Real Life Stories and letters shared with us by our community, including emails that users have given us permission to post.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I need help - 14yrs - North Western Area of New York

As many of you know we get a lot of emails -- people thanking us for producing the song, asking for advice, offering help etc. Occasionally we get mail from people needing more than just a bit of advice. When this happens we, with consent and full anonymity, appeal to our community in hopes they can offer their advice and support, as well as utilise their (your) combined knowledge. If you can help please leave a comment or email us with "Letter of L - 14yrs NY response" in the subject line. Thanks.

The full, unedited email:

Hi. My names ****** and I'm 14. I am a lesbian. I have a girlfriend. We live in a very conservative area of New York, USA. We're out to the school but my parents don't know. My parents won't know until I am 18 and can support myself. We have been dealing with bullying in our school since day 1. Our principal and guidance counselors won't help us. Their only advice was to break up and find boyfriends and forget who we are. There is no support group in our community at all. The bullying keeps getting worse and worse. We have no where to go. I've tried emailing so many places and groups... none have every replied. I heard the song and it instantly made me cry. You guys seem different from the other groups I've tried contacting. Both my girlfriend and I deal with depression and self harm related to the bullying. I want to know what we can do. I'm so close to giving up. Everywhere I reach out for support has turned me down. Please help me. I don't know what to do anymore.

Our big sister response:

Hi ******, 

First thing is, don't give up.

I'm sorry to hear about the absolute lack of support you've had. Your story is not at all uncommon, but it sounds like you've done everything you can to seek that support, which is admirable.

Given your age I also understand the restrictions placed on you regarding finding the help you need. You seem to have a very sensible head on your shoulders, however. Already making plans about how to ensure your future is better, and preparing for potentially difficult times ahead regarding your coming out to your parents.

What you do have is access to the internet, which has brought you here. As you know, we're based in the UK, so knowing the right direction to send you in over in NY won't be easy. But that doesn't mean we can't do it!

What you need is to find a supportive online group with people who know your area well. We will do what we can to help you find that.

In order for me to do that I need to know if you'd be happy with my posting you mail to us, completely anonymously of course, on our blog site? This way we can appeal to people in/around your area with better knowledge than us. And also, you'll see from the responses how many people want to help!

Let me know

Additional note: 
Since this email our projecteer in need and her girlfriend have indeed broken up. Let's get her the support she needs, and hopefully her ex-girlfriend too.

Disclaimer: We must stress that we are just human beings trying to help, we are not counselors, therapists, psychologists or psychiatrists. But we do have some pearls of wisdom on occasion, and we also have an incredibly supportive home here. If you feel you have advice to offer, feel free to comment below, as always. It's important no-one feels alone, that's what this project is all about after all.

Note: All correspondence is reproduced here without editing, except to protect the users identity. Please excuse all typos and other faults you may find. When emotion is high, grammar is a low priority.

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