D was my first everything gay.
My first kiss. My first real sexual experience. My first up-all-night-talking, laughing, kissing. The first person I knew who was completely out, parents included. My first love, my first jealousy fit, my first role model.
When he broke up with me, for the first time, I experienced this horrible physical pain to the heart that everybody who’s ever been heartbroken knows about.
A month after we broke up, he swallowed a fuckload of pills, grabbed a copy of “Le Petit Prince” and went to bed.
He was also the first person I know who committed suicide.
I found his body the next day, along with a long, eloquent letter talking about lots of things, but mostly about his broken relationship with his parents, and his ongoing struggle with his sexuality. He ended the letter with this:
“In the future, I see nothing but pain. That’s enough of a reason to end things now.”
This post is not about D’s suicide. I’ll deal with that in another entry, maybe. This is about the effect it had on me.
There’s something horrifying about finding a dead person, and it is completely devastating when that person was a role model of yours for how to live openly as a gay man.
This was my first real wake-up call.
I first had to deal with the trauma of his death, and then I had to deal with my sexuality to make sure we don’t meet the same end.
I’m a firm believer that we make our own happiness. It may be ridiculously hard to do so, but we have the power to take a step back, and that’s important. (Forgive me while I sound like a self-help book for a second)
I now had a choice: dive deep into depression and follow in D’s footsteps, or take ownership of my life, my happiness, my feelings, my fears, my self-hate, my insecurities.
I decided not to overthink D’s decision. If he saw nothing but darkness, I think he was being shortsighted. We all go through dark days. Some of us go through darker days, and gay people probably go through a bit more.
But there’s always something positive, something happy, something good out there. We just need to hang on long enough to discover that.
D’s death was the first day of my new life.
It is the day I realized that, even in complete darkness, I knew it was temporary.
In the future, I could see happiness at the end of the tunnel. That was enough of a reason to stick around.