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Taking My Time…

Sep 09th, 2013 03:11 PM By Cameron

My name’s Cameron and I’m 15 years old… turning 16 soon!

I came out as bisexual to my family and friends last year, after I’d developed a crush on a girl in one of my classes. I’d been in denial about it for so long that when I finally admitted it to myself and those around me… no one was surprised other than me.

In the year I had come out about being bi, I had several life experiences I never thought I’d encounter again after becoming so confident. So, I decided I’d become a boy! Then, I believed, all my problems would be fixed.

I got the idea after my friend had suggested that we go out one night on the town dressed as guys and I’d thought it was brilliant. I’d been jumping in joy at the idea, but my friend moved so it never happened.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and got my hair cut.

It gave back part of the confidence I’d lost, but I didn’t want to show my friends just yet so I wore a (really fake) wig to school, so that at lunch they’d be surprised or maybe not recognize me. It didn’t work. They knew it was me and just got upset that I’d cut my “gorgeous” hair off.

I’d started thinking that I should put up fliers in the shopping center with my number on it asking how to be a man. Thought better of it. Then not too much later a friend from school (more of an acquaintance at the time) confided in me about being bi-curious (he was curious about girls) and asked if I’d go with him to an LGBT group that the nurse had told him about. He hadn’t told his parents so he asked me for a ride.

I’d been excited about it, thinking it was the huge convention center and that I could dress as a guy half the time and a girl the other half (for entertainment purposes of course). I thought I’d confuse people. So I went to my friend’s house dressed as much like a guy as I could. Tight shirt with a really loose shirt over the top and baggy jeans.

After an hour of wandering around, we finally found the place with a rainbow flag out the front… of a medium-sized house. That threw my plan out the window. Not that I cared at the time, since I was just so happy to have found the rainbow. So happy, in fact, that I jumped up and down (my friend swears I danced but I DON’T dance. Ever.)

We went inside and everyone was friendly (everyone being around five people). I had my male name and made sure my friend used the masculine pronouns (which made me feel good). The group explained the flag and how the group works and it was… nice. Then I asked what does LGBT mean… well actually just the T since I could guess at the others after I’d been told that it was not a sandwich. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and… Transgender. What did THAT mean?

And when I asked that, I got confused expressions from the helpers and one of the youths. They told me about it being an umbrella term for non-binary persons, and about transgender being someone who’s gender identity doesn’t conform with their biological sex and so on. And then I heard transman. Everything clicked. SO I COULD be a guy. It felt good having that realization.

Me and my friend went out back with a couple of the youths and I was treated completely like a guy. No one questioned it and they assumed I was a gay guy and asked me further questions from there… teenagers will be teenagers. Then we went home.

Mum picked us up and I told her about everything bubbling over with happiness and how much I’d loved everyone using my male name and masculine pronouns and mum just smiled along and laughed at some of the stories we had.

A little while later, I told Mum and Dad that I was a transman. Dad didn’t care, assumed it was a phase. Mum just told me that she’ll support me in whatever decisions I made and that she loves me. Of course, that didn’t mean that she’d start using the pronouns I preferred… or remember my preferred name.

Another three months after that, I went to Japan and came back a new man! I told Dad I wanted that name change and that I had the forms and the money. That’s when he realized that it wasn’t a phase. He’s been using my now legal name and preferred pronouns since… and he convinced everyone else to.

I also came out to my whole school via Facebook and my principal via email. He then called me in and after a short chat, we came to an agreement. I’d use the teacher’s male bathrooms and go to the sport groups for guys… and he agreed to tell all the staff so that they knew. After that, everything was fine. School was ok, only had one or two incidents of harassment and only a few slip ups from the teachers.

I’ve been telling everyone who asked what the difference between a transman and a transwoman is and how gender identity has nothing to do with sexuality. I’m now in grade 11 and halfway through the term. I’ve been to that LGBT group many times now, have been to a rally (which was amazing), to Gold Coast Gay Day (which was also amazing), and am spending my days like any other teenager… just with an extra layer of clothes and an occasional trip to the psychiatrist or doctor.

And that is my (really long) story. :)

P.S. I give a damn!

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This is My Story. For H.

Sep 09th, 2013 02:47 PM By Rosie

To be honest, I’m not really sure what makes me give this much of a damn. I am all for equality! But I have never had something so dramatic affect me as to promote LGBT rights.

I am a straight female. I don’t have any close friends or idols that are gay or bisexual or transgender or anything. I guess I never really had a reason until my sophomore year of high school. I have a friend (I will call her H) who announced that she was a lesbian in the 7th grade, I believe. I didn’t think much about it, but I was so proud that she was open with it! She was an amazing person, and no one treated her any differently than before. Middle school, fine. Freshman year, fine.

Then the next year, things got worse. H was in my first period class, and she sat in the seat in front of mine. She decided that she wanted to start a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) club at our school. She had a friend that started one in another school, so why not our school? We live in a closed-minded city in Alabama, and we wanted to start a “gay club…”

As you may have guessed, it didn’t go so well. We asked a teacher to help us, and H already had people that were willing to join. Word got out to parents, who were too ignorant to see what good it would have brought to those who were still unsure of their sexuality and those who needed someone to be honest with. The school didn’t allow H to start the club. Then she started getting bullied.

For the first time, one of my best friends started getting bullied because she wanted to do something helpful for our community. She wasn’t a bad person at all! She was a great student who never got in trouble, but now she was looked down upon by her peers. This started to break my heart. I was hoping that our school would have some sanity in it! But now children were calling my friend H a “faggot.” I hate that word! And to know that someone as sweet as her was having difficulties in the hallway really upset me. I recall one day walking H to her class because she was afraid that she was going to get bullied.

H and her mom tried to get the club started, but the school rejected it, and they realized it wasn’t going to happen. After that, H started being home-schooled. I miss her so much! She was always so happy and loving! And now H is gone. I wish that she were still here! And I wish that I had someone to talk to now questioning my own sexuality. But I don’t know who to talk to. I’m sure I could have talked to H. But it’s been a while, and I don’t know how to bring it up. I really do miss her! But I know that she is moving on with her life, and I know she is going places. But I really don’t want this to happen ever again!

I can’t wait for the day that the world will accept and love those who are different. I hope that there will be a day in our future when everyone can love everyone, and LGBT teenagers won’t be bullied in the hallways. And I hope that everyone who has ever been bullied about their sexuality will rise up and prove everyone wrong!

For H.

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Schools Need To Give A Damn

Sep 06th, 2013 11:37 AM By Jessica

I came out in high school. I went through that stage where you want to tell everyone you meet “Hey! I’m Gay!” and want to buy every rainbow/LGBT item you see. My best friend got me a patch that simply said “I Love Lesbians” and I put it on my messenger bag. One day, a group of students passed by my locker and I heard one exclaim, “Look at her backpack!”

They laughed and continued walking and I thought nothing of it. Then, that same group of people would pass by my locker everyday and would call me derogatory names. Even the next years after that, they still called me names, and even others joined in. I was never physically attacked, but I don’t think being punched would have hurt anymore than being called those names everyday.

Thankfully, I graduated and now have a beautiful, wonderful girlfriend and close friends who love me. Schools need to give a damn about their students, gay and straight. Physical abuse is not the only abuse that hurts.

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I’m Me.

Sep 05th, 2013 11:59 AM By Amber

When I was younger, I always heard people talking about how being gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender was a phase. My grandparents thought I was gay, all because I wore “disturbing” clothes to church every time I went with them. But the truth is, I am bisexual. I’ve known I liked guys and girls since I was in elementary.

When I got to high school, things took a turn for the worst. I started to get depressed, my grades dropped dramatically, and my interest in things grew numb… all because I liked a guy and girl at the same time and didn’t know how to tell my parents.

One day my teacher called my mom to discuss my schoolwork. My mom asked me how could I just give up in school. I didn’t really give an answer. I just stood their and stared directly into her eyes and flat out told her I was bisexual. At first, I thought she was going to kick me out of the house. But she didn’t. She told me that I had to tell my dad.

But I didn’t want to! He, at the time, said being gay was a phase… something used just to be accepted by people of the wrong crowd. But once he realized who I truly am, his view on it changed. All because he had to really look at me and realize that I am me, and no one and nothing can change that.

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Something to Tell.

Sep 04th, 2013 06:18 PM By Jessica

I had this friend when I was in middle school. We were very close, told each other everything, and spent all of our time with each other.

One day, like any other day, we were having lunch together. Just the two of us together at a lunch table. She told me that she had something to tell me. I said “okay,” hoping that it wasn’t anything like she was moving schools or anything along those lines. She said that she had felt different from all of the other kids and she had been felling that way for a while. I asked if everything was okay. She replied with a simple and quick “yes.” I told her that she should feel comfortable telling me anything and that she should just come right out and tell me whatever she needed to and it would be so much easier that way. She did just that. She took a long breath and said that she was 90% sure that she was bisexual. She let her head fall and looked ashamed. I told her that she had nothing to be ashamed of, that this did not change our friendship, and that I would be there to support her no matter what happened. She then told me that I was the first person that she had told and she wasn’t sure how to tell her family.

That was the first time that anyone had confided in me like that. It was a while before she told anyone else. She was ashamed to tell me and no one should ever feel that way and everyone should feel comfortable telling their family.

That, friend, is why I give a damn.

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Hate hurts

Sep 04th, 2013 11:55 AM By Derek

Since I was in 8th grade, I knew I was gay. A small southern town that’s mostly Republican Baptist isn’t really an easy place to be accepted. I’ve been pushed into lockers, threatened, called names, bullied, hated on, etc. I’ve felt miserable, hated who I was… turned to bulimia, pills, drugs, anything I could to make me feel better. After reading these stories I just want everyone to know that I GIVE A DAMN!

Hate needs to stop. And just remember… don’t let their hate get to you. No matter what happens, love yourself and hang on to it because at times it may be all you have and it can be the most powerful tool at your disposal. I lost mine for a while and almost destroyed myself because of it. Now I love me so much… others can’t help but to love me to. And those who don’t… don’t love themselves. Trust me, when you love yourself, there’s almost no room for any kind of hatred in your heart… almost. I still feel some for those who pushed me, for those who raped and violated my fellow gay men, for those who drove LGBT youth to suicide… for them I do feel some hatred, but mostly sorrow. I feel sorry for them and what monsters they have become. Stay strong ladies and gents. Love yourself, love others, and GIVE A DAMN!

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Language Miss-Use

Jun 25th, 2013 06:39 PM By Brittany Anne

We live in a modern society with a whole new language. One where the definitions of words have change; one definition is clearly negative.

If you were to walk through the hallways of a school, I can guarantee that you would here “That’s gay” more times than you can count. Now when you confront one of the students using this phrase they will tell you that they had meant to say the subject was stupid.

When did it become acceptable to use the word gay in place of the word stupid? Being gay is not stupid, gay people aren’t necessarily stupid so where is this coming from? And better yet, why aren’t teachers and other role models stopping this behavior?

We are seeing a new generation with a new miss-use of vocabulary and I am definitely not proud to be a part of it.

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“The Gay School”

Jun 25th, 2013 06:33 PM By Kirsten

I went to a high school for the arts (a bit like FAME), which was known around town as “the gay school” because of the abnormally high numbers of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students there. I was openly bisexual, but because I was in a relationship with a girl I was labeled by others as a lesbian.

I was happy and comfortable in my school, and in the places we hung out in, but my parents were not. I never came out to them about it, but they weren’t stupid and figured it out, they took me out of that school and placed me into a normal high school because of my “unnatural relationship” with a girl. I was constantly bullied at the new school and lasted less than a month there before dropping out in my junior year and getting a GED.

I entered college and made it through the rest of my teen years because of the support of my friends and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth support group in my city. It wasn’t easy, but it made me who I am today. I give a damn, because no one should have their parents turn on them when the rest of the world is already against them.

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Coming Out For The Straight Girl

Jun 25th, 2013 06:16 PM By Kayla

My name is Kayla and I am an upcoming senior in high school. I live in Mississippi so I have encountered my fair share of ignorance that has spanned from sexuality to race to religion. It’s either their way or the highway. In my high school, there is an abundance of religion and bible-verse slinging, but a lack of teaching about tolerance and respect for what makes people different. Nobody takes the time to remind us that the differences in people is what makes us all so damn beautiful.

I grew up as many young southern children did- going to a church where basically everything is sinning. My family did not support same-sex relationships. I actually remember one day my mother saying, “Let my kids do drugs instead, something I can easily fix.” Now I just reflect and can’t help but think, “REALLY!!!” Up to this point in my life, I have had all the opinions that a person could have about the topic:
1) IT’S WRONG
2) WELL IT’S STILL WRONG BUT YOU CAN’T JUDGE PEOPLE
and from that I began to ask the question, “If a person can’t help who he or she falls in love with, why would God give them a person they shouldn’t be with based on the fact that those two people have the same junk?” The I realized He wouldn’t! He is a gracious and loving God.

After I came to this conclusion, I started to notice the ostracism of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyle in my school and how teachers did nothing to correct the ignorance that flowed around their classrooms. One kid actually gave a PowerPoint presentation on how he believed that being gay was wrong and how all gay men should be sent to live on a secluded island in the middle of nowhere. One girl continues to use the excuse that it’s how a person is raised. A person can blame their parents for their own ignorance for only so long. After awhile, the way a person sees the world becomes entirely their own. But this is partially the reason why I GIVE A DAMN.

The other reason I GIVE A DAMN is because of my friends. I have been lucky enough to befriend people who not only share my beliefs, but also have the courage to stand for what they believe in and they don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks of them. These people include others students as well as my guidance counselor and a teacher. They stood completely behind me when I wanted to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at my school.

I also think about some of my friends’ futures and if they decide to marry the ones that they love. I want to know that they will have the same rights as I do. I want to know that they will always know that someone is with them in the fight for justice and equality.

“I am not gay, although I wish I was, just to piss off homophobes.” -Kurt Cobain

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Segregation?

Jun 04th, 2013 06:33 PM By Samantha

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been bisexual. I knew I liked a girl the way I liked boys in first grade but I didn’t really understand what that was at the time. Over the years I learned and because of the town I was in, I was too afraid to come out to anyone but my closest friends.

I come from a town that consists of 2000 people and a lot of churches. I’m a southern Baptist and never really got why people said if someone was homosexual that they were going to hell. In the bible it says that it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you believe in Jesus as God’s only son and believe in what he did for us all then you are saved.

As the years went by I became more and more comfortable with coming out. I had met a girl that was also bisexual and I fell in love with her. We just couldn’t be together because we knew that even though some people would be okay with it, the majority wouldn’t and her parents would never let us see each other again.

One day, at my school, two girls who were known lesbians got caught making out. It caused such a stir that some people tried to start a movement. One guy started making and putting up posters telling gays to get out of the school and a lot of people who I grew up with tried to start a petition to get homosexuals and bisexuals moved to a different building. I was so torn up about it that I was scared to go to school for a while. I couldn’t believe that people had started acting that way. People I grew up and were close to started hating me and I lost a lot of friends because of my sexual preference.

I’ve been lucky enough to be accepted by my family but I know that there are many others who have to go through what I went through. I participated openly in the National Day of Silence and was kicked out of my church because of it. I’m ready for change. I lost someone I loved, was scared of my school, lost friends, and I was judged by those who teach tolerance.

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  • Youth | School

    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.

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