connectedness

This story about how a bookstore full of people talked a gay man out of self-harm will warm your heart

A man questioning his sexuality may have been able to turn the page on a dark chapter in his life–thanks to the impromptu heroics of the manager and customers of an LGBTQ bookstore.

The story has been going viral ever since Twitter user @TweetChizone–who says he’s a gay 40-year-old from Chicago–responded to a thread about random acts of kindness.

Related: This random act of kindness towards a gay couple will help restore your faith in humanity

“Oh God I can’t even tell this story and not cry,” he began. “I used to manage an LGBT bookstore, when bookstores were still a thing. One night, a caller says he thinks he might be gay and is considering self-harm. We were not a crisis center! But as long as we’re talking, he’s safe, right?”

@TweetChizone said he talked to the guy and answered his questions, while “maybe sounding a little frantic” and “definitely ignoring the 4-5 customers in the store.” One of those customers was an “angel of a woman,” a 50-something lesbian, who put her hand on the manager’s shoulder and simply said, “My turn.”

That woman took the phone and started talking to the distressed man. “And a LINE FORMS BEHIND HER,” @TweetChizone says. “Every customer in that store knows that call, knows that feeling, and every person takes a turn talking to that man. That story comforts me so much to this day.”

The story pulled at the heartstrings of many Twitter users, some of whom have similar experiences.

“So many of us have found safety or provided care in LGBT bookstores,” one wrote. “I hope they never go away. Thank you. And thank you for this story and gentle reminder of our connectedness.”

“Stories like this make me a believer there is more good in the world than bad,” said another.

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After his tweet made the rounds on social media, @TweetChizone asked users to follow @TrevorProject and to donate money to the organization–which, by the way, provides help and resources to anyone considering suicide or self-harm. Call 866-488-7386 or visit thetrevorproject.org.