When I read about the two young Maryland girls found dead in a secluded area in West Virginia it broke my heart. There are still many questions to be answered about their deaths, but one thing seems very clear to me -- they were in love.
Rachel Smith, 16, and Rachel Crites, 18, were found side by side in a car parked on a remote trail near the West Virginia border. It was apparent the two did not want to be found.
Officials called the deaths apparent suicides, as there were no signs of trauma.
Troy Crites, father of the elder teenager, described how he had examined his daughter's diary and found a disturbing entry that alluded to her death.
"Wherever I end up laying, whether buried or cremated, I want to stay with my true love, buried next to her," it said. "This is my choice. I'm sorry."We will probably never know why these two girls made this tragic decision, but we do know that lesbian and gay youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people.
Our society needs to wake up and realize there is nothing wrong, or immoral, about being lesbian or gay. Some people have brown hair, some are left handed and some are gay. And whether or not a person believes they were "born gay", or made a conscious choice to be lesbian or gay, there is nothing wrong with it.
If you are a teen and questioning whether or not you are lesbian or gay there are people you can talk to. Here are just a few of the resources available to you:
OutProud, The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth
Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL)
National Youth Advocacy Coalition
National Queer Student Coalition
Advocates for Youth
For parents who think their child might be lesbian or gay, there are resources for you, too: