One of my best friends back in high school was born Eric, but knew that she was really Erica. At six years old she tried to cut off her penis with a butcher knife because she knew it didn’t belong there.
I met her as Erica and if she hadn’t told me her story I would have thought that she was simply a late blooming girl. She took hormones to keep her from developing as a male but was not allowed to actually start transitioning genders until she was 18.
At school, Erica was forced to change for gym in the male locker room because there were no unisex bathrooms. One day three of the football players had decided that they’d “had enough” of her not being a man and they gang raped her. Right there in the locker room. There were other people there and instead of trying to stop it, some of them stood there cheering.
I give a damn because when Erica brought it up to school officials absolutely nothing was done. One of my best friends was gang raped and even when she reported it nothing was done because she was told it was her own fault for acting so feminine.
I don’t want anyone else to ever have to go through what Erica went through. Something has to change.
I’m Anthony and I am 18 years old. I started to come out when I was going on 16 because I knew what I wanted. I told my mom, she accepted me the whole way and even said she would attend my wedding when I get lucky.
I was hiding it from my father because I was scared, he was in the military and he’s a very big guy. He calls me one day pissed off. I asked him what happened? He said take your gay S&*# off your MySpace. I stood quiet and I started to cry. Out of every one, he was the hardest to come out to.
So, I told him: “Dad I know this is gonna be harder for me then it is for you, but I’m gay.” He hung up on me. I hadn’t talked to him for 3 months. I then saw him at a family party, he pulled me to the side and he cried, saying he was sorry. He didn’t mean to be like that. This was the first time I ever saw my dad cry for anything, including crying about me.
He said it is hard as a father to have a gay son because the guys in my family have to get married to a girl and have kids. I said its harder for me because I have to live with being gay everyday and being worried if I’m gonna get jumped by someone.
So, I told him the only way I’m gonna forgive him is if he accepts me and supports it. I’m giving him time to still take it in, but he’s open about it a little. As long as he is making progress I am ok.
-Anthony “AJ” N.
When I was 17 years old, I had a boyfriend named Alex. At this point in my life I was still in the closet, so he wasn’t introduced to my family. My friends knew about Alex and I, but my family is so conservative and in the dark that it wasn’t the right time. After a nasty break up, Alex called my parents and told them all about our relationship. I was out with friends at the time and my dad called me, h told me I needed to get home.
I already knew what had happened. My two girlfriends went home with me to support me and try to help me talk to my parents. When we got to my house my dad fought off my friends and kicked them out of our house. After an hour or so of yelling and arguing about how I was “ruining the family name,” I decided enough was enough so I got up to leave. My dad threw me down the staircase, which broke two of my ribs and gave me a concussion. He then went to the bottom of the stairs and kicked and punched “the gay out of” me. Bleeding and barely conscience I stayed at the end of the stairs for nearly 48 hours until I was able to get up and drive myself to the hospital. I had 3 broken ribs, a broken wrist and a concussion along with cuts and bruises.
After the incident I went on to college, joined the military and my life became “straight” again, even though I knew that wasn’t the case. In March of this year, I became engaged to the love of my life and my family decided that was the last straw, so I am no longer in contact with them. I am the happiest person alive however!
The following is an excerpt from a story by The Associated Press:
“Eight gang suspects arrested in connection with the torture of two teenage boys and a man in an anti-gay attack in New York City earlier this month have been arraigned.
“They were expected to face charges including robbery, assault and unlawful imprisonment as hate crimes. But no charges were read aloud at Sunday’s arraignment.
“The defendants didn’t enter pleas.
“…Police said members of a gang that called the Latin King Goonies heard a rumor that one of their new recruits, a 17-year-old, was gay. They found the teen on Oct. 3 and then stripped, beat and sodomized him with a plunger handle until he confessed to having had sex with a 30-year-old man who lives a few blocks away, investigators said.
“The group found a second teen they suspected was gay and tortured him, too, police said. Finally, they invited the 30-year-old to the house, telling him they were having a party. When he arrived, they burned, beat and tortured him for hours. The attack included sodomizing him with a miniature baseball bat, police said.
“Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was sickened by the accusations of violence ‘and saddened by the anti-gay bias.’ The attacks followed a string of teen suicides around the country last month that were attributed to anti-gay bullying.
“A ninth suspect was still at large. A lawyer representing him had arranged for his client to turn himself in, but the suspect never showed, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.”
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I have given myself a few years to think about my sexual preferences and recently told (mostly online friends) and a couple (2) that I know, that I was bisexual.
I do not have many friends to begin with and all these fears I have of being rejected by the ones that always loved me, scares me. This is something I do not want other people to feel. I want people to be able to openly say they are bisexual, lesbian, gay or transgender without being scared of getting beaten up, kicked out of their homes or even worse…think about committing suicide.
I have yet to tell my parents and all my loved ones and I am honestly scared of what they will think. If people gave a damn, maybe some of these issues wouldn’t be happening to the many youth all around the world.
My name is Seb, I’m 19 and I do give a damn about equality.
Oxford, UK, 1985ish – coming home one evening from the cinema, me and my friend (not partner) were walking arm in arm when we were suddenly surrounded by a group of about 10 skinheads. While they held on to and passed my friend around from one to the other, trying to kiss her, grabbing her breasts while touching themselves, they got a garbage bin from a nearby pizza hut and poured it over my head.
Humiliating, disgusting and incomprehensible. For what? Because the leader of that gang of bullies was GAY. I saw him years later in our local gay disco. Oh, and by the way, a cop came by while this was happening. “Move along lads” was their punishment. “Where’s your sense of humour – they’re just having a laugh” was mine.
Last year I was involved in a play at my school called “The Laramie Project”. This play is about Matthew Shepard, a young gay student in Wyoming who was beaten to death for being gay. I was telling my uncle I was getting involved when he came out to me. He had been living a lie for his entire life, and he was now, at age 45, coming out. He also came out literally, to see my play. All the way from North Carolina, to California.
When I talked to my mom about him being gay, she stiffened, and got quiet. She closed up, and tried to ignore it. Her older sister, my uncle’s older sister, is a lesbian. My mom felt it was all too much, and it was all because she didn’t “introduce Christ into her family correctly.” Months later, I told my mom I wanted to go visit my aunt and cousin in Boston for a couple weeks in the summer, she said okay.
When the message was relayed from my aunt to my cousin, she, my aunt, said, “Katie! Kellie’s comin’ out!” Of course, Katie got the wrong idea, and thought she meant I was gay. Once she explained what she meant to my cousin, she called my mom, and told her the ‘funny’ story. My mom told my brother and I. They laughed, and I tried to. They thought it was the most absurd thing in the world. Then my mom got all serious, and she looked to my brother and I, and then she said, “If either of you are gay, can you wait to come out until after I’m dead?! I just don’t think I can handle knowing anymore of my family is gay!”
My brother laughed and commented, I just mechanically nodded my head. I have gone on 4 dates with men in the passed two months, and told her the high lights of each in detail. What she doesn’t know is that, while Ive gone on a few dates, I’ve been talking to a girl who I like a lot, for the passed 5 months. She doesn’t want to know, so my life? It’s my own, and it has to stay that way, until…well, to be honest, I don’t know when.
What if it were you…
That had to hide who you are
That had to smile when people joke and laugh
So nobody will know?
What if it were you…
That had no one to turn to
That felt so alone in a world of people
Just like you?
What if it were you…
That felt leaving was the only way
That that’s how the pain would end
To just let go?
What if it wasn’t you…
But your child, your mother, father
Sister, brother, friend, neighbor
That feels this way right now?
What if it were you…
That could stop it right now
That could stand up for people
Because they are people
Just like you?
♥ Stephanie Elliott
Gays, bisexuals, transgenders and lesbians should have equal rights to be who we want and not have to live in fear. Let us get married and love who we love.
We shouldn’t have to worry about walking out of our own house or neighborhood that we’re suppose to feel safe in.
I’ve known people who’ve been raped and beaten up just for the fact they are gay or transgender.
Help us stick up for what is rightfully ours. GO GAYS
I am a social worker and a MSW student. I am in a class of 30 students who are or aspiring to be successful social workers. We abhor violence of any type, discrimination of any nature, and bullying of any degree, nature or type.
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The following is a statement from Give a Damn Campaign founder Cyndi Lauper about the 13th Anniversary of the passing of Matthew Shepard ...Author:
Hate crimes can happen anywhere, at any time. In fact, in the U.S., one violent act of hate takes place almost every hour of every single day.