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corner Bruce David Michaels 1 corner



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Better Dead Than Gay?


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rose Bruce David Michaels

March 26, 1971
October 8, 1992


How a 21-Year-Old boy put an end to his life, as he cannot accept being Gay

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Suicides are often homophobia induced, as it has been for Bruce, a 21-year-old male.

He traveled from Florida to the Grand Canyon where, at No Name Point, a 450-feet jump put an end to his life.

A short note identified the reason for his death:

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm sorry it had to end this way but it was my fate. I couldn't handle life anymore.

You see, the reason I ran away before to commit suicide is the same reason I did again. I'm gay. I never wanted to be and I always wished it would change, but it didn't. I wanted to live a normal life but God created me this way for some reason and there was nothing I could do to change it. I was born this way, believe me I would not choose this way of life for I know how hard and unaccepted it is.

I'm painfully sorry you all had to deal with this but I couldn't deal with it. This way I could live a peaceful afterlife instead of a life of fear, agony, and manic depressiveness. Please realize I did not want to hurt anyone I just wanted to end my own pain.

I love you all dearly and will someday see you all again hopefully with your understanding hearts and souls. I just hope God will bring me to heaven.

Love always and eternally,

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(Roz Michaels, his Mother, Note)

Bruce's suicide note was a shocking testament to the horrible truth... he was forever lost to us and had silently suffered years of painful confusion. A simple explanation -- he was gay and he was committing suicide. He wrote it for our understanding and to say 'goodbye' with love, but reading it was like drinking acid. As keeping his homosexuality a secret became his 'poison', his suicide has become mine. You don't lose someone like Bruce without losing a great part of yourself.

I'd never imagined before Bruce's death how losing someone could go beyond what I'd experienced in losing my father. I thought I'd felt the deepest grief and sense of loss I could ever know. But as much as it left an empty place in my heart, I accepted it. We prepare all our lives for our parents' demise, and usually suffer the loss over and over in our minds before it even happens. We think about it, we dread it, we realize it's as inevitable as our own deaths. So there is some mental preparation and natural understanding that each generation has its time. Of course, not always. People die young, many have, but not for me... not till Bruce.

Losing your child hasn't a drop of 'anything natural' to it. Nature builds in this need to nurture and protect your children. They hurt... you hurt. Their pains, their sorrows, their well-being you feel with them like no other person you love. Whatever happens to them, happens to you. Then there's the matter of how you lose your child. Suicide is devastating. There's nothing 'natural' about it. It's not the result of the body breaking down by disease, it's not an untimely accident even. When it's a choice a person makes to end their human existence to escape from seemingly unsolvable problems, then it's a mistake.

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The suicide note was sent to me by his mother, Roz Michaels, and is reproduced with her permission.

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