It Was Difficult Growing Up In Texarkana

Jimmy Pope Personal Stories

It was difficult growing up in Texarkana, I almost didn’t survive. At one point in my life, I was so depressed and felt so much self-hatred I actually considered suicide, which should tell everyone something about growing up gay in Texarkana. This town can be nice yet unforgiving and it cuts so deep. I know the terror of forgetting where you are and placing your arm around your boyfriends back then jerking it away because you are in public. The fear that comes from holding hands on a simple walk looking out for the attack. These are things most people take for granted, simple acts of love between two people. The dread and terror of hoping you won’t be kicked out of your home when you come out to your parents. The feeling of isolation and sadness not having anyone I could confide in to tell them how I felt. The self-loathing every time I heard someone say fag, queer, homo, and to be told I was going to hell because of love. I felt so much despair, yet in a sense I was lucky. I made it on my own. My parents turned out to be understanding, when I got to college I made friends who took me in with open arms. But what about the ones who aren’t so lucky? Now I stay up at night worrying about the ones who are having it harder than me. The ones whose parents aren’t supportive. The ones who follow through with suicide. I want to help them. No, I need to help them! We all need to be there for those having a hard time. Those that feel they are in despair and have no one to talk to about how they feel. Please help me and all the other members of Equality Texarkana make the change we need in Texarkana.