Gabi Clayton's Guestbook #8 - From 2/25/98 to 4/12/98
Note: This guestbook reads from the bottom of the page up. -- Gabi

From:Bobbie and Jenny (
Date: Sun Apr 12 18:25:12 1998


First I would like to thank you for sharing your story with so many people and being so supportive.
I will never understand this violence but people like you are an insperation for us all to keep fighting aginst hate crimes. Me and Jenny are students at Berea College in central Kentucky and we see intolerance everyday. As gay and lesbian students we know well what it is like to survive in a homophobic enviroment. We hope that Bill has found gentle peace and his struggle inspires us to continue to work to make this a world which is worthy of Bill

From: (
Date: Fri Apr 10 19:09:26 1998

only a few words

Mu dear gaby, of course i don't know you, living far away but i'm so touched by this story....
just want you to let me know my deepest regards.
i was so moved by your story. can't stopping thinking about it and it makes me mad/furious
like to wish you all the best I just don'tknow what to say. I'll think of Bill.....

From: Linda Seabrook (
Date: Fri Apr 10 17:43:50 1998

Response to Bill's Story

I work in Victim Services at the National Victim Center. I came across "Bill's Story" while researching resources for a gay victim of hate crimes in Des Moines. I just wanted to let you know how beautiful a tribute it was to your son. I was truly honored to read of Bill's life and am inspired by his legacy. Keep fighting!

From: Pattie (
Date: Thu Apr 9 13:22:44 1998


Thank you Gabi for being there, There are so many ignorant people in this world, and it breaks my heart! You have such positive energy that its nice to just "know" you! You've done wonderful things for my family , I can only imagine what you have done for others! Hang in there, You DO make a difference! See ya round', Pattie Ann :-)

From: Gene (
Date: Thu Apr 9 03:12:58 1998

bill's story


From: Joey (
Date: Wed Apr 8 22:48:15 1998


I just want to express my deepest regards to you and your family. It is a tragidy in todays world when young and innocent people (any people at that) have to pay the ultimate price to just live life as they want to. It was a tragidy that your son died too young when it seemed that he had just gotten through the hurdles with the past five years prior. But, ironically you son touched more lives with you writing his story. I hope that the young people who read this learn that life does go on, everyone goes through hurdles their entire life, if you don't then you are not alive. My prays go out to you, your family, your son and everyone and anyone that may be living your son's life. My god give those people the strength to so on. God bless

From: Martha Hay (
Date: Wed Apr 8 18:13:30 1998

The Christian right is Neither

First of all, as a young woman who is a Lesbian and a Christian, I need to apoligize for the actions that some people committed against your son in the name of everyone who believes in Jesus.
Please know that there are Christians in this country who are Proud to be Gay and who will stand up for the rights of all of the LBGT community.
What happened to your son is wrong, and I pray that the people behind the acts of pure hate will someday be held responsible for his death. Please continue to be an Ally-we need more mothers who are not ashamed to stand behind us and next to us.

From: Chris Miller (Millerboy@. com)
Date: Mon Apr 6 17:01:33 1998

A cry for bill

A friend to a friend I hope that the life for the family is goind better
being bi is hard I hope you like this story was sad this is a CRY OUT BILL
Chris Miller

From: Chris Miller (Millerboy@. com)
Date: Mon Apr 6 16:55:20 1998

A cry for bill

A friend to a friend I hope that the life you have is goind better
being bi is hard I hope you like this sorry
Chris Miller

From: martins little sister (
Date: Mon Apr 6 11:48:52 1998

This is one of the most together family. All the members have a purpose. You will lead the world to better place.
Your are a wonderful family. Our job on this earth is to bring everyone to a better place. You are doing a great job. Your son was a gifted soul. One that was here for a purpose. He will lead the way for change with your help.

From: Mike (
Date: Mon Apr 6 11:36:29 1998

Teen Suicide

Claytoly, I just wanted to say that I admire your courage to speak of your lose to try to help others. I was an 11 year old boy in 1988, when my brother, 18, hung himself. To this day I do not speak of the incident. My brother was not gay, but he was a troubled youth. Suicide is a devistating thing to those left behind. There are so many questions that will never be answered.

From: amanda (
Date: Sun Apr 5 15:56:12 1998


i am doing a report for one of my college classes on all of the hate groups that occur, not only in the US, but all over the world, and i came across your son's story...and i just wanted to let you know that your son's story really hit a nerve. i cannot imagine hating someone for their sexual orientation, race, or religion. your son had a long, happy life ahead of him, and what gave people the right to take it from him?? just to let you know that someone in Pennsylvania appreciated yor story, and i am very sure he is smiling down on you from heaven.

From: jack (
Date: Sun Apr 5 11:36:02 1998

a chinese boy

I am crying for bill in a song's name,"fading like a flower",bill left this world when he was so young.i think you are a great mother,you are a hero.
though my english is not very good,but you can believe my real heart.
many asiaman trust people would have next life after he(she)dead.this maybe make you fell better,i can say bill would still remeber the love you given to him in his next life.and let me hope he will live in a perfect world when he get his new life.

From: somer weygandt
Date: Sat Apr 4 23:22:47 1998

Wonderful Gabi totally WONDERFUL!!! I am so happy that I could finally read Bill's story.I hope you are doing well! Keep up the important work ! Hope to see you soon.

From: Rhoda
Date: Sat Apr 4 23:00:40 1998

Thank you for a touching story.

Thank you for sharing your for sharing your son Bill's Story to all of us who didn't know Bill. It make us of aware things we usally don't think about.Thank You.

From: Rhoda
Date: Sat Apr 4 23:00:30 1998

Thank you for a touching story.

Thank you for sharing your for sharing your son Bill's Story to all of us who didn't know Bill. It make us of aware things we usally don't think about.Thank You.

From: Debrah LaRue (
Date: Sat Apr 4 19:24:29 1998

To SORROW who posted on 3/26

This is not a page to set up a debate with the purveyors of Evil and Hate, so I apologise for distracting thought from the central issue. Sorrow; I hope your life and that of your family will never be threatened by HATE. For someone, somewhere probably hates you for who you are or for your beliefs. Therein lies the problem. "Hate Steals Your Energy" and each soul must search itself and look in the mirror at the face of kindness or fascism. I hope you like what you see. Should you ever have children, may you be reminded of the heartless statement you placed on a page that mourns the loss of an innocent child.

From: Ricky (
Date: Sat Apr 4 11:45:59 1998

Just beginning

Getting even more connected. Hi, Gabi, this is Ricky. I never knew you had this web page, and it will take me a while to fully experience it. I just wanted to drop a line to say hello, and I'll be writing more.

From: Sara Szmodis (
Date: Sat Apr 4 09:27:11 1998

Thoughts and Opinions

Gabi--I was at Steve S's chat on Friday night and decided to stop by. Firstly, nice job on the page--the design is excellent. About Bill's story...Bill was obviously a gifted and creative individual. It is clear that he is here in everything that you've tried to do since his death and in that way he is not gone--he lives in your work.

From: Ron Anderson (
Date: Fri Apr 3 11:35:36 1998

The Angel called Bill

Bill's story is so heart rending that is impossible for me to believe that anyone who reads it could think that it is OK (or even good for God's sake) to hate.

I am reminded of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi where he asks God "where there is hate, let me sow love"

Thank you for sowing the seeds of love in your children and thank you for sharing those children with the world.

I hope and trust that Bill can act as an Angel and sow love from the spirit world and that his story will help many people find love where there was once hate.

Bill's story is so sad and I hope that you find comfort in loving words from strangers around the world.

From: David A. Hardy (
Date: Wed Apr 1 20:32:12 1998

We all must come together in order to get something done!

I just read your story for the first time and wanted to tell you and the rest of Bill's family how sorry I am to read about your sons death. It is tragic, and need not have happened. No one should ever have to endure the kind of fear that your son and so many others face. But saddly, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to getting anything done about ending the hate and prejudice of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. We are prejudice against each other and only after we can learn to put aside our petty differences and join together and stand up for our equal civil rights can we ever get anything done. I hope and pray for the day that this can be accomplished so that nobody will have to live in fear anymore.
Thank You,

From: Kate
Date: Wed Apr 1 18:46:16 1998

faith and fear

In spite of all the pain you have endured, your faith in love is helping me feel a little less fearful today. Thank you.

From: Richard (
Date: Tue Mar 31 11:26:35 1998

Thank you for your tibute

As a gay man who was beaten by his mother after coming out,(at 16) I cannot express how moved I was by your loving response to your son's life. I am terribly sorry he is gone. I am in tears as I type this, thank you for your love.

From: dean (
Date: Tue Mar 31 08:36:11 1998

Thanks for your home page

I was moved to tears upon hearing your story. I thank you for making us aware of the terrible hate that too many in our society hold against gays.

From: Richard (
Date: Sun Mar 29 11:42:44 1998

Bill's Story

Thank you for sharing this very personal and heart breaking story with all of us.

From: gary (
Date: Sun Mar 29 11:33:00 1998


Just wanted to say thanks for sharing the story!

From: spork-girl (
Date: Sat Mar 28 00:44:36 1998


my friend and fellow TLS fan (she converted me) was recently faced with some rather hateful people, when she wrote an article about legalizing same-sex marriages. she talked to steve about it, and they came the conclusion that people need to put a face to the issue...and bill's story has done just that. i was very moved.

many hugs,

From: Matt (
Date: Fri Mar 27 01:55:59 1998

As a post-script, sorry about running out of space...and if you'd like, I'll send you the rest of what I was going to write.

From: Matt (
Date: Fri Mar 27 01:52:39 1998

I would just like to thank-you for sharing this very personal story in such a deeply emotionally moving way, without being too meladramatic. I recently experienced something similiar to the attack Bill went through, although to a lesser degree, and I was able to escape...but all the same it struck a chord in me, and so I had to write you a little something. I'm only 17, and alas, have little political clout as of yet, so I'm pretty unable to do much in my own community, but I firmly believe that the only thing in this world worth hating is hate. Kind of a paradox, but the truest paradox I could ever think of. If you ever have an anti-hate campaign or anything of that nature, and you want some help with it, don't hesitate to E-mail me. Also, I apologize for just giving my first name, but I am as of yet still closeted except to a few close friends, and am, sadly, paranoid about being recognized.
Bill's story has had an amazing impact on me personally, and I must say, the gre

From: ken snode (N/a)
Date: Thu Mar 26 17:32:24 1998


death to queers
die die die die die

From: Rev. Justo Gonzalez, II (JGONZO2@AOL.COM)
Date: Thu Mar 26 00:24:34 1998


Thank you for sharing your son and yourselves. We in the church must do more to honor all of God's creation. I promise you that I will work towards justice all the days of my life. I have and will continue to bring forth the worth, dignity and honor of the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. I will use your son as an example of God's grace, love, care and compassion. I will share his story to challenge the people of God to embrace and welcome all of God's creation. You will be in my reflections and prayers.


Pastor Justo

From: Phyllis Gerzich (
Date: Tue Mar 24 19:31:55 1998

Thank you

You had a wonderful son.
Solace that has worked for me: People who are never completely forgotton, never completely die.
Your web site will keep that young man alive in the hearts and minds of thousands.
God bless.

From: Phil Herrington (
Date: Mon Mar 23 23:06:18 1998

Thank you for your gift.

Dear Gabi,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is a beautiful tribute to Bill. Over the years, I have learned how important it is to tell your story because I am a gay man who has been blessed by association with a Twelve Step healing group. Rest assured that Bill's story will touch hearts and move people to action all around the world. I pray that God will bless your pain and sacrifice by saving one other mother's son, by letting one teenager know that they are not alone, by encouraging one more survivor of sexual abuse to keep on trying.

Thank you for your love, your courage, and your strength.

May God hold you, your family, and the other families like yours in the palm of His hand.

Phil Herrington

From: Shaun Bryan (
Date: Mon Mar 23 19:31:55 1998

Memories of Me

Growing up in a small town in New Zealand, I too knew the pain of abuse, both physical and emotional due to me being a homosexual. Unfortunately I did not have a suppotive family and when I did attempt suicide my mother told the department of social welfare that she could not cope with me living in the family home. (I was 13 years old & never lived at home again)
I have cried reading Bill's story as I think about how it could have been me, only with no-one to grieve. I love your honesty and your support for Bill. You have touched my life and Bill is now in my memories.

From: Cheryl Ingram (
Date: Sat Mar 21 14:22:35 1998

courage, etc.

Thank you for telling your son's story. I talk with people all the time who simply will not believe there is real hate out there for many of us simply because of who we love. Anyway, it must be difficult to continually revisit your son's death, but please know that you are making a difference, and that the truth is a powerful weapon - keep wielding yours with strength.

From: Spud
Date: Fri Mar 20 21:31:59 1998

that anything like that could happen in America

I just finished reading "Bill's sTory" and I want to say that I didn't think things like that happened. When I came out as a lesbian to my school and family it wasn't exactly OK, but nobody did anything like that. I was beat up once by a girl who later apologised and said "I'm glad I see past that now. Because you're a really great person." And she gave me a hug (all this from a chick who choked me so hard I passed out once.) To prevent this kind of thing I tried to start a gay-straight alliance at my school that was knocked down... I know nothing can stop the prejiduces of people, but nobody should need to see a reason to die because of their sexual preference. I fully agree that we should band together and fight this kind of vicious misunderstanding. "Liberty and justice for all", doesn't it say? It's a pipe dream for now.
Good luck.

From: Debrah LaRue (
Date: Thu Mar 19 16:09:52 1998

anti-hate research

I was overwhelmed by your story. Isn't it amazing how many of the gay community are bright, kind and talented? I have a 16 year old son and 14 year old daughter and I too cannot imagine your loss. I found your site whilst researching hate groups and anti-hatred movements on the web. I am choosing a dozen or so to link to a subpage called "Hate Steals Your Energy." I will display your link prominently. Thank you for strength in sharing this tragedy with the world. Hate must not grow. Humanity has no hope without the survival of the innocent and persistent education of the masses.

From: Amanda (
Date: Thu Mar 19 09:54:37 1998

Bills story

I am glad to see that you have continued your sons courageous fight.As a mother of young children, their futures still unknown, I hope that they will live in a more tolerant place than we live in now. I could not imagine losing a child and my heart goes out to you. Be strong Amanda

From: Alastair Scott (
Date: Wed Mar 18 16:22:15 1998



I first read the site on Sunday night and was absolutely stunned and moved to tears (which has NEVER happened before on reading a Web page, I can tell you!); my partner and I have spent the last four nights doing a lot of talking and thinking about what happened.

As a result we have become strong supporters of this campaign:

The United Kingdom is a relatively tolerant secular country - at least, it is where I live - and people normally keep their opinions to themselves, but it is vital that the general public is educated so that crimes, such as those perpetrated against your son, are seen as unacceptable by EVERYONE.

Thank you for your searingly honest Web site.


From: Thierry (
Date: Tue Mar 17 11:10:47 1998

Je vous garde dans mon coeur, une inspiration, une marque de courage

Their is no words that I know in English to express what I feel right now, so I wrote it in french. I just have to say that I love you and love is all I have to give to the world!
I am a 22 yrs old guy, openly gay, father of a 2 yrs old, and my biggest fear is that my daughter in the future, will be bashed because of her two daddy's, I try not to think about it but its so hard sometimes kids are so cruel between each other, well I am not going to tell you my problems, but that I was very "emu" by your website, and that the earth, needs more people like you! Thierry:)

From: larry
Date: Mon Mar 16 21:22:25 1998


I am sorry for your loss, Bill was so lucky to have such a support network.

From: Anthony Hesseltine (
Date: Sun Mar 15 15:26:04 1998

Thank you

Dear Gabi and Alec,
Thank you for sharing something so personal and important. I only hope this will inspire others, including myself, to be a support for young gay teens who need it the most.
-Anthony Hesseltine

From: Monica (
Date: Wed Mar 11 20:56:41 1998

Wow... I greatly admire your courage

Dear Mrs. Clayton,
I am senior in a high school in Connecticut. I live in a very consrvative and sheltered little town. We don't seem to have a problem with homophobia, but it lurks here. No much how little there is, it is still horribly wrong. For my AP english class, I have to write a paper proposing some change. I wanted a gay/straight alliance. All across America there have been teens that have stood up to their schools and demanded this right. My principal, like many others, is afraid to take this step. He's afraid of what homophobic parents will do. I'm writing my paper to him to show him that he shouldn't just be afraid of those homopobic people. He should be afraid for those that aren't hoomphobic, that get harrassed everyday. A classmate of mine has come out as being gay, and he is really proud of it. But everyday he comes across hatred, confusion, ignorance, and much pain. He is moving away to try to find a place wher he isn't a

From: Rebecca
Date: Wed Mar 11 20:50:35 1998

Thank you.

As a teenage lesbian and someone who has been touched by the suicide of a friend, your page stuck several chords in my heart. I was doing research on anti-hate crime legislation when I stumbled upon it and was compelled to read it. Thank you. You touched my heart and I'm sure you've left your (in reality, BILL's) mark on countless people. Teenage homosexuality is definitely not easy to deal with, and I respect Bill and the other student's accomplishment of "the" assembly and the speaker. If only my school had such an organization. Thanks for being so caring and amazing and sharing your story with me.
"When you learn to love yourself, you will dissolve all the stones that are cast..."
~Amy Ray, Indigo Girls

From: Shawn Abernethy (
Date: Wed Mar 11 19:03:48 1998

Bill's Story

Hi Gabi!

Debi Roberts (below) let me know about your website, and I've just finished reading Bill's Story and related links. I am so amazed, overwhelmed and inspired by your wonderful site.

I remember coming to your house one day to have dinner with the family. Alec and I left work at the same time, but he stopped at the store and I got to your house first. I remember Bill running out to greet me yelling "Dad! Dad!", and the way his face kind of fell when he realized that it was me. Bill was disappointed because he was so looking forward to his Dad coming home from work! I remember that short exchange made me realize what an incredibly loving family you, Alec, and Catherine had made for your children. Bill must have been about 13 or so, and I thought how different it was compared to other boys that age were growing apart from their families.

I remember your house always being one of love and support. You have indeed made a living memorial in Bill's ho

From: Nick Rombout (
Date: Mon Mar 9 05:05:51 1998

I just wanted to say that I'm very touched by this story. I am 20 years and openly homosexual for about two and a half years. I live in Belgium, Europe. I never had to face discrimination or violence (so far) and, when I read this, I almost feel guilty about it. Guilty about having more luck, because I live in a place that is very tolerant. I hope that one day every place on earth will be a tolerant place.

I wish everyone who is fighting for the rights of discriminated people much strenght.


From: Debi Roberts (
Date: Sun Mar 8 22:37:19 1998

haven house

Hi Gabi! Don't know if you remember me, I'm a friend of Shawn Abernethy who worked with Alec, and you and I worked at Haven House back in 1992 (actually, I was doing my internship then.) I was pregnant and had a little boy, Jade.
Was looking for resources on Sexual Minorities for a paper for grad school, and I stumbled upon your site (which is great, by the way). Just wanted to say hi. - Debi

From: the frankster (
Date: Sun Mar 8 12:45:47 1998

"bill's story"

i was touched by your son's story and truly belive "silence is where the hate grows..." and my strength is with you. i have never had lost like that, or a conflict i thought was to great to overcome, however to a degree, i do feel sad. very sad that this awlful silence it took a life of your son. i will not be quite nor will i fight the silence hear words, my thoughts, and my heart go out to u and to all.

the frankster

From: Nancye McCrary (
Date: Thu Mar 5 14:22:10 1998

Creating an Educational Simulation Series on Issues of Discrimination

I just read "Bill's Story" and first, I want to thank you for being so forthright, honest and open regarding such a painful event in your life. I am writing because I would like to create a series of simulations for the purpose of educating teachers, counselors, school administrators, parents, etc. I am beginning with one on gay, lesbian, bisexual youth. It is crucial in simulation exercises that the stories be authenic, and I need any assistance you might be able to provide with regard to this. I am working on a doctoral degree in Instructional Systems design at the University of Kentucky, after 25 years as a teacher, artist, and all my life as a lesbian. Let me know if we can communicate via e-mail, etc. I will formulate some specific questions in the meantime. Thanks, Nancye

From: Bonnie Noe (
Date: Wed Mar 4 20:43:41 1998

Bill's Life

I am choking back tears as I write this! I am so sorry for your loss and the world's loss. As a lesbian survivor of childhood abuse, I too fight the depression and sense of hopelessness that Bill fought. Sometimes, I forget how lucky I am to be alive so that I can help fight for JUSTICE. Hoping one day no child will endure what Bill did ( and so many others). HATE CRIMES Legislation is upcoming... WRITE YOUR CONGRESS PERSON! ANNOY THEM! MAKE SURE THEY KNOW YOU BY NAME! The Human Rights Campaign has e-mail addresses for all lawmakers! Somehow in the pain of our own lives, we MUST remember that we are making this world a better place for all the baby Bill's that were just born! Our battle today may make a life tomorrow easier!

From: Bill Stewart (Chitanitis@AOL.COM)
Date: Tue Mar 3 19:11:06 1998

BILL'S Story

As a counselor myself and also in the mental health field at present, your son's story could have been mine as a bisexual teen of the early 70's. No supportive friends until college . I turned to the pursuit of finding personal truth not within the boundary of societal norms, but from the love which I extended to others.

Your words reminded me of an book of poetry which you may remember by these simple words:

Love Is An Attitude
Alone We Find Solitude
Together We Find Love...

May you be blessed for all of the lives saved through your sharing and insight..


From: Joshua DeMers (
Date: Tue Mar 3 00:01:52 1998

My thoughts and prayers

This is not the first time I have read this story....but every time I do, I realize how much we have to protect our youth and how much work we still have to do to educate and make a positive change. It is a heartwrenching story, but it gives us hope as well...that an understanding and wonderful mother would love her son so much that she would not let his spirit die away...even if his body has. I applaud you and admire you greatly.

From: Joel Dancingfire (
Date: Mon Mar 2 16:16:28 1998

Something good out of Pain?

There are so many levels that I would address after reading Bill's story. It renews personal pain and outrage, But perhaps more importantly, it offers me a chance to do something.
Our school has a vast e-mail web and each student and faculty can recieve messages. I intend to alert them to this URL and encouorage as many as possible to read it. There are undoubtedly students who will have personal indentifications and reactions to Bill's story. There are also a number of students who are active against homophobia and other predujices that will undoubetly continue alerting others to the message in this page.
Thank you for sharing everything you have with us. It is beautifully done and I can think of no greater tribute to Bill if it helps in preventing repititions of his story in other young people's own lives across our land.


Joel Dancingfire

From: Vickie (
Date: Sat Feb 28 21:44:44 1998

Bill's Story

I think I am too emotional for words. Just wanted to let you know that I had been here, and that you have my support and prayers. I am truly sorry for you loss. He looks like a friend of mine's son -- such a good kid.

From: Cristen (
Date: Fri Feb 27 00:33:00 1998


I just wanted to say Bill's story is one of tragedy and proof to me that we need to take action. I'm a bisexual myself and though I've never had to face what Bill faced, I know the feelings of hate over something so pointless as sexual orientation. No one should have to die because of who they love, No one ever.

From: Kris Cummings (
Date: Thu Feb 26 16:06:06 1998


Thsi is one of the most profound stories that I have read in my life. I am a recent graduate from a Canadian High School. There is finally a move here to start making some change in this local school district. I hope that we can get the support of so many people in our endeavour... Good luck in the future...

From: Gabi Clayton 
Date: Thu Feb 26 02:48:30 1998

Welcome to my new guestbook

This guestbook was started on 2/25/98.

I have a page with links to all the response pages, other guestbook pages and pages related to "Bill's Story" at:

Thank you for visiting my website, for taking the time to respond, and for all your support.

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