Like it's 1997 | 802 Online

Like it's 1997

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In case you've missed it, I highly recommend Patrick Raymond's autobiography in blog posts over at Twenty-Something. Raymond, aka "Crash," writes compellingly about coming out and navigating life as a gay teen in Vermont. This link will take you to 1997: Part Eight (Age 17) "Backlash", in which Raymond gets an anonymous religious missive from a "concerned parent." It comes after he outed himself in the Rutland Herald, after starting a gay rights group at Rutland High School.

Remembers Raymond:

Backlash continues. I get more “fan mail.” Prank calls come nightly at my home. “Faggot” is breathed into the receiver before they hang up. All of it is anonymous and creepy. At school, though overwhelmingly supported, I start to see the underbelly of homophobia within the student body. I start to notice who doesn’t talk to me, who stares at me in class, who might kick my ass if given the chance. I write an editorial for the school paper called “Reactions” about hate and about some of the backlash. I call out some of those who stare and it helps – for a bit.

I’m still happy. I’m still proud. But the reality is setting in. I am a hated man.

FYI, this happened before I wound up in Vermont, while I was a senior, coming out at Washington and Lee University, which ranks high in Princeton Review categories like "Most conservative students," and "Alternative lifestyles not an alternative." So I'm sympathetic.

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