One small warning: Some of the responses to "Bill's Story" may contain words which are considered offensive to some people. The strong language comes from strong feelings, and in the context of what the writers are saying, I believe it is important. --- Gabi Clayton
Responses to "Bill's Story" - page 9
You don't know me, and I don't know you, but please accept my deepest apologies on the loss of your beloved son. He will be greatly missed by many people, both friends and people who he never knew. I'd like to mention that I am an 18-year-old college student who is bi-sexual, but haven't outed myself yet. Your stories, and your love for your son is tremendous, and it's funny, but it seems that I already now you and your son, and that you are somehow a part of me, like guardian angels. While in high school, I was kind of uncomfortable about who I was and hated the fact of it. I had thought of suicide a couple of times, but didn't have the guts to do it, but as I got to college I noticed that everyone was different in their own unique way: Some people wore black, some people dyed their hair funky colors, you know, everyone had a different perspective. After seeing all these people for a while, and noticing that the taunts had withered compared to high school, I just relaxed myself, and told myself "I am a good person with feelings, and I deserve the respect. I am who I am, so let's drop it. I am a person, and my sexual orientation is a side thing that I do behind closed doors. I doesn't affect my everyday life: breathing, thinking, learning, being a good person/listener/friend. I do all these things like everyone else."
A lot of people don't realize that everyone in this world is bi-sexual, but a lot of people don't act on it!!! You have heard the saying "you should love a person for who they are, not what they look like." I can look at a woman and say, "gee, she has the same likes and dislikes that
I do, she likes the music as I do, and we both like skiing for instance." I can then turn around and see a man and say "gee, he has the same qualities as she does." You see, I really don't know how a person can pick a certain sex to "love" based on the anatomy. I think "homophobes" dislike the orientation solely on the fact of "how sex is performed" between two people of the same sex. What I don't understand is why homophobes have to give their own opinion to someone. It is none of their business what a gay/bi person does behind closed doors anyway. It's like the Bible says, "a person needs to take the log out of his/her own eye before taking the splinter out of another's." --Or something like that.
Gee, I'm sorry to keep rambling on, but I feel as if I know you. Again, please accept my apologies on your loss!!
P.S. God Bless you and your whole family!!!!
My name is Michael. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and I am 16 years old. I happened to come across your webpage at
by accident. To tell you the truth, I am glad I did come across and read your webpage and that I read the story about your son. You hear that hatred is out there, but you really don't pay to much attention to it. But your website has really made me think that this is a big problem, and that it should not just be put on the bottom of the list of things that we should try to stop. I would just like to say your have a really good website, and I have to admit, I did get some tears in my eyes, which I know is weird for a 16 year old boy. Anyway keep up the good work on your website, and I always beleive that everyone should have the right to live peacefull, no matter if they are gay, bisexual, etc. I would never do anything bad to anywone, because they were gay or anything. So as I said, keep up the good work, and it looks like Olympia lost a very special person.
I think your website is getting the message across that this is a big problem.
Thank for a very powerful website
Michael B (email@example.com)
I read your story about Bill and wanted you to know that I was touched. He strikes me as a person who had a great deal of courage and I am sorry for your loss. I wanted to write you to support what you are doing, and applaud the acceptance that you are trying to create in your community. As a Thirty year old male who has discovered over the last few years that I have feelings that seem to prevent me from labeling myself one way or the other. I know how difficult it is to even get to a point to act on those feelings, much less feel acceptable about them. Love seems rare enough, that it seems cruel to prevent anyone from finding that
somehow, regardless of gender or orientation. I hope that other people find an ear, so that when its their turn and mine there will be someone to listen.
I'm Trevor.....I just turned 16 and I'm from Canada. I read your son's story just a few minuets ago, and I am still wiping the tears away from my eyes. I can't comprehend how people could do something like that, or why they even care. Someone's sexuality is no one's business but their own, and certainly not something that should be a world issue.
I don't know what to say...."I'm sorry" just seems like a wasted effort, but I am truly sorry that your son is gone. Maybe someday we will all be able to walk hand in hand towards a world better than this one, but until then, don't give up the fight.
All my love,
I just ran across your web page and had to respond with a very BIG thank you! I too had tried to commit suicide because of my sexual orientation back in 1970 and know how Bill was feeling. I cried at realizing that Bill's story was very much like mine.
I was married and in the closet for 25 years, and have now been out for going on six. My life partner and I active in the gay community, as are my kids. Today I am actively seeking equitable benefits for our company's GLTB employees of about 3500 US employees, working with the Diversity Group (not a gay group) and the HR. It's an uphill battle, but I believe change is eminent.
I would like to include your story and photos of your son in my web page called 10 Percent. Since I have started the GLTB group (about 1 month ago) I have already had some wonderful contacts on people dealing with sexual orientation issues, and son's and daughter's of employee's who have had a lot of questions. Please allow me to do so. http://www.users.uswest.net/~jmikkola.
As of yet, my web page is not an official StorageTek web site. However, we are
in a dialog, and that's a start. Hopefully, others that read my site will also
have questions answered, when they have (what they feel) no where else to
turn. As things have changed in the last 30 years since I was in high school,
we still have a long, LONG way to go.
PS - I love your son's painting...have you thought about getting it copied. I would love to use it as well. He said it all! I know he's in God's arms now!
Thank you and consider yourself hugged!
J Mikkola (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hello . . . . Just a note to say thank you for your site. I cannot begin to imagine suffering the loss of a child as you have. I can, however, relate to a lot of the experiences which your son went through. I am happy now, but I wake up some mornings amazed that I am still here -- that I actually made it through those dark years.
*Note from Gabi -- Glen's paper has been posted on the PERSON Project site at:
I've spent a long times coming to grips with my own teenage years growing up gay in a world which is less than welcoming. My calling, it seems, is to help end the hatred and to make the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth happy and safe ones. This is what I want to do -- presently I am at McGill University in Montreal, working towards a degree in Education. Hopefully I will be able to make some sort of impression upon the the school system as it stands here.
In the meantime, I thought I would forward you a paper I wrote for my course in multiculturalism.
While queer issues may have been mentioned in passing as areas which should be included in a curriculum which embrases diversity, the idea was not covered adequately. Teachers are not prepared to tackle these issues, and as a consequence, children are suffering.
Perhaps you can use this paper as a resource on your site. If you like it, I give you your permission to do whatever you like with it.
Thanks for your words. Thank you for sharing.
Subject: My sympathy
Dear Mrs. Clayton i have only now seen u r page and i know ur son died some time ago -- that is not to say ur pain is any less -- i want to send u a poem i keep as it is a comfort i think to anyone in a state of loss. i hope u will take a little solace from it. There is still so much hate in the world everywhere u look especially against people percieved as `` different`` -- it`s such a shame when all gay people want [ in the main ] is to give and receive love and for that they are ostracised. Please take heart that many people are with u in spirit. sincerely
-- paul byrne -- ireland (email@example.com)
GODS LENT CHILD
I`ll lend you for a little time,
a child of mine, god said,
for you to love her while she lives,
and mourn for when she`s dead.
It may be six or seven years,
or twenty - two or three,
but will you, `till i call back,
take care of her for me?
She`ll bring her charms to gladden you,
and shall her stay be brief,
You`ll have her lovely memories,
as solace for your grief.
i cannot promise she will stay,
since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught down there,
i want this child to learn.
I`ve looked the wide world over,
in my search for teachers true,
and from the throngs that crowd life`s lane,
i have selected you.
Now will you give her all your love,
nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate me when i come,
to call her back again.
I fancied that i heard them say,
Dear Lord, thy will be done,
for all the joy thy child shall bring,
the risk of grief we` ll run.
We`ll shelter her with tenderness,
we`ll love her while we may,
and for the happiness we`ve known,
forever grateful stay.
But shall the angels call for her,
much sooner than we`ve planned,
we`ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and try to understand.
I found your site from another site. I am sitting here at work and reading your story and I cant express how sad and moved I am by what I have read. I just site here thinking about everything and cannot help but to cry.
I am 26 and gay. I have only recently come out to my family, few
friends and myself. I can remember the feeling of depression and the
desire to end my life. Although I did not have the traumatic
experiences as your son. Mine were cause by not wanting to hurt or
disgrace my family and the thought that no one would like me anymore.
That was for me the worst time in my life and one that I am still
dealing with. I find strenth at time by reading or meeting people
such as yourself. To see a parent who is a fighter for gays, who
have stood up for there child. That give me a good feeling. But then
I read about thisngs such as what happend to your soon and that takes
alot out of me. I dont belive people who are not truely part of the
gay issues do not unerstand the impact of dicrimination, hate crime,
or other homophobic rhetoric does to someone who is gay. Those are
the times I am on a roller coaster ride.
I can say though I do feel I have that i now have a cause. I am
active in PFLAG Houston such as doing there newsletter and speaking
at college and other organizations.
I wish I could truely express how I feel for you and your son. I
admire people who can come out to themselves and others at such a young
age. I just wish I could do something to make a difference.
No one espicaly a kid should have to endure hatred for being gay.
You deserve a huge hug for being there not only for you son but all
the other kids that do not have the love of there own family. My
godbless you and your family.
Stephen Carleton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear Mrs. Clayton,
In recent months I have found myself surfing the net finding more and more stories of glbt youth and the abuse and despair they face daily. I have spent many nights reading and crying about the pain others are going through. I too was one of those gay youths and had hoped that times would change.
Now at the age of 33, I find a need to fight these injustices. Currently I am the co-convener of Integrity of Tampa Bay (the local chapter of Integrity Inc., an organization to minister to glbt Episcopalians and their family and friends). The diocese that I live and worship in has a bishop that is conservative and has not yet seen the need to deal with the issue of homosexuality within his domain. Fortunately, despite his silence on these issues he has been accepting of Integrity's mission.
I hope that I can have just 10% of the strength and determination that you have demonstrated to continue fighting this cause because no child should ever feel rejected and unloved.
Thank you for sharing this most painful story so that the torch does not die out .
Peace be with you,
Todd L Klopfer (email@example.com)
My name is Lenny.I'm a 17yo gay boy from eastern Pennsylvainia.
I read Bill's story and the tears flowed.Bill must have been a woundeful
son.The words he wrote"THIS IS NOT MY CHOICE,THIS IS NOT FORCED UPON ME
THIS JUST IS"are and will remane in my mind through out the rest of my
life.I'm sure Bill is greatly missed by you and his friends.
I've been out for two months to my family,but through your son's courage
found the courage to fight for what he was and still is fighting for.
The fight has only begun but gays WILL come out with the"V".Your son
unlike many others had PRIDE,HONOR,AND DIGNITY.If it is ok with you i'd
like to use bills words "this is not my choice",in a poem I would like
to write and dedicate in memory,and honor of your son Bill.Last night
someone told me that the final war fought in this world will be
racial.The races in this war will be homophobics and homo sexuals.Gays
will win if only all gays could find the same courage Bill had.I hope
and pray that the hate between every one in this crule and unfair world
will be put to a stop soon.Bill must have been the worlds best "MAN".
I hope to hear from you.
Leonard.J.Mott. [lenny] (firstname.lastname@example.org)
i am saddend by your loss. i know it is hard for you. i wanted to cry when i read your page. my deepest sympathy to you and yours.
my name is Randy I am 32 and gay I lost a lover to a hate crime and friend who was fifteen. I am working on my personal webpage that i am putting together.
I am trying to get links For my page. this page started out because of my old page at delphi i simply ran out of room. so i am starting a much bigger page for the youth that need us.
I would very much to link your page on mine if you have no objections.
The reason i am building my web page primarily for Gay and bi youth is because I get ask alot by young people for help i don't always have a site or can talk to them or just do not have the words which is unfortunate. I work with youth alot due some volunteer with some gay youth organizations. Many of them are gay or bi and have where to turn for sometimes. I have tried on a few occasions to end my life when i was younger. that is why this page is so important to me they imspired me to build this page and I would like to get some kind of help or informatin that they can use. Many of have been sucicidal.
I am sorry i do talk to much.
May I link your page to mine Please?
And in a second e-mail:
What a wonderful tribute to your son! I almost lost it while reading "Bill's Story" and I also looked at the links which have excellent resources. We lose the BEST so young.
In loving memory of:
MATTHEW WAYNE SHEPARD
December 1,1976 - October 12,1998
Keep his memory alive through words and deeds.
Speak out against hate at every opportunity.
Love and respect your fellow humans.
"LIFE IS PRECIOUS"
Bill is another reason I have again become involved in shedding light on on what is happening to the BEST of our nation. Yes you may quote me (I am who I am). Personally I do not have a page as of yet. Priority is to getting "The ALLIANCE for FREEDOM and EQUALITY" formed and it is showing promise. We are at developing the financial end. We have a temporary site at http://members.tripod.com/unity4all/ feel free to visit.
Thank you for taking a stand and sharing your sons brief but loved life with us.
thank you very much, the reason I wrote what I did is I know all to well what it is like to live in fear, I have been shot once, and stabbed three times and all I was doing was walking out of bars minding my own business, I felt a deep saddness about bill's story and I am honored to have had the chance to read it, and to somewhat get a small part of knowledge as to his life. to your family I wish you to know that you have the support anytime of myself, as well as many others. If at anytime there is anything that I may be able to do to help you or your family just let me know. Please believe me when I say that I wish your family the best.
Dear Mrs. Clayton,
today i have read the story of Bill, i have not know him, but as i read i have a feeling i had him know, so much Love in this story, but much sadness, too.
I feel with you, Mrs.Clayton, my eyes was very wet from tears, ican not ohter do, i am what i am, and where i have read to end, i have the thought to write you, i know my english are not so good, i am from Germany, next year i'm 40, .... and i'm gay.
You have this stoy tell with so much feeling, that i think when i'm read i can feel Bill's feelings, and please, don't missunderstoud me, but i feel with you, and think at you, and i wish the hate have an end now, i know it is only a wish, but maybe ........ it works, in Germany it is not so hard, but not easier, too.
and i have it not good when i was a teenager, the feelings in me, and can't not speak with another for this, but a mother from a friend had said to me it is not impossible whom one loves, man and women, or two mans or women, impossible is, it is true love!
This words i have not forgotten, and that had help me for later. And i hope the mankind accept when a human being is different, not a human is how another!
I wish you all the best on your way,
Peter Forke (email@example.com)
I just wanted to take a moment and let you how touching I think your
website is. I am an instructional assistant in the high school special
education program in Bellevue, and I see on a weekly basis some of the
hateful things that gay youth have to endure. I, like your son, have had
experiences with hate crimes; I've helped other youth get through them and
I've gone through them myself because I was gay. I see that you are a
member of PLFAG and the Safe Schools Coalition. I strongly encourage you to
keep up your hard work, not only for your soon, but for other students like
him, who have to suffer with hatred on a daily basis. I only wish that when
I was in high school (I graduated in 1989) there were resources readily
available to assist students like myself. I could have used the
encouragement and wisdom of someone like yourself in my life as I was
struggling to accept myself and facing hatred at the same time. It's still
a struggle for me to be accepting of myself, and, unfortunately, my hate
crime is far from over. Please keep on working hard, even when it may be
difficult, because I know there are a lot of students, and adults, that are
benefiting from what you are offering on your website. Thank you for being
there...you are needed!
Megan Stout (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hi, my name is Mark, I'm a friend of Steve's, and I have chatted with
you before in Steve's TLS chat room. I just read the story of your son
and I felt the need to share my feelings with you. I am a 17 year old
gay college student and I miss your son Bill. I, of course, did not
know him, but I feel connected with him and everyone like him because of
the injustice my species (humanity) has given him. I have been severely
suicidal because of my sexuality in the past. Fortunately I came out of
it. However, it continues to make me think, "what if had not come out
of it?" "How do I stop this from happening to people in the future?"
"How many people did not survive?" "How many gorgeous, bright,
intelligent youth (such as your son) are we going to have to lose before
this shit stops." I primarily wanted to write you to let you know the
massive amouts of respect I have for you, your husband, and all of those
people fighting with the intensity you have. I am a founding member of
a Peer Education group in Pittsfield, MA called SHARE (Students Helping
And Reaching Everyone) and I wanted permission to share Bill's story
with them. We try to address every issue in which the public needs to
be educated. Our main focuses are AIDS and Homophobia so I thought
Bill's story would not only be touching, but would also be a sort of
"Pep Talk" such as "these are the people for which we are fighting"
Thank you for refusing to remain silent in this universal time of
desperation, loss, and hope.
Sincerely with honor, respect, and hope,
Mark Hopkins (email@example.com)
I'm sure you receive hundreds of these a day, but I can't restrain my
response to your pages.
I read about Bill and was truly touched. So much of Bill's story is mine.
I'm 17 now, and out to my mother, and many others (save my father, and the
rest of my family). I have lived through most of my life with the name
calling. Thankfully, I've never been the object of physical violence.
I am also going through a very blue period of my life, where suicide has been on my mind a lot. I struggle a lot, and stress is a big problem for
me. I'm thankful for being able to see a therapist that will help me
I also consider myself pagan. And although I have no plans on going
anywhere soon, the ceremony you created sounds beautiful... something I
would want for myself.
Ugh, this is so hard to try and put the words just right! I feel like I'm writing to a celebrity!!
Well, I guess it comes down to this: You're a wonderful woman. I can tell
just by what you've written. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for
the things you've done for the gay community. It seems like there are so
many against us. But with someone like you on my side, I feel comforted :)
I extend to you and your family the most warm and loving feelings I can
muster. You are truly an example for parents everywhere, whether their
children be heterosexual, or homosexual.
"Blessed be". Thanks for your time, and effort.
I want to compliment you on your outstanding web site. It was informative and enjoyable. Plus I know how difficult it must have been to construct
considering the tragic death of Billy. As a substitute teacher seeking a
full-time teaching position, I have the unfortunate opportunity to observe
homophobia first hand. I appreciate your fine efforts in helping to educate
people about the negative effects of homophobia. God Bless You.
Dear Gabi -
Today I finally visited your page and read about Bill.
I won't try to express how reading his story made me feel. I'm a writer, with a fairly articulate command of words - but none can convey my feelings at this moment.
Thank you for writing Bill's story, and thank you also for the work you continue to do. I hope I'll get to know you better through ROF or other venues.
Love and hugs,
Michael Sugar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How moved I am by the story of your son's life and death. I am a 29yo
gay male who has had many of the same feelings of desperation, due to
the hate I see and feel around me every day. As I wipe away my tears, I
know now that I must be strong and never let those who hate take me down
with them. I know it has been some time since the loss of your son, but
I offer my condolences. Keep up the good work you are doing. Together we
can make a difference. Have faith in knowing that I will be doing my
part to help end the hate in my little corner of the world. Peace be
ROBERT HIGHLEY (DJROB1@webtv.net)
subject: your wonderful son
I just finished a term paper on teen suicide. It started on teen
suicide but it turned into outrage, tearful, screaming outrage when I
read the stats on gay, lesbian and bisexual teen suicide and how the
Bush administration attempted to suppress the HHS report on teen
suicide. I am so angry the government tried to suppress the report
because it did not keep with "our family values" because it identified
homosexual youth as comprising more than 30% of all teen suicide and
made recommendations supporting gay youth.
So while surfing the net, I find your site. My eyes are swollen and
my heart just aches. Williams' last painting, is priceless beyond
words. Hang in there girl. I was struck by the roller coaster of
emotions going through William's photo album. What a triumph to have
raised such a wonderful, talented young man. Having gone through it the
impact of your loss, our loss, is overwhelming. Your loss is shared.
nip boyes (email@example.com)
I wanted to take just a quick moment to say thank you. There are so many parents out there that are not accepting of their children -- it is so refreshing to find the exception to the rule.
I know your story is not one filled with happiness; it doesn't have a fairy tale ending. But, with luck, the story you tell can open the eyes of others -- like my Mom -- and in the process give perspective where there was none before.
Growing up gay is so difficult. I sometimes wonder if anyone straight can truly understand the horror of realizing that you are "gay" and that you are despised by most of society. I truly admire Bill. He was able to accept his feelings and come out at such a young age -- that is such a courageous thing to do. It took me years and years to do that. He truly was a giant of a man. He was what we, as a society, should hold up as what a true man is.
My dream is that one day there is no need for "coming out." My prayer is that if only for one day all those gay and straight could be given a taste of what life would be like if they were totally and fully accepted and loved unconditionally. I thank you for your site -- you are working toward giving me my dream and answering my prayers.
I must say how sorry I am to have heard of Bill's death. I have left a
message on your message board.
I am an 18yo gay student living in Australia. I must say, from what I've
heard, his suicide could not have happened to a nicer, or better-looking,
guy. I feel sorry for you, and also sorry for him because he had to go in
such an awful way. I am currently helping with the fight against prejudice
against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. I came across this story and was
really moved by it. If you want to see some of the stuff I help with, visit
I want to let you know that if I had known Bill when he was alive, and known
what he was going through, I would have told him about myself, told him that
I cared about him, and loved him. It is really sad that he saw suicide as
the only way out for him.
If you ever want me to help you with *anything*, don't hesitate to email me.
Tim Kerslake (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I just spent time in your cyber world. Thank you for the work you
do. Tears filled my eyes as I passed through your pages. I am sorry
for your loss.
For me, tonight was a night that I needed to be reminded why I do what I
do. I guess I am only human. I know that your work saves lives.
Please know that we are open to helping you any way that we can.
In Oneness of Spirit,
Eddie Miller, Norman Institute
Dear Gabby. I am sorry to hear of your loss, but I am more sorry to hear that things have not really changed for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in this world. I am a high school counsellor, working with a young man who is gay, which is how I came upon your web site. It saddens me to think that ignorance is still so prevalent in our society. It also makes me fearful of what lies ahead for this young man. I have arranged connections for him outside of the school and advised him not to come out at school. He is in grade 10, and lives in a rural setting, with a school population of 240 students. There is no one at the school who is openly gay. the reason I advised him not to come out at school is my concern for his safety and
welfare. Teens can be very judgmental and very cruel. Who you think is your friend one day, won't be the next. I just do not feel it is a safe environment for him to be open. I offer him my supports at school, and have arranged for community support for him as well. He has told his parents, who have not condoned him, but have not embraced his sexuality either.
Stories such as the one about your son reaffirm to me that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This does not prevent us from taking a stand, however. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. I am sure your son is an angel for many who are struggling with the hate and ignorance he knew all too well.
No more fear?
My tears falling while reading about your son Bill. IŽll hope this site can help other boys. We must let anyone be who they really are, and accept them like they are.
IŽll hope we have a fair world some day, a world for everyone without fear.
If only the society could make clear that everyone is good enough, much would be gained.
We must begin to talk about this already in the early schoolyers.
You have to forgive me for my bad english, but at least i tried.
Good luck in the future, and keep up the good work.
Regards! Joakim [Sweden] (email@example.com)
My name is Calum Parker, I am 18 years old, and am studying at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland. We have access to the internet here, and I was using the search engine 'Rainbowquery' when i came across your story about your son Bill.
I am gay, and although have never been through so much as your son, I understand at least part of his pain. This world is a real horrible place, especially if people decide that you dont fit in. Bill seems so passionate and friendly. I truly wish I could have known him - I feel like I have after reading your pages.
I can only imagine the hurt you must go through every day. I felt I had to write to you and thank you for having the courage to shout about the terrible things that have happened to you and your family. Your voice is heard and appreciated by more people than you realise. Although Bills story was difficult to read because of the pain it makes me feel, I am so
glad to share a part of him. It makes me come to terms with my own life better.
You are not alone. I imagine that you go through days when all you want to do is give up. You have touched people from all over the world, and I wish I could express to you, let you know how much love and suppport and admiration I have for you and your family. Thankyou.
thanks for posting your son's story. As a gay man I went through the same
thing. People do not understand the shame and guilt that go along with
being gay. I was raised and still live in the south. I am out to my friends
and family. I often think about doing something but never have.
where would be a good place for me to begin? I want to help gay lesbian
teens adults cope with their sexuality. I would be willing to do something
to help the gay cause.
keith hamlin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There is no way to describe a subject for this.
This evening I made an appt. w/ my TV to watch "Teens on Hate", broadcast by UPN Channel 13 in Los Angeles. There you were in the midst of this wonderful program. I think this show should be required viewing for everyone.
You are a very courageous family. It takes a lot of energy to help make changes in people and in society as a whole. The senseless treatment of those who don't "conform" is home-grown. As the saying goes, hatred is not automatic, it is taught.
My prayers are with you and yours, and your efforts to make changes. Did you ever in your imagination realize what a difference Bill's death would have on the world?! How wonderful a tribute to him.
Peace bless you,
"Though we can't always choose what happens to us in life, how we proceed in life is a matter of choice." Noah benShea
this is my first time that I am writing to a mother of such an experience. I have been in the States for less than two years now. I am 21 and it was so interesting to see that Bill and I were so close on our
birthdays. I was born in 1978. I am so sorry about your Billy, if I may call him that. I am an MTF transsexual which came out of
the middle east because of the problems I was having there. It is a fundamentalist country and you can imagine what happens after that. If it is any help or conciliation, I tried to commit suicide about 8 times when I was back
home, because it seemed like a much better alternative to living the way I had to and somehow I survived it. Please feel free to reply to my letter, I would be more than happy to hear from you.
Dear Mrs. Clayton:
I'm a 36 year old psychology - sociology undergraduate student at Houston Baptist University in Houston, TX. In my Sociology of Childhood and Adolescence class, I was assign a term paper, I chose gay teen suicide. I'm gay, therefore, the topic is of particular interest to me.
I was deeply moved by your son's story. As a teen agree living in Mexico, I also tried to commit suicide. Please accept my sympathies, and to your son, my most profound admiration for his courage. You can rest assure he is not forgotten.
God bless you and thank you.
Robert Mendez (RobMenHT@aol.com)
Hello, Gabi. I am writing to you to give you my thoughts and thanks for making a page that has helped me come to terms with my sexuality. Also, for sharing your son Bill with me, and letting him into my life. I am very sorry for the loss of your son, I am a survivor of suicide. I understand this is something we are never to "get over" . Your strength, and the strength of your family and all of the others who loved and cared for Bill is both inspirational and motivating to me, not only to find a way to go on but you share your grieve and joy with others. Your page has helped me a great deal, I always tell my friends about it. I think that if it has helped me, it can help other kids. I wanted to give you a link to a page that has also helped me in the healing process of losing my best friend to suicide
1000 Deaths - A Site by and for Survivors of ... . It is a page for others to add pictures and for people like you who are willing to share their stories and to give their web address. I just wanted to give in encouragement to keep on going and maybe you will even consider adding your son Bill's story onto there. I think it would help a great deal, it is a community where others know your pain and may help you as
you help others. Ah, I would also like to add, your husband is such a brilliant artist. I am a painter it helps me release emotions I cannot express with words. So I thank you and your family for helping me. I will continue to visit your page as it grows.
© 1998/1999 by Gabi Clayton and the amazing people who contributed to this page.