A girl responded on Twitter with a screenshot of a text from her mother, where her own mother said she wished her daughter was one of the victims in the shooting. My heart sank again. I am so lucky to have a loving, accepting family now that I forget what it was like when that wasn’t the case. When I wasn’t able to text my mom about these things, or feel comfortable being myself. When I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to. So many other people starting responding to the girl saying they relate, and they're going through the same thing. How? It’s 2016, how are so kids still going through this? This is so wrong.

I decided to open my Twitter DMs. I tweeted:


I received over 500 DMs within 15 minutes. And they were so heartbreaking. These kids telling me how scared they are, how they feel so alone, how they can’t be themselves because they fear for their lives, how their parents won’t accept them, how they don’t want to come out because of the shooting and they don’t feel safe, how they have no one to talk to, how they feel broken, how they feel like they’re not normal, how they don’t feel accepted, how they live in countries where it’s illegal to be gay and they can be killed, how I’m the first person they’ve ever told because they can’t talk to anyone else.

Of all the messages I got, the one that hit the hardest was from a kid in the South saying:

"You know, I could just leave. Not talk to my family anymore. But I love them. No matter how hateful they can be. No matter what they say about me. I love them. I don't understand why it's so hard for them to do the same. Just love me back.”


"Just love me back.” This kid just fucking wants to be loved back. How is that something anyone should have to ask for?

Parents, please just love your kids. It’s not something you should have to be asked to do. Let them know you accept them. Let them know you love them. Let them know it’s okay to be who they are. I’m sure there are things you don’t understand, especially if you were raised differently, in a different time. I understand that. But do not let that get in the way of loving and supporting your children. Educate yourself, learn about what it means to be LGBTQ. Your kids should not ever feel like they can’t talk to you.


And to the LGBTQ kids: Every single one of you, no matter where you are, no matter how old you are, no matter what you are going through, no matter if you are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, pansexual, asexual: you are loved. There are so many people going through the same things as you are. I know you are terrified, I know you feel lost. But you are not alone. We live is a scary world, but our community is so strong. There will always be more love than there is hate in this world. The world is changing. And love will win. We accept you, we love you, and we are here for you. You will always be welcome. We are a family. We are fighting for you, and we are rooting for you.


These kids have no one to turn to. Why are we not doing more to help them? Why are we not letting them know we are here fighting for them? This is a time where we can not be silent. We need to stand up, we need to fight. We need to be a community. We need to be the gayest we have ever been.

I have been living my life openly for a long time, but I never actually came out. I never thought I would have to. But I now see the importance in living openly, being proud, and the power in saying “I’m gay. I understand what you’re going through, and you’re not alone.”


I will no longer neglect my platform. I will no longer live in fear of being "too gay." I am very gay. and I am very proud. And from the bottom of my heart, I love you all. I am here for you. I hope this rambling somehow makes you feel a little less alone in this big dumb stupid world.

My DMs on Twitter will remain open to anyone. Please DM me if you need to talk.

- Elijah

Elijah Daniel is a comedian and writer living in Los Angeles.