A Freshman Friend
I have a friend who is a freshman in high school while I’m a senior. We met and slowly began to form a friendship when we both joined the school’s musical production. While I heard from other people that he was gay, I wanted to personally talk to him about it so that at least I wasn’t making assumptions. For three months I would have some conversations with him, but they were not the one I wanted.
Finally, it was the last night of our show and we were alone in our dressing room, waiting for our parts to come up. He looked really depressed so I decided to gently pry. He flat out told me that he was having problems in school because of the fact that he was gay. While that confirmed my thoughts about him, the sadness in his eyes just broke my heart. He explained various things that made him feel uncomfortable, two of which were not having any guy friends and a boy plainly saying to him that he didn’t want to sit next to him in the bus because he was gay.
Here he was, a mere 15 year old going through hardships that I nor most of the students of our school didn’t face. I admire him for his strength and for being honest about himself, something that others like me couldn’t do. Now that the musical is over, I barely see him and I don’t get to talk to him at all. I constantly worry about him, hoping that nothing terrible will happen to him each day.
If people gave a damn, my friend wouldn’t have to endure three more years of torture for the rest of his high school career. If people gave a damn, he would be able to smile everyday and I wouldn’t have to worry that another student was tormenting him.
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Hatred. Derision. Insults. Threats. Harassment. Assault. It’s estimated nearly 90% of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted at school.