A teenager in the US has shared the heartbreaking letter he left for his parents, who refused to accept him as gay, before fleeing home.
“There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t cried or struggled to find the energy to get out of bed,” Mendez writes in the note. “This doesn’t feel like a home and I don’t think it ever will.”
“You have accused me of being a bad person, of being an embarrassment, and telling me I have a psychological disorder. I don’t think you guys will ever understand what it’s like to hear that from your own parents and how harmful and damaging it is to a child.”
The teen continues, recounting the time his parents attempted to “cure” him of homosexuality.
“The other day you asked me what parents were for,” he writes. “Parents are supposed to love and accept their children unconditionally.”
“It took me a lifetime to get to a point where I’m happy and secure with who I am and it breaks my hear that the two people that have supported me my entire life do not accept me when I’m finally happy with who I am. It pains me that you both can’t put aside your personal opinions and views and just love and accept me for who I am.”
“I’m leaving because I refuse to become another statistic,” Mendez tells his parents, listing the LGBTIQ+ suicide statistics.
Mendez finishes the letter by telling his parents not to contact him unless they decide to accept him for who he is. In a follow-up tweet, he said that they hadn’t made contact since he left.
Currently currently staying with a friend and looking for work, the teen was quick to explain that he wasn't looking for sympathy.
“I’m not sharing this for pity or for attention but because I know there are people out there just like me who are scared and stuck in abusive homes and I want to be an example that you’re never stuck and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” he tweeted.
Members of the community were quick to rally behind the young man, posting messages of support and encouragement.
"I have a wonderful life without my parents," one Twitter user shared. "I have a man that loves me dearly. It took me a long time to get financially secure but I’m there. You’re a very courageous man. Never stop being who you are for anyone."