This touching story about a man in crisis calling a LGBTQ bookstore for help is going viral: 'That gave me chills'

Kristine Solomon
Style and Beauty Writer
An entire bookstore rallied to come to the aid of a man who thought he might be gay and was considering self-harm. (Photo: Getty Images)

When asked by a person on Twitter recently, “What is the kindest thing a stranger has done or said to you?” one user told a story about a man who randomly called an LGBTQ bookstore while in crisis — and what happened next has melted the hearts of an entire online community.

A man in Chicago, who uses the Twitter handle @TweetChizone, shared the story in three tweets.

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The man spoke about a person in crisis who called the bookstore he was managing at the time in desperation and accidentally turned it into an impromptu crisis call center when everyone in the shop rallied around the caller.


 


The manager tried, at first, to take it upon himself to act as a crisis counselor to the caller, who was considering self-harm because he thought he might be gay. “I answer questions,” he wrote. “And I try to be encouraging and I’m maybe sounding a little frantic.” 

At that moment, one of the very customers he was worried about ignoring stepped in to relieve him of his duties, and offer advice from a lesbian’s point of view.

“My turn,” she said. The rest of the customers in the store followed suit, lining up to lend an ear to the desperate caller.

“That story comforts me to this day,” the poster wrote.


The reaction to the story was swift and heartfelt.








The man behind the tweet responded to the viral frenzy on Wednesday with a humble request for any new followers who found him via the viral story. He asked them to follow and, if possible, donate money to The Trevor Project, a national 24-hour, toll-free and confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.


According to The Trevor Project, suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people ages 10 to 24 — and gay and lesbian youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide as heterosexual youth.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or self harm, you can connect with The Trevor Project by calling (866)-488-7386 or by visiting thetrevorproject.org.

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