Love always triumphs bias, love always triumphs discrimination, and love always triumphs homophobia…or at least I would like to think so. In the past 6 weeks alone there have been nine students to commit suicide due to bullying and harassment because they were LGBTQ. This not only makes me sad, but it makes me angry. I spent this past weekend with my family, and I once again felt the reality of how it feels to be a part of a group that is naturally hated in society. So many negative and inaccurate comments about the LGBTQ community that are based on either ignorance or just plain biblical misunderstanding. Whatever the problem is, these nine people recently took their own life because of this issue. Does it get better? It does, but only if we continue to push for change and progress in our society.

Billy Lucas (15) September 9, 2010. Indiana

Cody J. Barker (17) September 13, 2010. Wisconsin

Seth Walsh (13) September 19, 2010. California

Tyler Clementi (18) September 22, 2010. New Jersey

Asher Brown (13) September 23, 2010. Texas

Harrison Chase Brown (15) September, 25 2010. Colorado

Raymond Chase (19) September 29, 2010. Rhode Island

Felix Sacco (17) September 29, 2010. Massachusetts

Caleb Nolt (14) September 30, 2010. Indiana

Here is part of my coming out story, In the video (which you hopefully watched) I call it my pulling out story. Since this marks the week of the official “Coming Out Day” I thought it would be appropriate to reiterate some of my experiences and struggles with my family and friends:

The experience of my “coming out story” has shaped my view of the world more than any other event in my development. For any young black gay man from an inner city community, coming out is many times the most difficult struggle of one’s life. Getting to the place where one can stop caring about society‚Äôs judgments and start to accept who they are, is a mountain to climb. I grew up in a very religious and conservative household. When I came out, both my family and the majority of my friends disowned me. I am a homosexual. As a young high school student, when I publicized this statement to family and friends, I never meant it to be a huge revelation for anyone; I simply felt that it was time for me to start presenting myself more authentically, and to take a firmer stand in the fight against homophobia and discrimination. My coming out experience challenged me to look at the world differently. It taught me to be open minded and see life through a universal perspective. My sexuality has taught me to not only think outside the box, but has also forced me to live outside of the box. I now live my life on the exterior of the social norms that I grew up in. This is my declaration, and a testament to that fact that things will get (and are currently in the process of getting) better.