Gabi Clayton's Guestbook #7 - From 11/18/97 to 2/25/98

When you hit the "Send it!" button the page will reload and your letter will have been added to the bottom of this page. Please understand that when/if you fill in your name, e-mail address, and URL, they will appear here with your note. Also, there seems to be a limit to how big a guestbook entry can be --- if you have a lot to say then it may be better to do it through e-mail, and tell me that you want me to post it on the response pages.

And I want to thank each of you for taking the time to respond here.
--- Gabi

This new guestbook was started on 11/17/97. You can read the older ones and all the response pages too -- the link to responses at the top of the page will get you there.
And thank you very much for visiting my website.


Below is the link to the doorway page for the Safe Schools Coalition. I posted the new 4th Annual Safe Schools Report "Will you be there for every child?" and their new Safe Schools Resource Guide this last Wednesday (November 12, 1997). Just wanted to let everyone know. On the doorway page there are also links to last year's report and my local chapter's webpage.
-- Gabi

The Safe Schools Coalition doorway page:

Gabi, your tribute to Bill so moved me... how could it not have? Hope you don't mind that I have linked your story on my home page because I think it's so important for everyone to experience. Bill -- and you -- have left a legacy that this country so desperately needs to learn.
I'm an athiest, but for some reason 'god bless' is the most appropriate thing I can think of to say. How bizarre that is...

Jimmy Yellen

Gabi, your writings of Bill were so touching. Although I have never met you or your son, I have tears in my eyes for the pain you have both suffered. The courage and strength you display in sharing your story with all of us is amazing, and I can only hope that in telling it, you are finding some sense of peace and healing.


wonderful story, your'e a great mom, God bless.

Mark J Shaughnessy


Thank you so much for your courage and telling the story of your beautiful son Bill. This is indeed an ongoing and tragic dillema that faces so much of our youth today, whether it be for sexual orientaion or other unneceassary hate. This will reamin in my mind, and I pray for Bill and your ceaseless effort in combating this horrible disease of hatred. Thank you and God bless.

Joe Romoser

I am not gay, but I have been fighting in my own school in Kentucky. Stories like Bill's touch me and make me realize the deep hatred of society toward anything different. It must stop.


I am going to print it and read it
so for what I have read sounds Bad
and I wish to this day that people would
stop saying it is a Choesn Life style and it
is not , Why on earth would some one chooes To be gay
That I can not understand , I am a Cothlice and My Prest
said I was born the way I was and that I should live my
life like he wants me to do , and this is my Life
how could some one be so krewl to hart a Nice looking
young man, Like billy it is insane.

Gerald Walker

I came across this page while looking desperately for some online resources to put on my homepage for people suffering from hate crimes, since I just had to help a student in the very first class I've ever taught who's dealing with death threats for being Chinese. Many, many prayers for Bill--I'm bi, I'm pagan, I've had my own share of harassment but nothing this horrible. It made me cry.
I notice there are many good online resources for gays, lesbians, and bis. However, I've found almost no resources for victims of racism except in the black community. There are pages decrying racism, but what I want is a link on my homepage to some organization that can help victims like my student find protection, especially when (as happened here) the police are part of the problem and refusing to help. Sorry to be off-topic from Bill, but this is just a call for anyone reading this to email me if they know a good general online site devoted to helping victims of hate crimes. (I've found help for my own student now through a local organization, but want something on my web pages to help others.)

Ellen Brundige

I too would like to thank you for this site. It is truly amazing to me that I am alive to read it. About the time I started getting harrassed in school (1st grade) I started wanting to die and have tried more than once. Now age 27 I am still trying to work through all that insanity i went through. Gradually the self hatred is waning. Very gradually. Your page helps me to remember that I am not alone and that it wasn't all in my head and in my lack of ability to cope. This is real and it hurts. I am so sad that people like your son have had to go the route he did. But thanks to you maybe just one less person will have to.


Thank you for what you have done for your son

Quaresme Albert

You have no idea how much I can relate with Bills' story. I myself am bi and I nearly wound up commiting suicide shortly after I came out. I deeply regret that he did commit suicide, but I am, morbid as it may sound, happy to see that I am not alone.

Tony Rizzatto

I have enjoyed reading what was written and at the same time am sadden at the intolerance in this society. My father is openly gay and it has been a stuggle. I'll pray for your family and Bill as I do for my dad and others

Jess Critchley

Your son's story moved me, and I only hope that people can learn that we are not monsters, only human, like the rest of the world. If this can happen through people reading of Bill's experience, then he will not have died in vain. Take care....

Vicki Thompson

Thank you for having the courage to tell your story. Love is stronger than hate.


Thank you for sharing this tragic story. If any good can come out of such a painful loss perhaps it will be that someone will be moved to speak up. Silence kills beautiful people like your son Bill.

Jeff May

Many of my very good friends are gay and i sometimes sit in class and listen with them to the insults that people feel the need to give, behind thier back of course. Your page really touched me. The other day, one of my friends attempted sucide, I have never known anyone to do that before. Suicide always seemed like something that would happen to someone else, not a sweet, kind, funny guy like my friend. Now that he withdrew from school, rumors are flying. It truly distgusts me. I wish that everyone could experience what it is like to hear a dear friend be critisized for who they are. For what they belive in. Thankfully, my friend did not succeed, but I am sure there were others that day who were not as lucky. I wish your son had lived on to pursue all that he could have achieved. I know he would have done well. I go to Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and I would like to carry on Bill's legacy as best I can. If you would let me know how i could be of help, i would be more than obliged.
thank you
katie faught

Katie Faught

I stumbled upon this incredibly moving story whilst searching the internet for artist homepages, and through the links found and read it.

I hope that all those involved and coping with this loss recieve blessings in healing.

I did not know him, but it is clear to me I would have liked him. Moved to tears through your writings, I send my condolences, and good wishes to you all.


Just another statistic. And that is the truly sad part of your sons death. But, by your, and your family, and many friends, supporters, and 'his' memory, I hope an pray, that someday soon, there may be no more such statistics to read of. Hate, whether mouthed with religion as the back up, or simply hate unbridled, must never be allowed to run free. Your home page, and the many others, show that love is still the most powerful force on this earth. I believe it!!!

William Simpson

My heart is heavy for your loss...being an out lesbian, I can understand your son's point--but being a mother, I also see yours, and understand it. God's blessings to you always.


Gabi, thank you for sharing your story.

It alternately angers and saddens me the amount of intolerance there can be in society. No one should have to face persecution for their sexuality and experience so much unhappiness that death is the only way out.

I experienced dark days as a teenager from being constantly harrassed and bullied at school (for doing too well academically) whilst also coming to terms with my being gay in private and without support.

Finally at the age of 26 I've repaired my self-esteem, have supportive networks and experience widespread acceptance of my sexuality, even in the workplace. I'm very lucky, but unfortunately I still have an uneasiness that all this could come tumbling down as the bigots and homophobes are still out there.

On the positive side, people are slowly becoming more tolerant - but I want quicker results!

With love


Simon McGill

Finding my biological mother in Olympia ten years ago, I understand what caring people you have in Washington. If you guys can't start to change the way people think, no one can! Keep fighting to stop the hate!

Jennifer El-Menawy
Daughter of Sandi Leighton (now in Tumwater)

Jennifer El-Menawy

I know how hard it is to have people degrade a person for their bisexual friends. My best friend is bisexual and he is so caring...full of life. People are always making rude comments toward him. It really bothers me alot. I am sorry.


I truly believe that angels live among us to teach us how to love one another. It is clear to me that your son was one of this magical beings who transformed your life and an entire community. Unfortunaley, they have to return to where they belong (heaven) and make us think about their mission on earth. Please accept my sympathies and my respects to you and your family. I certanly will encourage my loved ones to help in any way they can to end this senseless fight against people who society considers "different".
Thank you!

Gabriel Ordonez

"The temmple bell stops
but the sound keeps coming
out of the flowers."
- Zen Haiku Master Basho

Dave Keeler

What a shame that hatred and bigotry claimed another life. Your webpage is both heartwrenching and inspiring. While I cried when reading about the pain and suffering, I smiled knowing that this webpage will help others. Best wishes.

Shanna Freeman

Gabi, what a supportive mother you are. It's incredible that there is such ignorance and hatred in our world. I know that no measure of words can ease the pain of the loss of Bill. perhaps this will enable people to wake up and realize that we all have to live together and learn how to love one another. God Bless You!
Smile you are loved and appreciated!

Isaac Thomas

thank you for bill's beautiful, but tragic story. wish i could've known him. am joining you in trying to educate my children re this subject. thank you again and may God bless you and your family.

jan m

thank you

Matthew Didday

I have just read Bill's story and I am writing thru tears so forgive any mis-spellings. I was deeply touched. I have been the victim of a hate crime only once. It was not that emotionally scarring for me...I thought. A couple of years later I was in therapy for depression. I had started to hate myself for being gay. I had become a homophobe even though I was a gay man. It was all inwardly directed. Thanks to a kind therapist who really didn't understand gay people but was willing to accept anyway, I got better. I am still working on it but I am coming out and I now like myself, a lot. Thank you for your continued effort to educate the world about orientation. Bill's words from his journal, (in my words) "I didn't choose it, it wasn't forced on me, it just is" Say it all.




Mariah Duggin

Hi Gabi - I'm a 38 year old lesbian. I'm living the outward life of happiness. I've been the perfect kid all my life and I'm accepted by everyone for who I am, but . . . Those not walking in someone else's shoes for a day can't understand what it's like to grow up feeling ashamed for something that "just is."

I'm sorry.


My heart goes out to you. I am a 26 year old woman who finally came out after a two year marriage to a man. I tried to be what we are all "supposed" to be. I cannot agree with your son more..."It is not my choice. It is not forced upon me. It just is." Not liking a person because of their sexual orientation is as wrong as not liking them because they have brown eyes...we are made the way we are for a reason. The world needs more parents like you...parents who love, accept and support their children for who they are. We must all band together and fight the ignorance...until the hatred comes to a peaceful end.

Tara C.

I've just spent the past few minutes reading Bill's Story. As a gay man who has experienced many hate crimes (first hand and second hand) I wanted to thank you for your insight . Bill is not forgotten as long as you keep him in your heart.


Russ Clarke

The human race is a remarkable creature, one with great potential. I truly believe this in hopes that people will learn from the poignant story about your son Bill.

Kelly S.

Gabi - Every time I visit your sight and read the guestbook, I'm filled with so many emotions. I feel so heartened by the many people who write in response and who show their support. The love from all around the world comes through on your home page.

I will however, never cease being shocked by the few people that spread hatred here. Their ignorance and cruelty hurt each and everyone of us.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts on behalf of us all - gay, lesbian, bi or straight. May we all live, love and work for a better world.

Love , Maggie

Maggie Campbell

Dear Gabi,
It is the holiday season, December 21, 1997. "Bill's Story" surprised me. With all the support Bill had it saddens me that he did end his life. It also terrifies me that hate crimes are ignored. Hate thoughts and actions are destroying all of us. I will visit this site until I've read everything here. I applaud your efforts. Thank you for sharing "Bill's Story."

Bob DeReimer

It is difficult to say any word after reading your page, difficult to invoke God, even when christian, in front of such hate that made life impossible for a youth. the only word could be "Courage" and I surely shall remember bill. Patrick

Patrick F. van Dieren

Thank you for sharing your experiences and fighting the hate and the silence. Our society needs to change and develop a healthy attitude about all sexualities. I believe this change will come about because of people and families like you. During this process you have also helped me to understand myself and those in my life who are other than heterosexual. Thank you again.

Vanessa Wood

Gabi and Family
Thank you for your courage, bravery and wisdom. Thank you Bill for a worthwhile life. Thanks to the community who supported you. This story has changed my life. I am moved to activism. Wayne

Wayne Lewis

I cired when I read your story about your son, Bill. I am a good deal older than BIll was, but I am just now coming to terms with being gay. While I have never experienced a hate crime as he did, I share his feelings of being alone in the world, a member of a hated group, simply because of who I am. Thoughts of suicide are constantly with me; as Bill said, "I am just tired of coping." I have printed Bill's story and will read it frequently when suicidal thoughts begin to overwhelm me. Thank you for sharing your story with me.


I want to thank you for having the courage to post the story of your son's life and death on the internet. I hope it is a learning experience for anyone who has ever had a mean though against a gay/lesbian/bisexual person.

Your son was lucky, he had the ability to "come out" and admit to you and his piers that he was gay. Many people are afraid of the discrimination is they come out. Maybe that was what your son was put on earth for, to teach us all to be true to ourselves.


Your story has made me cry for the last ten minutes. I can't understand why people hate other people because they are bi-sexual or gay. I think by spreading this story, you can help curb the homophobia in our society. I feel that ignorant and uneducated people need to be enlighten by stories like this is understand, what they are doing is wrong.

Thank You,


Ok i just found thru steve's I'm just abouta start read'n
hugs & kisses

Willi W

Its a little odd to sign my own guestbook, but I want to wish everyone a happy new year! It's hard to believe that it is 1998 now, but I guess it is.

This last year flew by for me, with some hard stuff and some amazing wonderful things too. I imagine that we can all say that. Whatever that balance was in 1997, I hope it weighs heavy on the wonderful side for you all in this new year.

Thank you for your support --- you have been a huge part of the wonderful for me.


Gabi Clayton

Thank you so much for telling your story, and may the Gods and Goddesses be with you and your son. I have been talking online with an 18 year old Christian struggling with his sexuality...I will be sure to refer him to your page.


god bless you and may the good lord
be with you and your familey and see u through the tuff times its not easy losing someone you love very much like your son may the hate stop and peace be with us all after all we are all gods kids no matter what

George J. Holbrook

Dear Gabi and Alec,
I heard Bill's story from you before you wrote it. It still evokes sadness and rage. Kurt was not gay, but the death of anyone by choice is not only loss for we who are left behind, but the loss of their gifts to the world.
Keep up the dance.

Bev Cobain

How wonderful of you share this story.


I cried.. for your son Bill, for you and your family and because what was written needed to be written. It's a tragedy that we need appease the hate and hostility in this world just so we can LIVE.
Stay Strong!


I'm so sorry!!!! And dont you guys think that Bill is a stud??


Thank you for sharing your story. I was introduced to your web page by Bob Watson, a friend who has been good enough to keep many people informed about Ram Dass since his stroke a year ago.

I am a mother of two sons myself. My older son was also a victim of "hate crimes" although I never really thought of it as such. He was the "school joke." He was abused by other boys at school, tripped, beaten, laughed at. I got no support from the school authorities when I took the problem to them. I eventually took him out of the school system. I live with the regret that I wasn't more assertive. I guess I just did the best I knew how at the time, and I don't beat myself up for it.

Bill's story really tore at my heartstrings. Thank you for taking his story "public." I'm sure by this service to mankind, you find healing for yourself.

Thank you.

Connie Cardenas

~~GrEeTiNgS oF PeAcE~~
Thanks for sharing such personal intimacy with us on the www. it is so important for us to be able to share our lives with each other these days.
~~HaNd 2 HaNd & HeArT 2 HeArT~~PeAcE iS PoSsIbLe~~WiTh LoVe~~Ladybear~


I happened upon your tribute by accident and found myself overwhelmed with grief,utter sadness and hope. This is certainly a profound effort that memorializes your son with such dignity and compassion. I was touched. Your son was very lucky to have had such wonderful parents. I'll never get to meet him but, he will be missed and the world seems less beautiful without him. Thank you for sharing him with us.

Christopher Vise

I wonder if you know how far your awful ordeal has touched...and in this way done great good I think. "Bill's Story" came to my attention only because I subscribe to a listserve about the health of the spiritual leader, Ram Dass, following his stroke last year. I am an openly gay man but I had to hear about this tragedy only in this roundabout way. Thank you for having whatever it takes to spread this all over the internet. I know it will help. My prayers are for you and your family. I know they will heal you in time.

Daniel W. Fulmer

I find it hard to tell you how deeply moved I am by your webpage. It brought up many painful memories of my own, for I too was an openly bisexual teen. I somehow made it through those difficult years but the scars are deeper than I had ever imagined. Bill's story opened up feelings that I have pushed deep inside me. I thank you for telling this sad and, I'm sure, very difficult story. I feel that Bill's story has allowed me to grieve not only for another wonderful human being lost to us but also for my own pain and years of fear and shame. Thankyou.

kenn law

As a high school teacher, the sister of an out gay man (lost to AIDS complications in 1994), the spiritual sister of many of Stuart's friends, and a member of the board of GLSEN-CT, I congratulate you on your choice of memorial. There is no finer way to honor Bill than to fight to save every other "Bill" out there. Know that I join you in your fight, as does PLAHD-- People Leading Against Homophobic Discrimination, an education group founded and led by students at Amity Regional #5 High School in Woodbridge, CT. I am the adviser. The group began in 1992 in response to gay-bashing affecting a young woman. Her friends rallied around her and the group was born. I shall share Bill's story with PLAHD. Again, thank you, and may the Is bless you.


Marilyn A. Bonomi

Just read Bill's story and it touched in me ways I am not sure I can adequately describe. I am now 27 and a quite out and proud gay man, but I remember the teen years only too well. I myself spent many of those years sucidal and am still not sure to this day how I got to this point alive and proud of who I am. Thank you for your compassion towards my community. I guess I should really say everyones community whether they choose to accept us or not. Thank you for sharing your sons life with us. As short as his life may have been it was obviously filled with lots of meaning. If nothing else maybe it will save another teen going through similiar circumstances. Because of people like you and your family maybe some day people will see despite what we do behind close doors we are not any different then the rest of the world and just want the same things they do out of life. Peace be with you in 98'.

Ron Strickland

You are a wonderful mother!!! I wish all parents reacted the way you did when your son told you that he was bisexual. I am not lesbian or bisexual although I have many friends who are, and I support and love everyone of them. After all they did not choose to be that way, they were born that way. Good luck with the fight against hate crimes.

Ms. Jacobs

Most moving. An eloquent and moving epitaph to a son who is obviously still much loved.

If only in the darkest rooms we lit just one candle ....

Jim Elliott

I have just finished reading your story. As I look through your guestbook I am truly filled with sadness as I realize how many people are going through this same experience. I went through the same thing when I was 14 and have been working through it for years. I thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling all these years. I know that this will never fill the place of your loss but thank you for putting your story out there for people to read!


I hope you don't mind but I have linked this page to my own homepage as I feel it is an important story! If you want me to delete let me know. Again my heart goes out to you all!


I am parent of two sons also. The difference is I came out to them when they were 16 & 18. They're response was, "Aw dad we already knew. It makes no difference." Years earlier when my mother heard the rumor she came to my house with a gun to confront me. Last year she was with me during a publicly unsolicited confrontation (the earring thing) and came to my defense. If all parents could see Bill's pain in their own children maybe they would stop teaching hate at home and teach tolerance instead. Thanks from all of us and tomorrow's children for your efforts.


Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
-- Marcus Aurelius

Gabi, thank you so much for sharing your son's story with us. You are a great mom and a very brave woman.

'One can make a difference'

Take care


Dear Ms. Gabi,
I just finished reading your page, and I must say that it is one of the most convincing arguments for GLBT acceptance I have yet seen. I encourage you to please continue showing your son and his life to the world until it is safe for all people to live in. The vile hate produced by the raging bigots of the world cannot help but fall away, empty, in the light of the love you have for your son. You tell his story so plainly and with such caring presence that I am confident that it will soothe the anger in many hearts that hear your words. Still, I have read some of your guestbook, and I am saddened that there are people who still just don't get it, even after reading this.
As a 19 year old lesbian transsexual, I am intimately acquainted with the hate that killed Billy and hurt his friends. But I feel a bit more reassured after reading about Billy, as some of that hate must abate from the truth and love in your words.
Thank you and be well,
Brighid :)


God bless.

David Nowell

I have read this story, I understand and feel very angry that most parents and families cannot be as supportive as you were with your son. You did all that you could do to save yet the hate mongers of this world took away the most precious gift that god could give to a family... A Child.... The light that we leave to shine in this world.

Daune Nicholas

Bill must be very proud of all of you! And, I thank you for the presentation. All of us, Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, heterosexual, we all need to know how deep and how far hate will take us. God Bless all of you, you are in our prayers,
Rev. Jay Neely
District Coordinator
Gulf Lower Atlantic District
Universal Fellowship of
Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Jay Neely

What a terrible ordeal; I'm sorry you had to go through any of it. Thank you for writing such a moving story. I hope that it will serve its purpose and put an end to this nonsense. God bless you.

Crissy Terawaki

Very moving story, I don't know what else to say. I came across your page researching links for a set of pages I'm putting together on homo/bisexuality here in Maine, where we are facing a "people's veto" of our new gay rights law. We want people to vote "No" on Feb. 10 to not repeal the law, so that people like Bill at least cannot be legally discriminated against in housing, employement, and so on. More information can be found from my homepage. Thank you for sharing Bill's story with us.

John Brooking

Though I've been "out" for twelve years now, since I was 16, I think I've never found a proper outlet for the rage I feel at others' hatred. To me, hatred can be as subtle as a vote against a public school's idea to include gay tolerance education in their curriculum, to the beatings I've endured as have my friends, to the terrible and not-uncommon tragedy that happened to your son.

Gabi, I live in Seattle now, not far from you. If there are resources in this area where I can donate time, please let me know. My skills are mostly in public speaking and written communication, but I can consider offering other help depending on what's needed.

Robert Heuer

Gabi, I'm so saddened by your loss, but overwhelmed by your courage. You are truly a hero. Stay Strong!

Sarah Hinkley

You've created a great thing. I agree, education is the best tool against ignorance, prejudice, hatred, phobias... As a very tolerant, straight male, you have my support.

Jack Rach

i am so touched by the story of your son
and i'm ever amazed by the unforgiving nature of some individuals
with support and awareness we can educate
and possibly... one day end the hurt.
God Bless YOU


I just surfed aross this website. I am so deeply touched and I cann't think rihgt now. However, what I really want to tell you is that justice will finally come to this nation, and no any discrimination should survive under our democracy. Please stay strong. All people in the world with good hearts are standing behind you. All of them will remeber Bill and your great efforts of supporting your son and the equality for gay/bi/trans people. Justice will come finally. Stay strong.

Kai-yan Lee

Hi Gabi,
I just read your story and right now, it's quite hard to type, I'm in tears.
What a story....I took one look at those
photo's and just lost it. My thoughts
are with you. Keep speaking out, it's
the only way things get done!
I was surfing the net and came across
your sight.
Wishing you all the best,
Denny McL.

Denny McLain

As a survival of harrassments, I am not gay, but I can understand the feelings Bill had went through. We must put an end to hatred of all sorts of diversity from racism, anti-semetism, and homophobia. Martin Luther King had a dream and a dream for all people to get along in a world without hatred. You are a crusader. And I would someday would like my child to go to school without harrassment. In fact I would like to see all children to be taught the ways of diversity at an early age. My heart goes out to you Gaby.

Patrick Warner

I was sent your story by a friend and was very saddened to hear of one so young a victim of such a hateful act. In a world where innocence is lost so early it seems hate also casts a darker shadow on our youth. I'm sorry for your loss.. God Bless.


Thank you for a beautiful, touching, although heartbreaking story. I am a high school teacher recently made aware of the problems of gay/lesbian teens. Your story inspires me to learn more and begin doing more to help teenagers and make society more aware and tolerant.


We are very saddened and touched by your loss. kate has cried and i have almost. we just want you to know not everyone is "homophobic" and our prayers are with you. Bill's story, i'm sure has changed the lives of many people.

jenn & kate

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