself out. But I am scared.
Those huge, little moments
of self-care and wonder.
Whenever I've thought about suicide,
I’ve always thought “will I go to heaven?”
Haven in daylight;
terror at night. Who will come? Always a bad boy.
Learning to love my body,
scars and all.
The eye is the window
of the soul. He had beautiful eyes.
A few quick moments
and it would be over. “We would all be free.” How could he be so short-sighted?
Every time I look at the mountains,
I know that I’m blessed to be alive. Being in nature is very calming. Nature is therapy for PTSD.
the source of life and hope. Just take a nap, you’ll feel better.
I miss him.
I feel a sense of loss. I feel a little bit of pain and grief. He was special to me.
The mountains and ocean that give me a sense of place and a place to drown my sorrows.
He knows when I am upset,
and he doesn’t let me forget too. And he takes on a lot of pain for me.
Still Here is a photo project featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirited (LGBTQ2S+) individuals affected by suicide. The aim of the project is to break the silence around suicide and start a conversation about the need for targeted suicide prevention programs for LGBTQ2S+ communities.