Lyndsay Winegarden is a disabled, single mother, who is the founder of Stop Teenage Suicide, and an administrator on the Facebook groups The Equality Mantra and Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook. I asked Kevin O’Neil, the founder of Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook – Polari’s LGBT History Month Hero for Day 15 – if he would like to select a hero for the list and Lyndsay’s name was at the top of his list.
Lyndsay started to get involved with support groups on Facebook when her son started kindergarten. “I am unable to work with my disability and I really wanted to do something that could give back. I spent a lot of time on Facebook pages that helped others, and one day I got a message from a young transgender woman who was suicidal. I was struggling with what to tell her and how to help, I was terrified. At this point I knew I needed help so I sent a message to Kevin O’Neil, the creator of Wipeout Homophobia on Facebook. It was my favourite page and I knew he could help me. He gave me some wonderful advice, and thankfully the young woman did not take her life.”
That started Lyndsay’s active involvement as an admin for the group The Equality Mantra. It also led her to start Stop Teenage Suicide. Lyndsay is someone who had been bullied at school and suffered through it. She has experienced the stress and the depression that accompanies bullying first hand. She suffers with fibromyalgia – a condition that manifests itself with profound fatigue and pain – and yet maintains an active involvement helping others through the vehicle of Facebook.
Lyndsay is an amazing inspiration, and you can read more about her story in her own words on the Wipeout website. And I would encourage you to support the groups Stop Teenage Suicide: and The Equality Mantra.