JANE'S ADDICTION guitarist Dave Navarro has penned an open letter to bullied gay, bi and transgender teens urging them to seek counseling before giving up and choosing to commit suicide.
In an open letter posted on his web site, Navarro writes, "OK, everybody, here is the deal.
"I cannot imagine what it's like growing up in a closed-minded environment and being gay, bi or tans-gender. I don't think any of us who aren't can possibly imagine. The strength and character it must take to stay true to yourself in such an unforgiving microcosm are qualities that a major portion of the world lacks… Sad, but true. It's just how it is at the moment. However, it's that very strength and character that gives the world hope for a new way of thinking and acceptance in the future and when one of our children gives in and gives up, it is not only a tragedy but a victory for those who fear diversity.
"DO NOT LET THEM WIN!
"I know how overwhelming the feelings can get and how small the reality can feel, but the bottom line is that this is but a drop in the bucket in terms of the magnitude of life. You can get through this.
"High school is full of plenty of bullies and fear-based hate, as is the world.
"With any group of people comes a percentage of people who just don't get it and probably will never get it. That's OK. We all deal with this to an extent. The truth is that in high school, you are kind of stuck in the group you are a part of until graduation, but trust me… You can pick and choose who you associate with and there are plenty of like-minded people in the world that are understanding, accepting and loving. Sometimes we just have to stick it out to meet them.
"The hard cold reality is that once you have chosen suicide, that's it. No going back. Sure, there is a public outcry and MAYBE the bullies feel remorse for a while, but it all dies down, life goes on, the bullies let the memory fade and get on with their lives. They learn to laugh, love, reach their goals and in many cases go on to have a full and productive life. Who loses? You do! Your family! Your friends! Other teens who need support in this area! Oh yeah… We all lose! Now the world has one less mind that is open and different and unique and sensitive. Instead, we inherit the bullies, the fear, the setback… Our world has one less soul to help it evolve with a new level of clarity.
"Personally, I have seen a lot of darkness and tragedy that has felt insurmountable. The murder of my mother, my battle with drug addiction, the loss of friends and family. Utter depression and despair. Of course the thought of suicide has crossed my mind a time or two.
"Let me share this. THANK GOD I never took that action. The friends I have made, the experiences I have had, the laughter I have shared would have all been missed. In hindsight, some of my darkest moments now seem so small and insignificant that I am amazed I gave them so much power at the time. I am even able to laugh about it now.
"When I think back to the times I have considered ending it all I end up saying to myself, 'What was I thinking?'
"To those of you contemplating such a course, please do us a favor. Seek counseling first. Find a network of people who have gone through what you are going through. Help others in even more turmoil than you. I am certain that you can find peace.
"As you know, our society and political climate is SO divided right now. We need your voice. The world at large needs your sheer existence in order to come to terms with itself and where we are going as a planet and species."