The biggest decision some of us may have faced over the long weekend might have been which dance party to attend or which footy team to back. But for many, the stakes were higher.

For many, every day is a living hell — and it may be their last.

Off the back of Stephanie Rice’s appalling Twitter gaffe, rapper and former felon 50 Cent tweeted: “If you a man over 25 and you don’t eat pussy just kill yourself damn it. The world will be a better place.”

Ellen DeGeneres, however, has publicly appealed for the homophobia to stop, before any more lives are lost in a heartbreaking string of suicides triggered by schoolyard and cyber-bullying.

I’ve spoken about this before. But it can’t be said enough. World Suicide Prevention Day passed recently. Most were too absorbed in the upcoming long weekend or Commonwealth Games to notice.

The Greens have vowed to help. The Gillard Government made a pre-election pledge of more than $22 million to tackle suicide in at-risk groups. Let’s hold them to that. RIP Mandy Rollins.

When I learned that an old friend had committed suicide, it wasn’t a shock. He’d been tormented at school. I sometimes wonder if there was something I could have done. But the signs aren’t always so obvious.

It may be hard to fathom the depths people sink to in their grapple with depression, but if you suspect someone is suicidal, please do something. Anything. You could save a life.

According to Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA), 65,000 Australians attempt suicide each year. Suicide is the leading cause of death for GLBTI youth. With statistics as sobering as this, surely we need more aggressive suicide and bullying prevention campaigns.

Why are we letting our gay, lesbian and gender diverse youth die?

If you’re doing it tough, know that things will get better. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Yes, you might be different. But what’s ‘normal’ anyway? Your diversity is awesome.

50 Cent’s comments are reckless and uncool. Anyone suggesting otherwise is part of the problem. You are not alone. There’s a community of like-minded people with open hearts and minds. Remember that without the rain, there’d be no flowers.

At the very least, give yourself a chance to bloom.

info: If you’re contemplating suicide, contact Lifeline’s 24-hour service on 13 11 14.

The Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service can be reached on 8594 9596. Young GLBTI people can also contact Twenty10 for assistance on 1800 65 2010.

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