You Are Not Alone; Learn To Accept Self
Dear Ann Landers: For the past few months, I have been thinking seriously about killing myself. I have tried to think of reasons not to, and the only one I can come up with is that it would cause my family a lot of grief.
I am 15 and feel so alone. I am scared. I feel worthless. The problem is I am absolutely certain that I am gay. At 15, a guy should be thinking about what he wants to do in life, not how to kill himself. I have always wanted to get married and have children, but I now know that lifelong dream is impossible. If there were some pill I could take to make all these sexual desires go away, I would gladly take it.
This isn’t the easiest letter to write, Ann. I have nobody to talk to, and I need your advice more than anything. I can’t talk to my mother because I am scared to death of how she would take it. Please, Ann, help me. I can’t go on this way much longer. - Hampton, Va.
Dear Hampton: You are not alone. According to some studies, an estimated 10 percent of individuals, worldwide, are homosexual. Did you know that Alexander the Great, Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, actor Rock Hudson, rock star Freddie Mercury, author Truman Capote, poet Allen Ginsberg and playwright Tennessee Williams were gay? They were outstanding in their fields and contributed a great deal to the world.
Homosexuals are born, not made. They cannot change themselves. You need counseling to help you accept yourself as you are. Your favorite teacher, school counselor or family doctor should be able to recommend someone who can help you.
You already have taken the first step by writing to me. Now keep going, and get yourself some supportive professional help. Write to the National Youth Advocacy Coalition, 1711 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 206, Washington, D.C. 20009. Good luck to you, dear.
Dear Ann Landers: I’m sure you will remember Sydney Harris who for many years wrote a wonderfully insightful column for the Chicago Daily News. I was a faithful fan of Harris’ and clipped many of his fine articles and filed them away for future reference.
This afternoon, I was re-reading some of those columns and came across one that seemed tailor-made for your readers. I hope you will print it. - D.S. in Chicago
Dear D.S.: Sydney Harris was a friend of mine, and it is with pleasure that I reprint the piece you sent. Many thanks. Here it is:
The difference between Winners and Whiners
The Whiner says, “I don’t know, and I’m sure nobody else knows, either.” The Winner says, “Let’s find out.”
When a Whiner makes a mistake, he says, “It wasn’t my fault.”
When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, “I’m responsible, and I’m going to see what can be done to set things right.”
A Winner feels responsible for more than his job calls for.
A Whiner says, “That’s not my department.”
A Winner says, “There ought to be a better way to do it.”
A Whiner says, “That’s the way it’s always been done. Why change?”
A Winner paces himself and rarely bites off more than he can chew.
A Whiner has only two speeds - hysterical and lethargic.
A Winner says, “I could be a lot better, and I’m going to try to improve.”
The Whiner says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”