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I Stay Strong

Jun 14th, 2012 10:19 PM By thomas

When I was 14, I made the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I knew I had to come out to my family and friends. I developed the courage one night during dinner to tell my Grandparents (they were my guardians at the time) and I thought they would accept me or at least come around. But, after they heard the words – “I’m Gay” – our dinner immediately turned into a fight and they ultimately kicked me out.

I had to go to a children’s shelter, where I stayed for 5 months, until I got sent to a place that only took you if you had done something wrong. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was doing the right thing by being honest about who I am. Now, I’m 20 years old and life couldn’t be better. I have made so many friends and I recently reunited with my mother who loves me and accepts me for who I am. My life was so hard and there were so many nights that I thought about killing myself but now I’m an adult who has learned so much from my experiences.

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The Story I Am Sharing

Oct 11th, 2011 05:23 PM By Rob

I care about equality, but the reason I joined this site today was Ms. Lauper’s essay on Huffington Post today about homeless youth and the prevalence of LGBTQ youth in the homeless population.

I work as a case manager for a program in NYC called HASA. It’s a city agency that provides case management and financial assistance, among other things, to low income adults and children with HIV. On my caseload there are men and women from 19 to 70 who are struggling to live their lives with HIV. Some of my younger clients have spent time on the streets and there are many who left home at a young age because of discrimination and abuse directly related to their gender or their sexuality.

So I am for equality wholeheartedly. I joined today because I completely agree with Cyndi that people need to know that there are children who need a lot of help. I believe that parents of children who are dealing with issues of gender and sexuality also need help to better address the needs of their LGBTQ children.

Step Dad Wanted Me Gone

Aug 15th, 2011 10:29 AM By Ethan

When I was 15, My parents got a divorce. It happened right before holiday season. My mother accepted me, and my father seemed like he disapproved of me being gay. My father throughout my life had been physically and verbally abusive to me from when I first started remembering, to about 13 or so. Which is when I finally got up the courage to tell him to deal with his own issues or I would call the police.

My mother started dating again. After a week or two of dating a guy, she brought him home to meet me, and my 18 year old brother. We got along alright, but then my mother told him that I was gay. This changed his attitude towards me, instead of welcoming me into his life he began to isolate me from my mother. At this point my father had moved 600 miles away to live with his brother, taking my brother with him. I didn’t want to live with him because he was so abusive earlier in my life that I was afraid of what he would/could do to me without my mother there to stop him. So I decided to live with my stepfather’s negligence.
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I Almost Didn’t Make It

Aug 10th, 2011 05:41 PM By Ryan

I never used to talk about my experience as a young, gay kid in Colorado Springs, CO. It was just too painful, too personal for me to want to talk about. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that telling my story sheds light on the truth, and illustrates–vividly–why issues that affect the LGBT Community are so damn important.

I was a good kid growing up in a middle class family in Colorado Springs. I attended private Christian schools, I loved my family, and I had amazing parents. My parents were so devoted to their children, always showering us with love and attention. My mother used to make my lunch every day with a little note telling me how much I meant to her. Each day my parents would drive us to and from school, and once a week we had a family movie night–our’s was the American family ideal, and I was truly blessed.

Unfortunately, one day that changed. When I was 13 years old, my parents found my journal in which I had admitted to myself that I was gay. In the space of 5 minutes my life changed drastically, and permanently.

Being raised in a conservative Christian family certainly isn’t a bad thing, but being taught that homosexuality is pretty much the worst thing under the sun and also happening to be gay don’t work well together. From the moment my parents discovered I was gay, till I legally separated myself from them (at the age of 16) my life was a living hell. My parents became verbally and emotionally abusive–telling me that they would have rather had an abortion than a gay son, or that it would have been better had I been born mentally retarded or with Downs Syndrome. Pretty bad, huh? Oh it gets worse. Thanks to the folks at Focus on the Family, my parents were referred to a “conversion therapy” organization known as NARTH–the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. These are the people who think that being gay is something that can be “cured”.
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Why I Give a Damn

Aug 10th, 2011 05:26 PM By kelly

When I was a teenager in the 1990s, I realized I needed to come out, but I had no one to talk too. I confided in a friend of mine, who betrayed my trust and told kids at my school. I was verbally abused, physically hurt, and taunted by classmates, so I told my mother. Instead of being supportive, I was told to change my mind about being bisexual. When I didn’t change my mind (because I couldn’t…) she sent me to my grandmother’s home up north where she would “straighten me out.”

Feeling isolated, I found a school support group (called GLOBE) and went to it where I was accepted and welcome. Unfortunately, the guidance counselor, a friend of my grandmother, found out I was in GLOBE and called my grandmother and told her, and I was kicked out of her home and sent back to my mom’s who didn’t want me there so she put me in a behavioral hospital for no other reason than I was “bi”– and to my mother– she rationalized there must be some sort of psychosis causing it.

I hope ALL people, gay or straight, support this cause because NO ONE should have to face homelessness or be harassed, or abused physically and/or verbally, like I was, because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

My Want to Help

Aug 09th, 2011 09:27 AM By Jessica

I have to say that from a young age I have wanted to try and help out with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. I grew up with a lesbian mother most of my life and I knew from a young age that I was bi-sexual. At the age of 16, I knew I wanted to start a LGBT teen group home for displaced teens, but I also knew I had to have a plan, that I had to be older before I could try to run my own group home.

So, I started planning with my moms. We started thinking what kind of house we would want and how we would want to run it. As I got older, I found out that LGBT teens and LGBT people in general have the highest suicide rates in the country. I found out that so many kids get put into the system when their parents find out about their sexual orientation. That so many of these kids get put into the foster care system, bounced around because no one wants them for the same reasons, and then they end up running away or getting into drugs and a lot of them eventually commit suicide.
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It Truly Gets Better and Pay It Forward

Aug 04th, 2011 12:40 PM By Brad

I am a 57 year old male that has found love in a relationship of 20 years. I did not find it until later in life, as I had to find recovery to find my partner. We have a great life together, not perfect but more than I ever expected. I also found with sobriety that I had to find a larger purpose, so I went to college and got myself a new career as a substance abuse counselor. I was led to this by a force much larger than me. I have now worked in the field of addictions and social service for over 20 years.

I am currently working for an amazing program in Downtown Phoenix with homeless youth ages 18 to 21 who are transitioning to adulthood and need support to do this. Many of the youth that I work with have been disposed of or had to run from violence due to their being gay, lesbian, transgendered or just different. I love the work I get to do and love that I can be an out and proud gay man as an example to these youth. That is taking what some would call an ISSUE and turning it into a real positive. We need more role models. SO?

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Shackles with Two Locks

Aug 04th, 2011 10:19 AM By Aurore

I move uncomfortably. My mother reaches to soothe me. My father grips her arm tight.
I am a lesbian. My mother is a coward. My father is not a good man.
I try to find oxygen. My mother tries to hold back tears. My father tries to go get his gun.
I am a lesbian. My mother is a coward. My father is not a good man.
I disdainfully live in a small town. My mother stubbornly lives in her little world. My father lives in a kingdom he dictates.
I am a lesbian. My mother is a coward. My father is not a good man.
I ran from that state. My mother stares blankly at her decided fate. My father is full of only hate.
I am his hate. My mother seeks me in other states. My father has a lonely fate.
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Mikey Pride

Aug 03rd, 2011 06:44 PM By Maritza

I’m a straight, 22 year old, female, and I give a damn because of my 20 year old, gay brother. We had a tough childhood to say the least. I was kicked out of the house when I was 14, I stayed with my grandparents for awhile and then eventually, after living with different friends and even in my car for awhile, I got my own place and life started to look up. At this point I was 18. During this time of turmoil in my life my brother was also having a lot of problems.

He had been removed from our parents’ home after getting into a physical altercation with our step-father. He was also facing a lot of discrimination and bullying everyday at school because although he had not yet come out as a young, gay male, many people suspected, and in a small town like the one we are from, that just seemed unacceptable to people. Eventually it got to the point where he had no choice but to change his home and school, and he didn’t have many options.

In fact he had only two options, one was foster care and the other was finding a family member who could and would become his guardian. Well, foster care wasn’t a good option, again due to the fact that we are from an area full of small towns and closed minded people, so he had to find that family member that could help him. Of course that doesn’t sound too hard until I tell you that we have a family of about 10 people total because our biological father ran off when we were young and our mother only has one brother.

With all that being said, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I was that family member that could help him, so when I was 18 and he was 16, I became his guardian. At this point in his life he had still not come out as being gay, but not too long after he moved in with me he became comfortable enough to be himself and to tell the world that he was proud to be gay.

From that day on he has been a very confident, very happy person and I’m proud to say that he is my brother. Looking back through all the turmoil, I’d have to say, being there for my brother when he needed me the most is the best thing I’ve done. Mikey is now a model who likes to spend his spare time helping other young gay people understand that it gets better, and I’ve never been more happy to say that I give a damn because I have Mikey Pride…

Coming Out

Aug 01st, 2011 06:21 PM By kristian

I have known since I was about 7 years old that there was something different about me from other kids my age. After years of struggling with self acceptance, I finally admitted to myself and my family that I am gay.

I was born in Buffalo, New York, where I was also adopted. I came out to my adopted parents last year. As I sat there waiting for them to respond, my mother suddenly got up from the sofa and went upstairs. She appeared minutes later with a suitcase.

She sat it in front of me. She then went to the front door, opened it up and said get out and don’t come back. I hope by sharing my story I will be able to help educate people.

No one deserves to go through this.

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    Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth make up an estimated 3% to 5% of the general U.S. population, but make up more than 20%—and possibly up to 40%—of the homeless youth population overall.

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