I GREW up in a small country town.
Back then, there wasn't much in the way of information on LGBTIQ, and certainly not accessible to a 12-year-old, even if the 12-year-old knew what they were even looking for.
There certainly wasn't anything at school. So, I hid.
I couldn't talk to my parents; they were clear about their position on this issue.
If, this program (Safe Schools) had been in place, the secrecy, the hiding, the pain and the difficulties I and others have faced, would have been different.I understand the statistics of suicide being high, it doesn't surprise me.
Being born gay is not a crime, or in an individual's control.
How we, as an educated society deals with it is a choice, and one education and safe school programs such as this can help to demystify.
Fear is the basis of the problem as I see it, from both sides of the fence.
When an issue causes youth to suicide, it needs to be addressed today.
* Name withheld at author's request.