Cry Wolf is an organization dedicated to saving lives and empowering youth.
As I’ve watched so many young people give in to the pressure of society and end their lives, I am vividly reminded of my own suicidal tendencies as a young fantabulous kid growing up in working class Detroit.
I was alone period.
This was the truth. Did I have people around who loved me ? Probably. Could I discuss my feeling and share my insecurities around being different, found out, brutalized ? I’m sad to say no. It is possible that care and the need to live untruthfully can coexist.
I often wonder what would have happened had I been encouraged to fully develop my talents and gone where ever they led me.
I did not spend my teen years in total bliss, worrying about the prom, SAT scores and the ways in which the world would embrace me. Instead, after losing my grandfather , I started hatching a plan of escape.
I was seven.
While other boys played football and kissed girls, I developed crushes on the few remaining white boys in our neighborhood, read Shakespeare and dreamed of moving to NYC to be “free”.
When the dream of getting away seemed impossible, I often thought of ending my life. It wasn’t that I was filled with self hatred. It seemed like the only option to end the pain and fear. What I truly needed was unavailable from my family of origin.
According to everyone I knew, homosexuality didn’t exist or if it did it better be as the punch line of a very funny joke.
It is difficult to maintain self esteem when your favorite Aunt tells you God has come up with something to “deal” with gays who want to do things their way.
Somehow, I persevered. I made it.
Others didn’t. I often think of what I would tell young people. I often think what I would say and how would it best be said and then heard by them. This is often followed by the realization that what is needed is being overlooked. That young people do not need one more well meaning ,all knowing adult offering tales of yesteryear and outdated , pointless advice.
I have realized that young people need the same thing that I needed.
That some things never change.
Young people need us to shut the hell up, offer compassionate listening and assistance in navigating the always treacherous and volatile world of coming to adulthood.
Cry Wolf is dedicated to assisting young people by listening to them and offering them the things that their families of origin and society at large is unable or unwilling to offer.
I am launching a twelve week mentoring program that consists of one month of self esteem building, one month of financial knowledge and finally one month of examining and redefining the all too familiar weapon of oppression and isolation, consumerism.
Will you join me ? Please leave comments, suggestions and offers of help.