Trigger warning: discussion of suicidal thoughts.
Grace Kim knows what it's like to want to commit suicide — and what it's like to decide to keep on living.
Grace (who identifies as gender questioning and uses they/them pronouns) knew they were gay at 4 years old but, growing up in a conservative religious family, told no one. "I was so scared of letting my secret out that I stopped talking," Grace explains of the 20 years they spent selectively mute. "I was completely suicidal. I gave up."
The day before Grace planned to commit suicide, Grace decided to have the best day of their life. "I just went around San Francisco, my hometown, just trying to be happy for one more day, and I actually had the best day of my life," Grace says.
That day — the best day ever — saved Grace's life.
Now, Grace helps other LGBTQ people celebrate being alive by bringing their "best day ever" dreams to life.
"Gender is a socially constructive concept, and it shouldn't just dictate what people like in this life," Grace says. "And if we all acknowledge that, then I think a lot of kids growing up now won't have to go through what I did."
In the video below, Grace shares their emotional story and how it inspired the creation of the Best Day Project, an LGBTQ youth suicide prevention organization:
For those struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.