From middle school onward I was bullied and tormented because of people assuming I was gay. Every single year it got worse and worse. I thought by high school it would become less and less but that is when it really took off. Every second of my life became hell. I couldn’t even work through one blow because the next one would already be starting. I attempted suicide in the 10th grade. It was such a low point. Even though it doesn’t happen as much now, my past still haunts me. I still cry all the time and have constant nightmares. It’s very rough to deal with and my heart goes out to anyone who deals with hates crimes. I truly give a damn..even more than just a damn about this! This needs to stop.
My girlfriend is 19 years old and has just came out to her parents just a week ago that she’s fully lesbian, and not bisexual anymore. Her dad is a preacher and her mom sells real estate, so she comes from money, but can’t stand it. Anyways…ever since she came out to them they’ve been doing nothing but what most people call hazing.
The second day after she came out, her mom took her to a 2 hour meeting with a preacher just so she would have to sit and listen to how it was wrong to be gay. Her mom took her cell when they got home and told her that she was going to go on a date with a guy the next night. My girlfriend finally agreed but only on the condition that she get her cell back, so her mom gave it back.
Later that night her mom tells her,”If you want to be gay then you can get out, give up your cell phone, lose your car, and lose your money and be taken out of the will, as well as be completely dead to her family.” The next day her dad says, “I didn’t raise no faggot, so if you want to be gay then you can leave” and both parents told her she was a disgrace and refused to even recognize that she even exists.
Every job I’ve had in my past there was homophobia in it. In fact, from the time I had my first job at the age of 14, the only jobs that I felt safe in were the last two and my current one. Because homophobia has become a major concern with other forms of discrimination here in Canada, too many people are finding it difficult to be out of the closet at work.
Fortunately, the job I have now in one of Canada’s top 5 banks, TD Canada Trust, has a code of conduct in place. It is what determines one’s safety and protection. It covers everything from race, gender, sexual orientation and religion. We have a diverse group of people where I work. Everybody there now knows that I’m gay. A lot of people accept it which is great. What I have come to realize is that you could be working in the organization for 25 years and I could walk in the door with only 25 days of experience with the same company and if you…the 25 year old experienced person said anything against the code of conduct and I take it to human resources, you might as well kiss your 25 year career goodbye.
In 1980, during my freshman year I was kicked out of the house for being gay. I was in and out of the state child care system as an abused/neglected child. At one point I was in an all boy’s home called Boy’s Ranch in Oxford Michigan where I was beaten up, my bed urinated on by the other kids and just plain abused. The staff there never did anything to help me.
When I was 16, my mother took me home for Christmas and when she got angry with me, she took me back to the home. I was so depressed that on the way up I took a whole bottle of Valium that I took from my mother’s medicine cabinet. I ended up in the hospital from Christmas night to well after New Year’s. When I was returned to the boy’s home, I was never given any counseling, instead I was punished by the manager, who was very cruel about the whole thing.
I have a son that is gay and it has been very hard for him, but things do get better. As a society I feel we need to wake up and teach our children not to bully people for any reason. As a parent, I brought my children up to never make fun of anybody, no matter what. If we all could do that and enforce it with our children the world would be a better place.
My gay brother died. He lived as a gay man, but was always outside of “society”. He intervened in my life several times, sometimes the results of that were beneficial and sometimes they were a disaster. He accepted he was gay from the age of 17 and then got involved in a cult that did not accept it. I think it drove him into a divided state of mind which may have caused the insanity to creep in. His self abuse was legendary and eventually and over the years he lost his magnificent mind. He was found washed up on a beach. Nobody knows if he did by accident, murder or suicide.
My heart goes out to all excluded and compromised people. We are all the same in too many ways: we have the same two arms and legs, the same voice, the same sexual urges but for very different things. We are also all very different. All. Different.
Divisions due to gender specific attraction are not just unfair, stupid and hateful, they make no sense. The average straight chooses to sleep with usually one person at a time, and that means they exclude everyone else. Gay and bisexual people make similar choices and yet are stereotyped as being somehow a threat to straight people.
They are the same: human, sensitive and able to feel threatened by unwanted sexual advances. We should be able to talk about it. We should be able to make choices in our lives without being lumped into some kind of sexual gravy. Gay or straight, it makes no difference. Loving someone is a valid way to be in the world and there is absolutely no reason or rationale to discriminate against people due to whom they love.
Or we exclude people. Racial discrimination has been successfully rejected. The sexual revolution helped people understand their own lives and it is now time to accept oneself for the sweet individual that one is, without shame, without fear and without exclusion.
“Ring…ring..ring!” The alarm would always wake me up. It was later that I got used to the annoying sound and I somehow stop caring. I stop caring about school. Not caring for school is not something that makes me up personally, I could feel that there was something wrong. I just couldn’t point it out. A couple of weeks later, without me noticing (but my friends did because they would make comments or ask if I was okay) I started to always walk around with a frown in my face. I was becoming depressed and all because I felt that I was the only one who was attracted to the same sex in the world.
Everyday when I got home, I would always stare at the TV and start crying. I felt lonely, and as if there was no hope that anyone would understand or care about me. My mom would come to my room to tell me that dinner was ready. I would walk in the kitchen and only eat one plate of food. Usually I would have three, but not anymore.
On the weekends, I made sure that my little sister didn’t see me cry. If only she would be the older one, then maybe she would understand, I thought to myself. I felt physical pain. I had migraines, back pain, and sleeping would be the only thing I could do to get away from all the stress and pain.
This is my story of finding peace.
When I was growing up, where I lived there were Mormons everywhere you look. Left and right kids were being taught what God did and didn’t expect from you. God was always something I’d believed in and held strong faith for. Out of anything that I was taught, I most vividly remember being taught that homosexuality was wrong.
Turning 10, my father had an affair with a family friend, causing a pregnancy and left. For 6 months I slept in my mother’s bed listening to her talk in her sleep, wondering what she did wrong, not wanting to hear her pain, but knowing she needed another body close to her.
My father eventually came back and lived in our backyard trailer while Mom and him worked things out. He had thought that since he started smoking and drinking again that we would hate him, thus making the wrong choice under that stress to cheat on my mom and leave my sister and brothers and I. He stopped going to church and the rest of us fell out eventually too. Even though I knew what he did was wrong I accepted that it was a mistake.
Ever since I can remember hitting puberty, I’ve liked girls much more than boys. In fact I didn’t very much like boys at all. At the time I didn’t think much of it since it didn’t seem like a big deal, after all “it’s all just a phase” right? Wrong.
So, I’m a middle aged Christian, father of 2 young boys. I’m a Rutgers grad, so this story breaks my heart a little more. I guess I don’t think about gay rights, rather more about human rights. And I detest people who try to pervert Christianity to be about hate or bigotry, and as a Sunday School teacher, try to teach my students that God is about love, tolerance and treating each other as Jesus taught us.
So, if you’re a kid out there, remember that day always follows even the darkest night. I lost my own brother to suicide 32 years ago, and I still miss him. You can come back from any humiliation, any break up, and broken heart, and believe me, time heals all wounds. You can’t come back from death. Hang in there, don’t ever give up on life.
God Bless you!
So many deaths. Many call them suicides, and technically, this is a true term. They took their own lives. However, I think it might be more logical to call these deaths murder. What makes a young, healthy lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth hang themselves from a tree, shoot themselves in the head, jump off a bridge, etc.? What drives a child to their death when they have an entire lifetime ahead of them; a lifetime in which they could have been happy an accepted by those who matter?
Intolerance. More, people who are intolerant. People who tell them they are wrong and disgusting and immoral. Other children, family members, celebrities, the media…anyone who tells them that what they ARE is wrong. The ones who make them feel like less of a person because they love in a way that these people do not believe in. What these people do not understand is that being gay is not a choice. Why would these children choose a lifestyle that gets them harassed to the point they want to die? You are born gay, or transgender, or whatever other thing you may be that these people find “disgusting”. You cannot help who you are, and you should not have to hate yourself for it. These CHILDREN should not have been pushed to the point they hated themselves. They should not have been pushed to the point they no longer saw anyone who cared, anyone who could show them love and respect enough that they wanted to live.
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Something has to be wrong, when 1 in 7 people who commit suicide is a child. And when suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people aged 10 to 24.