When Grace Kim was suicidal, she was faced with a choice: She could end her life, or she could give herself one more chance to truly live.
It was by no means an easy decision to make. Grace had struggled with her sexual identity since the age of 4, and after years of being told that being gay was a sin, it began to take its toll — even leading her to abuse substances just to cope.
At the end of her rope, Grace tried to think of something to hold onto. Trying to recall the best day of her life, she realized she didn’t have one. That’s when she had a simple but profound idea — that day could be today.
“I decided to give myself one last day,” she said. She headed into San Francisco, where she hopped on a cable car and rode around the city, simply being present and enjoying every moment.
By the end of that day, she realized something. Not only had it been the best day she’d ever had, but that simple shift in her perspective that allowed her to find joy — joy she was all but convinced was impossible.
Inspired by the best day of her life, Grace wanted to keep up the momentum.
For 100 days straight, she tried a new activity from her bucket list — which included skydiving, giving a TEDx Talk, and even hitting on a girl for the first time — all in an effort to live her best life, one day at a time.
With a new lease on life, Grace then decided to give the gift of “best days” to other LGBTQ people like her who struggle with suicidal thoughts.
Creating the Best Day Project, Grace invited other queer and transgender people to share something they’ve always wanted to do, big or small, with the chance to win their own “best day” with Grace’s help.
So far, Grace has made eight of those dreams come true, with ambitions to create many more. For LGBTQ youth, who are almost five times more likely to attempt suicide than their cisgender and straight peers, Grace’s work couldn’t be more vital.
One day might not change their entire lives, but as Grace’s journey shows us, one extraordinary moment can help us remember what makes life worth living.
“[Sometimes it] seems like there’s no hope,” she explains. “But there’s always hope if you’re alive.”