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Prayers for Bobby has got to be one of the most poignant movies ever produced. When I watched it the first time I must have cried about 80% of the time.  I watched it a second time and this time I didn’t cry quite as much and so I was able to understand the speeches more.  Because of that, I feel I can write about how I felt that I could relate to many of the points that Bobby experienced in his life.  

You can use the following link to watch the entire movie here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys5TyY8RaxI

The first thing that I can relate to is the feelings of suicide. Bobby killed himself by jumping off a highway overpass and died when he was hit by a transport truck below.

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I have had a few suicidal incidents in my life. When I was around 19-20 and 25-26 I had two major depressive episodes. 

The first happened during my freshman year at York University in Toronto, Ontario. 

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I was so paralyzed in my freshman year. I spent pretty much all of my time in my residence room in Calumet College. I was overwhelmed with fear. I just knew that without a university education I would have absolutely no future. I would end up flipping hamburgers or something menial, so I just had to get straight A’s. I had to be perfect. The problem was that I took this perfectionism to a ridiculous level of obsession. 

Could I have friends? Nope! That would be socializing and hence a waste of time. I should be studying. Could I eat food? Nope! That is a waste of time. I should be studying. Socializing and eating are just a waste of time. I need to be studying. Study, study, study. And that is all I did. 

The problem, as I am sure you can guess, was that I became miserable and sick. I lost a lot of weight. I think if I remember correctly, I went from maybe 130 pounds down to about 95 pounds at the end of the first semester. 

As they say, when it rains it pours, I also had a horrific acne breakout on my face. I am not talking about your normal teenage acne, I am talking about full blow acne to the point of which my face was so swollen I could not talk. I still remember vividly going to my freshman political science exam and I could not talk. I could not use my mouth. I had to go afterwards to see a doctor on campus to get some drugs. I insisted that she give me more antibiotics. So I was hideous to look at. Obviously this made me feel really bad on the inside. And of course at this time I had a secret crush on one of the guys in my political science class. In fact, he was one of my group members and he had such a beautiful face. 

I made a New Year’s resolution that year that I would turn around and do better second semester. I remember one day very vividly. I said to myself, I have to eat food. I remember walking to the Student Centre area (I think that is what they call). 

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I went to the KFC (which doesn’t exist there now) and I ordered some really greasy food. “Fulsome” is the ostentatious word graduate students might use to describe what I ate 😛 I remember being so weak, remember I had wasted away to about 95 pounds. I was shaking. I was sitting at those elevated stools they had back then (they don’t seem to exist at present) and my legs would shake. But for me that was a watershed moment. At this point forward I started to eat at least two meals a day. I was so proud of myself. I was starting to treat myself better. 

So second semester was a watershed moment. Second year was so much better for me! In fact, the rest of my experiences at York University were great! I think of years 2 through 4 as being wonderful experiences. 

I wish I had someone to turn to. But it is how I am. When I get scared and when I get into “panic mode” I have a penchant for withdrawing. I hide in my little shell. 

After I finished my Master’s degree at Brock University I moved to Hamilton, Ontario. I am from the Niagara Region, on the “east side” with the river just down the street. So moving to Hamilton was like moving to the neighboring county to the west of Niagara. 

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I don’t want to tell you what happened in Hamilton but I almost killed myself by jumping off a highway overpass in this city. It was an overpass going over the Lincoln Alexander Parkway, which is basically an “interstate” type highway. I had also thought about stabbing myself to death or pouring gasoline on myself and burning myself to death. 

So I can definitely relate to Bobby. He apparently jumped off an overpass over Interstate 405. And I was thinking of doing the same thing with an overpass over the Lincoln Alexander Parkway. It seemed to make sense because I often would go to the Lime Ridge Mall and the buses–I think they were bus routes 35 and 36–would go over top of the Parkway. It was like a big gigantic “loop” route from downtown where I lived to the mall and a loop around, so you could cross the Parkway twice. 

Then there is Bobby and his mom. 

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When I came out of the closet to my mom, she reacted in a similar way. My mom and dad are both Christians. Although they don’t actually go to church, they do like to watch television evangelists. It is why we own so many copies of books by Joel Osteen, John Hagee, Joyce Meyers and a few others, but I forget them off the top of my head. My mom had me read some of them when I was feeling depressed before. When I came out, my mom reacted with the same lines that Bobby got such as “I don’t want to talk about it.” 

I think it is a shock to a mother’s “world view.” Look at Bobby’s mom. She was living in her “Christian bubble.” When Bobby comes out as a gay man, her entire world was shaken to the core. I think that is what I did to my mom. Her entire worldview was that someday I would produce grand kids for her so she could be a grandma. I remember how she often would kid around with me about how I would meet a beautiful girl with blond hair and blue eyes and have beautiful kids–because remember I am absolutely adorable. No foolin’ 😛 

Another reason why I can relate to Bobby is when it comes to dreams. One of the things I just love doing is writing. For me, writing is one of the few things that brings me joy. As I write this entry, I have tears in my eyes. But they are tears of happiness because it makes me happy to write about my experiences to you. I used to be so secretive in my personal life, so writing about my personal life for you, my readers, makes me feel like I have progressed in my life. Now I don’t feel ashamed of myself. And because I feel this way, I feel good about writing about my experiences. 

Writing means so much to me, and it meant so much to Bobby. Becoming a writer was one of Bobby’s dreams and it is one of mine. I would love to be able to just write every day. It makes me so happy. One thing that saddens me is I will write to different LGBTQ organizations in both Canada and the USA saying, just let me volunteer and let me help you out and I get nowhere with them. Let me write and research for you for free. But I get nowhere with them. So I am going to do it myself on my own blog, because I am so tired of trying. I am so tired of writing and writing to people, just let me use my talents for free. 

So this entry is part of my desire to write about LGBTQ issues. And I will keep doing so on my blog. 

I dedicate this entry to Bobby. I love you, and I know that we will always remember your life. ❤

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