My Letter To The World, by Kyle's Mom

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

"This is my letter to the world. Please, let the divisive "better than you" mentality end. Stop the "us vs them". Using race, religion, age, ethnicity, financial status, physical, mental, or cognitive ability, body shape, language, sexuality, gender identification, or any other criteria to justify inequality or superiority over another human being is in the least, misguided, and at most, horrific. The burden to endeavor to understand someone who is different, marginalized, and/or hurting is our responsibility if we want to consider ourselves a compassionate species. It is not easy to understand all walks of life - we are so unique - but we should continue to try.


Our family is not a stranger to isolation caused by stigma, rejection because of religious convictions, and simple fear of the unknown. I had held up the LGBTQ community as undeserving of fear or discrimination for years but did not personally truly understand the pain of rejection until my son entered the school system in the 90's. For a much different situation than the LGBTQ community, but comparable as you will see, for the first time I personally felt the effects of hatred, misunderstanding, rejection, and inequality. I finally found my voice to express my anger, and my conviction that people, are people, are people.

My son Kyle tried his whole life to fit in, to feel loved, to make friends, to not be isolated or segregated by others because he was different. You wouldn't know it when you first met him as he was handsome as sin, intelligent, witty, and could talk circles around you but he struggled with severe mental illness and was on the autism spectrum. It was invisible and complicated. We hurt for him. He cried all the time. I cried for him all the time. If you listen to your child cry because the world makes fun of who he is then you want to change the world, because THEY are wrong. We wanted others to try to understand him, to reach out. Instead, doors closed. I searched for more ways to explain who he was to him and to the world. I wanted the world to embrace him too! My young Kyle was bullied and teased and ridiculed. My adult Kyle put an "I don't need you" mask on but he continued to try to be included and still felt "less than".

I will never know or be able to categorize the pain of his wounds. I cannot tell him this anymore as he died last year at the age of 21, so I'll say it to you, if you need to hear it: You are beautiful, you matter, I see you, you are not invisible. You are not "less than" anyone. You deserve equality. You deserve to be protected from discrimination. Despite the hurts inflicted against you for your differences, strive to be kind anyway. No matter your struggle you are not undeserving of love. Reach out for help and help where you can. Speak up so others know they are not alone. You are not alone. Maybe someday the world will collectively realize that for all our differences we are actually all the same.


With my 'hole' heart,
Kyle's Mom"



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