Gabi Clayton's Guestbook #3 - From 4/3/97 and 5/19/97
Note: This guestbook reads from the bottom of the page up. -- Gabi
I just added this guestbook today (4/4/97) - the older ones can be found with
the link at the top of this page...
I am way behind on writing to thank all of you for what you write here. Please
know that I read all the letters and they are wonderful! I get strength and
hope from all of you. All my love --
I love the page, it really opened up my eyes more than those uniformative
videos in school, this is real life, and gabi, i'm sorry about what happend to
bill. Best of wishes
Robert C. Kalajian Jr.
I hope that in the near future, Bill's
story will be a beacon which will light
a pathe to freedom for many who share
a need for the right to be.
I understood totally where Bill was coming from. I know a lot of people that
are homophobia and don't care for me because my friends are homosexuals and
bisexuals. There is so much hate in the world that it's a wonder that suicide
is the top leading cause of death among people. It's said that people can be so
cruel and think so little of other people. Everyone is human, and everyone
should be treated like humans not like an individual because of what their
race, gender or sexuality may be. Thank you for putting the Bill's story on
line so I could read it, it made me open my eyes to how cruel and rude people
truely are in the world today!
Thank you for Bill....not just the story about him.....but for Bill himself. I
promise to help....Please let me assure you that your faith that we will all be
brothers and sisters, in a world wherein we were placed to love, is quite
evident. Bill is lucky to have(the tense is not in error) u as parents and
family. God Bless.
I am crying for Bill at the same time I am enraged at our culture's lack of
maturity. Partly because I have many GLB friends and partly because I am human
I will continue to fight for human rights for all of us. there are too many
Bill's in this world-I hope for the day when there are no more.
I am doin a paper on gay hate crimes and Im asking permission to use your son's
story in my report. Bill's story has touch so many people including myself and
I want to thank you for building this page. It has opened my eyes and some of
my friends up to this hatred and what it can do. I felt what it could do. Being
an 18 yr old gay young man is not easy. I've known ever since I was 9 or 10,
didn't tell my parents till i was 11 that I was messed and they reassured it
was just a phase but now we know different. I don't know why I'm tellin you
this but I feel that I can trust and we more people to trust. Sometimes I feel
like Bill and don't think I could go on much longer in this world of hate, but
his story is a modle for what hate can do and I'm ashamed of that part of
humanity, but theres no getting past it; we can only fight it. I use to think
gay parades and stuff like that were stupid but they aren't I know now what
they are fighting for. I'll keep Bill and your family in my prayers. Email me
at your convenience giving me permission to use your story. I would be honored
to present it as fashionably as you, but it won't have as much emotion. It will
on my part but those receiving may not, but don't underestimate the basic
goodness of people. You've seen it at the ralley which Bill talked at...Thanks
again Gabi for listening...
Gabi, I could not go to bed tonight without commenting on "Bills Story". I am
46, and the father of two teenage sons. I came out 3 years ago to my family.
My 14 year old has now come out as a bisexual. I feel for your loss
contemplating the agony and knowing what lies in store for my son. I have
vowed to do all in my power to assist him, his brother, and sisters, and
friends to be able to freely express who they really are. I have a dream
similar to Martin Luther King, Jr. but worded differently; I dream of a time
when love can be freely expressed in all of its infinite varieties without
labels. It will just be called "love". Your efforts surely hasten the day
when that dream will come to pass. Your love really shows. Thanks from Joe in
Joseph Geist, Sr.
What a loss for the world. My condolences to you and your family. Like your
son Bill, I also struggle with suicidal thoughts (I am in therapy, but it is
still a struggle at times.) I remember what my aunt said to me when I had
shown her my firdt grade report card. "You got an "A" for conduct and effort.
The other grades do not matter as long as you behave yourself and try your
What a wonderful tribute to your son. This really moved me and I feel your
pain. I am out to my family but wish the rest of the world would just try to
accept this as it is not a choice that we make. If anything, in today's
society I would choose to be straight. But, I am proud to say I am gay.
Again, this is a great tribute and I am sure Bill will be remembered forever.
Loren Merrill Jr.
"Bill's Story" was very hard for me to read. It scared me. Joe is 17 but
has no idea of the hate that exists in the world. He lives in a dream world
where everyone is good and no hatred is abided by himself or his friends. What
will happen when this dream world is shatterred, I don't know. That is my
I love the story. Even thought I could not understand all the words.
But I understood what is call live and love. I had such Bill's story. Just a
I have tried to kill myself many times. But I still live I do not why. I love
live but I hated live. This is me.
Gab - Just read your newest letters and if they aren't the most touching words
that I have read in a long time! Your words are making a difference-rejoice in
that! Love, Linda
I wanted to thank you for helping me get the new guestbook set up. One
couldn't ask for a better and truer friend.
Ed "Broph" Brophy
I am Bi-sexual since age 16. I grew up with so much presure that I too was
about to end my life. I was afraid to tell anyone of my family members, they
would notice my friends coming over were all males and would ask me the big
question and only deny.
I held on, and kept on fighting until I came out - Today I am a 28 year old
President & CEO of International Trademark Corporation - and I support events
and people. Keep up the good work and God bless all for Peace world wide.
G. Andrew Jasangas
President & CEO
International Trademark Corp.
Guam Office - Hong Kong Office
G. Andrew Jasangas
I am sorry about the loss of your son. I
hate homophobia and i want it to stop.
I was told by a friend of mine to
read this story. I was deeply touched
by it. I was in tears by the end of the
story. I want you to know that I can
understand your frustration when it
comes to homophobia. The area I live in
is totally homophobic. I think my
family is about the only open minded
family in this town. It's really sad.
I send you my deepest
sympathies. Bill must have been a really
great guy. It's a shame that hatred
can do such horrible things, and why
there is so much of it towards people
who happen to be different from the
"norm." I will definatly link this
web page to my website and spread the
circulation of this story. The world needs to know how hurtful HATE can be.
I think that Bill's life was very struggling and that he had it hard until he
came out...his life is basically like mine...meaning I am a 19 year old lesbian
who was very afraid of coming out and at one point I wanted to commit suicide
cause of the fact I didn't think anyone would except me for me and judge me and
my lifestyle...which I think now is very wrong...cause of the fact we are equal
people but have different lifestyle and I wish I could have said what I am
saying now to people who judge me because I am a lesbian.....I am so sorry to
hear about what had happened to Bill...May God Bless Him
Gabi, I wish I had the opportunity to have known Bill. He sounds like such a
wonderful person. I recently told my family that I am gay and they have all
been very supportive. Now that I have told them, I can begin to live my life
the way I want and not how society would prefer. I have always been afraid to
speak my mind about being gay, because I feared the reaction of others. Bill's
story has really touched me, and I will remember him on May 8, 1997, my
thirtieth birthday. I will add a link to your site to my home page in hopes
that others will visit and speak out against the hate.
Anthony C. Reidler
i just read bills story and i hope you guys are doing okay because remember you
can get through it
Hi I am a 17yr. old female who just started to "come out" to my family.I have
already been harrased but luckily not phisicaly.Although words hurt very much.I
read the story about your son Bill and I would like to say I am very sorry.I
think that you are a very loving and caring person to understand "our" feelings
and how you speak out I think there should be more peole out in the world that
are like you.:o)
Gabi, it IS you. I'm so glad to have found you in this way. Your website is
the answer to prayer. I'm starting a new series of journal therapy groups for
people with HIV/AIDS thru Denver General Hospital and I've been wanting to find
some HIV/AIDS journals to share. Willa's Journal led me to Steve Schalchlin,
which led me to you... again! It's good to be in touch in this way. Prayers
Hi. Please don't use my name if you post this with other stuff, because I'm
really paranoid about people finding out about me. I'm nineteen years old and
I realized I was a lesbian when I was about 16. Now that I think about it, I
have always 'known' on some level that I liked girls. But I grew up in a
really, really conservative household. When I was 8 I asked my parents what
gay meant and they wouldn't tell me. Every time I go to their house they ask
me if I am a 'sexual degenerate' or talk about how the 'queers' are a bunch of
depraved individuals, perverts who want 'escalating levels of depravity.' Of
course I have to lie to them. All I want, really, is someone to love...
someone to plant flowers for, to make curtains for... lunches to pack, science
projects to help with.
Anyway, Bill's story... I don't know what to say about it. Unfortunately it
didn't shock me, though I am lucky enough not to know anyone... I was going to
say anyone who's been a victim of a hate crime like that, but that's not true.
As I was typing that I realized my friend Wendy has had her car and other
things vandalized again and again. I don't think I know anyone who's been
But the real thing about Bill's story was how supportive you were. I hope you
know how much that means. I think... I think my dad might kill me if he found
out. Every time my phone rings, I'm afraid it's my parents and they've found
I've quit waking up hating who I am-- most mornings. Some days I wake up sick
to my stomach, thinking that I can't change this. Other days, I just dream of
hands to hold, babies to care for. Until I realize that my parents will never,
ever accept that. And I don't know what to do.
This is rambling... but what I want to say is, thank you for supporting Bill
and loving him anyway. It doesn't change anything for me, but it makes me feel
like this might be a little more okay.
Gabi, thanks for telling us about Bill.
His story is a good reminder, not only
of the hatred and cruelty that exists,
but of beauty and caring. I can tell
that your son reached out to many
people, both in life and in his death.
May you be comforted by his memories.
It has been 17 years since my first lover committed suicide. I was 17 years
old at the time and we had been together for six years (long story). Reading
Bill's story reminds me that the pain is still with me every day, though in
different ways. I look forward to the day when tragedies like this will be
long distant memories. Peace be with you.
You can be with Bill and I can help.
End the angst. Join Bill forever. Come to Farmington, CT, to the Stacks.
Soar off the highest bridge. Leap to Bill.
I am ever so glad, in memory of your son, that he had such a loving family to
support him. I just wish that I did. You are a tribute to all that makes
Ronald Junho Hur
I'm 18 years old. I'm determined to become a Mental Health Counselor. And your
homepage ggave me more inspiration.
p.s. if you can please send me some info to help me reach my goal..
I am the mom of a 17yo gay son. My son came close to having a nightmare
encounter with the first man he was involved with and after reading Bill's
story, I realize how lucky my son was to have escaped without harm. I have
started an online support group called Common Bond to ease the feeling of
isolation during the coming-out process for families with a gay child. I am
determined to help parents to support their kids with unconditional love by
providing an understanding place for them to seek out other parents who have
felt what they are feeling.
i just wanted to thank you for your wonderful story and the courage u seemed to
have as a family it was remarkable.i have just come out and i have 3 kids and
have been married for ten years i could no longer go on living a life of lies
and also believed it to be selfish for my wife to live that way also,meanwhile
we have gotten on with our lives and we have been very supportive of each other
.again thank you for your story and keep up the good work let me know what i
can do to help u in any way
Bill's story should not remain an other example of homophobia, in the late '90s.
It's so unfair. Well thank you for making this site. I will put a link from web
site to your URL.
Homophobia is everywhere, and can lead to suicide. Thank you Gaby for pleading
for an open minded and free of prejudiced world.
Christophe (apologizing for the poor english)
Your son's story truly touched me! As a 21 y/o who's now dealing with coming
out of the closet I can relate to what your son went through. I have made the
promise to myself to always stand up to those who want to push me down...and I
will take your son's story as kindeling for my fire. Thank you for sharing
what I know was a true tragedy.
I THINK IT WAS SO GREAT THAT YOU WERE THERE FOR YOUR SON WHEN HE NEEDED YOU THE
MOST. MANY TRAGIC STORIES COULD BE AVOIDED IF ONLY PEOPLE WERE TO ALLOW
THEMSELVES TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON WITHOUT ANY PREJUDICES.
I am high school teacher in Gainesville, Ga. I teach art. I am in the middle
of the bible belt.. I have some students who claim to be bi-sexual. As for as
I know, non have been the victim of serious negative attacts. I know that
their lives are not easy for them in that they live outside the local norm.
I sorry to hear this story about your son. I am not Bisexual nor Gay, but I am
writing a book on the subject of Hate Crimes.
Your story inspires me to write further and to add another character.
I am a graduate student from Cleveland State University. I am doing a paper on
gay teen suicide and having a hardtime finding sites on the net. Can you give
me some suggestions. This is an important paper to me becuase 1. I am an
educator, 2. I am gay, 3. I am not very good at the net. Thanks. Steve
This story is still on my mind, almost a month after i read it. I am so sorry
to hear about the tragedy you had to go through and i wish you best of luck.
Credo in unum Deum! Et iternum ventúrus est cum gloria judicare vivos et
mórtuos. Cogito ergo sum. Dominus vobíscum.
Thankyou for such a great revelation...
my heart weeps for the sufferings bill at to put with. to think a boy of his
age had under gone such a suffering makes me wonder what the human society has
come to.i will always say a silent prayer for bill in my prayers.
I still can't get over the worldwide attention that has come from the simple
act of putting Bill's Story on your site.
I think back to our first encounter, way back when Bill's Story was little more
than a face on your front page and how "horrified" (LOL) you were when, after
sending me his story by email, you found it posted on my site in all its glory.
At the time I told you how all people needed to do was to read the truth and
then look into those 17 year old eyes.
We're less than a week away from the opening of THE LAST SESSION in New York
and today was the first time I realized that our opening night would coincide
with the anniversary of Bill's death. Jimmy said you and he had already talked
Well, it blows my mind. And so do you. I just read your journal pages today and
am honored that you place me in such high esteem. I had forgotten there was a
time when it was just you and me talking about Bill.
And, yes, the "other thing I had in mind" -- a referral in your journal -- was
that I dedicated my CD in memory of Bill Clayton and the lives his story will
I also saw the idiot a few letters up from me here on this guestbook who
"invited" you to "join Bill" and I was appalled that someone would intrude upon
a mother's grief in such a crass and disturbing way. I also think you should
leave there so people can know that the flames of hatred burn brightly.
But not as brightly as the love you bring to us all. You have made a difference
in my life and I shall always be...
I'm sorry for your loss. This is a beautifully written aticle on an important
issue....HATE. There is just no time for it. Although I am not gay, I have
many friends who are. I love them all dearly, and although their sexual
orientation is not something I understand, I still love them for the wonderful
people they are. You son sounds like a wonderful person and your story has
touched me deeply! Best wishes always to you and your family!
I just want to really say that I have been deeply touched, like never before,
when I read Bill's story. I read it twice and I cried each time I read it.
It's really sad how cruel the world can sometimes be. Even though I don't know
Bill, I'm sure that from the story, he is a loving, warm and sensitive person.
I just wish I knew him better. And I also want to say that you have been a
great mum and I'm sure Bill is very proud of you. Hopefully, Bill's Story will
bring a dawn of new hope for the so many more teenagers who are struggling out
i would just like to say that i am very sorry about your losses,and only a
while ago society was beginning to accept blacks,i don't know i guess we all
have to speak out,and you are doing
your very best,and i commend you,and everyone else.
Dr. Mrs. and Mr. Clayton,
After reading "Bill's Story," I wanted to commend you both for your fortitude,
dedication, and endurance. In light of all of the suffering and intolerance
Bill was unjustly forced to endure, it is comforting to know that he had two
caring and supportive parents. I think you've done a wonderful service to both
your children and to others by speaking out against hate crimes and
discrimination, and your efforts are clearly having an impact. You're not only
honoring Bill, you're helping to create a safe environment for all people. Good
luck with all of your efforts-
I would just like to say that the story has really opened up my eyes. I was
only doing a report and just wandered in to the story. As I read it , I get an
overwhelming surge of sympathy and anger from reading this story. Thank you for
putting this up and sharing it with everyone . It has given me a lot of insight.
Incredible what a courageous man Bill was, I pray all the time that those Acts
of haterd will one day no longer be accepted or even tolerated by the world.
Bless you! :)
Ok, so it's not exactly a home-page yet. It'll come...
I find it interesting that there are two 'phobic posts in this book. I guess
the ignorance really runs deep. He's welcome to stop on by...
Such a shame that there isn't more support for gay youth... I could comment on
Hopefully, for every ten 'phobes that visit, just one will see that Bill was
human above all else.
As a gay teen I attempted suicide 7 times. I has never unhappy with who I was
or what I was, just the fact that I had alot to face trying just to be OK, fit
in, be a respected, contributing member of society, etc.
At 41 I am a PFLAG board member of Chicago . Lakeview Chapter I am the longest
standing vokunteer, 10 years now, on a crisis line for l/g/b/t victims of crime
-- Horizons; Anti-Violence Project (AVP). I had a gay uncle who was murdered,
I believe in part becasue of his sexual orientation.
I have more than a personal comprehension of what lies on the other side of
freedom of speech.
I am diabetic legally blind, and had a kidney/pancreas transplant 10/17/94. I
was out to all medical personal, and my relationship was honored (at least to
The older I get, and despite medical limitations I am committed to advocacy.
Though extremely taxing visually I, my partner, and another cherished friend, a
PFLAG mom (PFLAGMom1@aol.com) have spent countless hours crafting our web site.
This site was recommended by Horsemom2@aol.com, in response to my asking about
locating an animated Pride Flag. I read on...
I have no words! There are no words... Only hopes... that perhaps my crisis
line work, my involvement with PFLAGs helpline, our web site are support
systems or touchstone, that can reach someone who may otherwise feel as
overhwelmed with reality as your son, Bill.
Though I came looking for a Pride flag - a symbol, I found a young man who
symbolizes what the flag stands for - pride who in we are AND the reality that
we still struggle to get it...
My deepest sympathy. Feel free to publish this, my email address, and our web
site, as you see fit.
(please excuse any mistakes, the white screen in blinding)
I came here to find a Pride flag... what I found compelled me to already reply.
After doing so I read all the letter posted, and replied to some.
I want to let you know that I will be linking to you web site. This is just
one reason why I have volunteered on the l/g/b/t crisis line for 10 years, and
why I am so dedicated to PFLAG.
I am speechless.......
Gabi, this looks wonderful and I'll be back to read your page in more depth
after I get caught up with my P-Flag talk email...I've been visiting with the
space aliens who are currently inhabiting my parents bodies and am recovering
slowly...Have a great Mother's Day from a new surrogate son
Wonderfully written, Sad, God Bless You.
Just a note from Red Deer, Alberta Canada to say how proud I am to continually
meet people such as yourself who are prepared to defend and act as a torch in
this world of hatred and darkness.
I was disowned by my family at the age of 16 when I told my father that I was
gay. He told me " no son of mine is gay, and I said " then I guess you have no
son." That was 30 years ago. When I read your letter it brought back so many
sad memories of how I wished my parents had treated the situation
I lost a brother through suicide so I have a great deal of respect for those
that make the choice as to whether they shall continue in life or not.
My heart goes out to you and your family and knowing that you have enlightened
thousands of people through your internet mail.
I cried when I read Bill's story, and as a gay man, I hurt when I hear of this
type of tragedy. I've been fortunate to never have experienced this first hand
and my heart goes out to you. You are all a strong and brave family and I pray
to God that you can change the attitude of just one homophobic person. God
Thank You very much for your story.
It brought me to tears as many
others. I am so sorry for Your loss of Bill. I can't understand the hate
that grows up in your country.
It feels so unfair that a kid who
would be in my age now, had to
end his life only because he loved
all the people. There're many young
people here as well who wants to
end their life because of being
gay. I can only try to keep their mood
up and help them as much as I can.
Anti-violence protests are not
unusual here. Young people hurt
each other just because they are
of different skin colour or sexuality.
The struggle for peace and
understanding goes world around.
Thanks for all. Peace for the world.
Johnny Andersson, Sweden
I am glad you got to meet Steve S up close and personal, Singing behind "When
you Care" has been one of the most moving times in my Life. I wish sooooo much
that we could be there in New York to see his Currican production. I'll have
to wait to see it on Lifetime. Thanks for the chance to chat. Karl
I hope you'll understand me as I'm a french canadian.
I rarely read personnal homepages because this stuff is usually banal. But I
discovered by chance your page and went all thru Bill's story and ended tears
in my eyes and on my cheeks. It has awoken sadness and fears buried in my heart
since I'm a teenage. Yeah, memories...
When I was a child and knew I wasn't like the other boys, some of them laughing
at me by yelling stuff like "I'm a fag...". That hurted me much. WHen I was a
teenage, knowing I was much more attracted by guys rather than girls, but
having nobody to tell it. As my family was not especially open minded to gay
people and as my father told me "masturbation is a sin and is bad" I had
decided at this point that I should keep this secret for myself. I was often
afraid someone could "see thru me" and realise what I really was and then hurt
me in a way or another...Later to hide this to the world and to myself I got
married. But after 10 years, I was feeling really bad, depressed, etc. I began
a therapy and then I divorced and admitted I was gay.
I'm 35 now, feeling better, and accepting myself more. But being gay or bi in
our society is not easy. And I feel sad and angry when I see the suffering of
all those today's teens who must deal with their non-choosen sexual orientation
and the hate of the world toward them. It's difficult to accept ourself as gay
(and bi I imagine), but when a part of the world is against us and wants to
hurt us just because of that, I understand why some of them prefer to commit
To end my long note, I just want to tell to all gay and bi teens who feel sad,
bad about it: don't feel ashamed of yourself. You are a person and you worth it
! Let yourself go the way your hearth guides you, and don't blame yourself but
instead welcome yourself if your hearth brings you to a person of the same sex,
even if it's difficult to accept. Hearth always knows the best way...
Thanks Gabi for your page.
Hi Gabi! I thought I'd drop in and sign this thing since I haven't yet. I am
so glad we finally got to meet this weekend -- what a lucky kid Billy was and
how lucky I am to call you friend!
I came across Bill's site by accident today, and have spent over an hour
reading. Several times I had to push back and cry until I could continue. No
one should have to endure what Bill and yourself have been put through, no one
at all. I work with the Gay Student Alliance at the U of AR at Fayetteville,
and plan to add your site to our online resources. As our website and resource
quide is one of the few sources of information for gay, lesbian, and bisexual
people in this area, I know it will be useful to many here both young and old.
I am feeling a lot of emotions at the moment, and am not sure exactly what I
want to convey to you. Just know that there is a love that binds us all and
keeps Bill's memory and dreams alive.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I found your website because firstname.lastname@example.org had sent your URL to her 500+
online subscribers of her gay news service. I'm actually studying for my
finals and the time I've spent on your website tonight is going to hurt my
academics. But I figured that such a touching and wonderful story deserves my
time and attention. I'm so touched by your family's painful journey of
truth... if you lived in Iowa I would be driving over to visit with you! I'm
adding your URL to my website because everyone should read Bill's story someday.
I was very moved by Bill's life, and I wished that he had been my friend. I
would have done all I could to let him know that being bisexual isn't the end
of the world. Most people will be bullied for some personal characteristic
that society makes fun of relentlessly. It is very sad how a lot of people
condone discrimination and injustice till it hits home. My parents sure
learned a lesson too.
I vividly recall how my parents would fight in their room with the door shut
when I was five. My Dad told my Mom to lower her voice, saying: "Denis is
growing to grow up gay if he hears us argue!" In 1993, my Dad (a Clinton
supporter) cursed at the papers as he read about Clinton's intention to lift
the ban on gays in the military. My Dad then called the president a pervert in
front of me, and we got into a terrible argument that ended in physical
violence. I adamantly supported Clinton, and my Dad thought I was turning into
a wicked liberal yuppie. I had previously told my Dad he was wrong to be a
racist, sexist, homophobe, ethnocentrist, etc. My Dad thought I was arguing
simply for idealism. I was an idealist, but I was also a closet case in high
school. In 1994, while attending Washington University in St. Louis, I decided
I could no longer be a hypocrite and have my parents pay $20,000/year tuition
plus living expenses while I lied to them. I knew my college dream may
evaporate if I told my Dad the truth. My friends all told me to stay in the
closet till my Dad
I JUST TYPED A VERY LONG "ESSAY" BUT IT GOT CUT OFF AFTER THE FIRST 1/3. I
GUESS THE GUESTBOOK LIMITS THE LENGTH OF ENTRIES.
OH WELL, I'M NOT GOING TO RETYPE MY WHOLE THING.
YOU CAN READ WHAT GOT SAVED ABOVE THIS ENTRY.
I just finished reading Bill's story and am still in tears. If my writing is
incoherent, please forgive me. First, thank you for putting the story here for
everyone to see. It pains me to hear that Bill felt he couldn't take all the
hatred at age 14 because I thought the same at that age and still do sometimes
now (I'm 30). I admire your strength to do what you have done and thank you.
I don't think I'll EVER forget Bill's story. Thanx again.