I want to demonstrate to our children the absolute importance of loving themselves. Celebrating and being proud of all that they are. We lost our son Baylin to suicide last year. He was gay. He hated who he was. In my letter he said “the reason I am here is because I couldn’t come to terms with who I was”. That’s unacceptable. No child should feel this about themselves. We started Baylin’s Gift. Our goal is to provide awareness and support in our small rural town. Both mental health and diversity are the two most stigmatised areas. The one’s no one wants to talk about. So we are. Baylin was also indigenous. Failing to find his community or the place that he felt he fitted. Providing young people with that community where they feel safe and accepted is vital. More needs to be done to promote self love and acceptance of yourself and others within our education system. We are losing young people because they feel they don’t fit in. So much social media contributes to this. That won’t change. So as a community WE need to change. The suicide rates of young people won’t be dropping significantly any time soon. As parent’s we do what we can, but community needs to back us up. We need to show our young LGBTQI people that there is a place for you in our community. You ARE valued. You DO contribute. You ARE safe. And most importantly you are VERY welcome.
Hayley Hoskins | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hayley Hoskins is a mother of 4 biological children and 2 foster children. A stay at home mum for over 20 years until the loss of her eldest twin boy. Now focuses on youth mental health and diversity in her rural town of Kempsey NSW.