Bullying Homesexual Kids: It’s Not New


Have I ever mentioned ‘Tracy’ (name changed for privacy)?  I may have mentioned her before.  She was 15 years old, a dear friend’s younger sister.  Sadly, she was confused about her sexuality.  She was often mistaken for a boy.  Most of her interests were things that interest boys.  My friend and I were close, and one evening she was called and we had to go to the Medical College because Tracy had overdosed on caffeine pills. I went with my friend to meet her parents there. It didn’t turn out to be serious but I always condsidered the beginning of the end.

At the time I was concerned about substance abuse.  I didn’t realized what LGBT kids experience in their daily lives.  I didn’t even think about kids being gay.  It was 22 years ago, and I’m a lot more informed now, of course.  I remember in elementary school the class “sissy”.  He was teased.  I am pretty sure I teased him on occasion also, not relentlessly, but may have made fun of his affectations.  He was in an abusive relationship before he got AIDS and died.

Anyhow, after the caffeine incident Tracy started running away from home and hanging out in a more avant guard section of town.  If I were a parent living where they did I’d be concerned if my sons were going to that section of town at age 15, as I’m sure hers were.  Anyhow, my friend and I were 25, and we’d ride through the neighborhood looking for her, asking people if they’d seen her.  We’d get a lead and visit wherever the lead took us.  It was a little scary, and we did this 2 or 3 times.

Eventually she left home and left a suicide note.  We were so worried.  We couldn’t find her.  After a few days we heard on the news a young female body had been found behind a dumpster, shot.  Tracy had taken her Dad’s handgun and shot herself with it and died.  Oh, if I’d known then what I know now I could have helped her.  All we could do was let her hang out and try to do positive things with her.  She was so cute.  I remember her with her skateboard.

It was a hellish time.  The horror of her death, how she did it, how alone she was.  My friend’s anguish.  She was suddenly a 25 year old only child.  I didn’t know until later she was struggling with her sexuality.  I do remember her being yelled at from a car that she was a faggot or something equally ugly.  I witnessed that, and I wasn’t around her that much.  I’ve no idea what school was like for her.

Tracy is probably the reason I’m an advocate for LGBT rights and support.  That, and the fact so many people I know are gay.  Some are older relatives who were shunned by the family over the years.  Some of my kids’ friends.

If you read this and need support on this issue I know of resources and support for young gay people.  Feel free to contact me.

I guess that’s all.

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