Faces of Victims of Hatred
Matthew Shepard died for being gay. Matthew put a face on homophobia. Perhaps no other gay person has been so identified with results of the hatred than Matthew Shepard. The face Matthew Shepard put on homophobia is making a difference.
This page tells the stories of people who face hatred, prejudice and discrimination. Some of the stories are long and some of them are short. All of the stories are sad. These stories remind us that there are faces behind hatred. When we hate people who are different, we hurt people - real live, actual people.
Email us stories of how hatred, prejudice and discrimination impacts on your life.
Gay Teen Suicide
A gay teenaged high school student was bullied at school. Students called him names and he was beaten up because people thought he was gay. Homophobic words, such as queer, fag and homo were written on his locker, books and his body. He was dehumanized and degraded by being stripped. He was also tortured. Some church members who heard rumors that he was gay condemned him.
The pain and hurt were too much. The gay teenager took his life.
We encourage anybody contemplating suicide to get assistance. Do not fight through your feelings alone. You are not alone. There are people who care and who can help. Talk to somebody. Tell somebody how you feel. Discuss how you feel with a trusted friend of family member. Dial 911 or your local emergency phone number. Call the hospital or the police, talk to your physician, or get an appointment to talk to a counsellor.
A few resources for people who are feeling discouraged and are contemplating suicide appear below:
Suicide - Read This First.
Suicide Helplines Around The World.
YellowRibbon.org - Prevention of Teen Suicide.
Suicide Prevention - San Francisco Suicide Prevention site. Has crisis line number.
Suicide Help - University of South Dakota site with general information on suicide and links.
Hurt Filled Words
Me and a couple of friends are always hanging out and doing pretty much the same thing we do every day. We might go skate, or I might just sit around and play guitar (which according to them, I do very well.) I have not yet told them that I am gay, but I do realize that I will have to some day. Anyways, one day we were just hanging out as usual when my friend called his board "gay", just because he didn't land his trick. I asked him, "Why is your board gay?" He replied, "It just made me ______ up!" "How does that make it gay?" I questioned again. "It just is!" he shouted back. Every day from then on, we discussed the topic of homosexuality in that way. He would call something gay, and I would ask why, he would state it was negative, and I would ask why it made that certain thing gay, and he would just ignore the logic behind my statement and feel that anything he thought was negative could be called gay to support that statement of negativity. - Anonymous
16 Year Old Gay Man
hi im a 16 year old male and im gay its hard for me because im young and i have my life ahead of me but i dont know becaue when i see on T.V that people are dieing because of there sexuality its not fair -Anonymous
A Dad of Three
im very Happy to have found this site. is good to know that you are not alone. im a single Dad of 3 dealing with naighbors who want to hurt me and my kids,i hope that if someone with same issues would write to me. -Anonymous
22 Year Old Gay Man
I am a openly gay male at 22 years of age, I however was beaten the other day because of what i believe in, because i was gay, because i stood my ground and i kept my ground, then i heard about matthew. -Anonymous
This story shows that we do not hurt just those we hate. We hurt their families too.
im a mum to a wonderful gay man of 21 and ive just watched laramie project on dvd with him .... never again will he walk thru the door without huge hugs ...lets make the world safe for all .... my prayers are with Matts family -Anonymous