Lesbian Teen - The Importance of Raising a Gay Teen with Acceptance

Lesbian teen ...

The short story below was written by the sister of a lesbian teen. This story, which fictionalizes the worst possible outcome of her sister's coming out, illustrates how essential it is for parents to look into their children's hearts and guide the unfolding of their uniqueness, rather than suppressing or trying to change it. (I explain how to do this in my book, Keepers of the Children

Amanda's story about a lesbian teen urges us to be privy to the horrible consequences that can occur when we judge our children harshly, rather than helping them discover who they are and what they have to contribute to the world. I hope you will open your heart to it and reflect upon how it is applicable to your relationship with your children.

Too Late - A Short Story by

Amanda Gilbank

17 year old Lily Sanders was dead. No one was blamed, not a word was whispered, but everyone knew who was at fault for Lily taking her own life. That’s right. Lily committed suicide on the 6th of June, and found beside her body lay her last words, written on a simple scrap of notebook paper:

I am not wrong. I am not evil. I am not the devil.
I am not mistaken, confused, or crazy, either.
My name is Lily.
I am a strong, but sensitive person. I am kind. I am capable.
But I am also a lesbian teen.
This is the part of me that can only be seen by you, the part of me which is ripped to pieces and analyzed by you, all of you.
The world cannot accept me for who I am.
How can I possibly accept who I am?
I will rid the world of one more burden and take my life tonight.
My name is Lily.
Freedom awaits me.

The day was filled with silence. Everyone in the community felt the tension, the unbearable weight, and fought it with the only weapon at their disposal. Most of them felt sad. All of them felt guilty. And all wondered what it must have been like for Lily Sanders to live here, and why it was so bad that she thought she had to die. Josh Monteith was one of the guilty ones. He had gone to school with Lily. They had been mutual friends since grade school. That was, until he found out that she was a lesbian teen. He ridiculed her, vandalized her car, and one night he and a couple of friends cornered and threatened her. Now he could only sit alone in his room, wondering why. Why was she so different? Lily was beautiful; it was no secret that she could have any boy she wanted. It just didn’t make any sense. Why did he put her through such hell? Because she was beautiful? Because she was a “tease” for not dating men? Josh found the old-age useless excuses popping into his head: she was weird, she was wrong, she didn’t belong here and then the big kicker: everyone else was, I thought it was okay. Okay to harass someone day and night? Okay to threaten someone? Okay to drive someone to their death? No. Josh looked out his window and stared at the setting sun, wishing Lily knew how sorry he was now. Now, when it was far too late.~

Across town looking out at that same sunset was Ms. Silvia Coppins, who stayed at the school late that afternoon to mark papers. Mechanically she marked for spelling and grammatical errors, only half aware of what she was truly doing. Her mind drifted, and then finally rested on that strange and disturbing topic of Lily Sanders. Lily had been an excellent student, always at the top of the class and well-liked by teachers. Ms. Coppins could clearly recall the afternoon about six months ago when she heard the students whisper that Lily was gay. At first she dismissed it as idle gossip. Kids are always saying absurd things about one another. Her mind changed when later that week the class humiliated Lily by openly laughing at her during a presentation. Lily stood in front of her classmates and grew redder and redder, unable to move or defend herself, making her the perfect target for this brutal onslaught of degradation. Ms. Coppins could also remember her response to this horribly demeaning and embarrassing display: she froze, unable to act. She couldn’t react the way she should have by calming the class and talking things over with Lily. Instead she found that she couldn’t even look at Lily anymore. Was it this attitude that had forced her to take her own life? Of course it was. Next time, Ms. Coppins promised to herself, I will do something. I will make a difference. Before it’s too late.

She sat in a rocking chair, moving back and forth, back and forth, while the room filled with an orange glow from the dying sun. In her hand was a kid-sized pair of baby-blue knitted mittens, bright against the black of her dress. The room was silent except for the insistent creaking of the rocking chair, so quiet that she could hear every breath she took, every beat of her heart, a painful reminder that she was here and her daughter was not. The silence grew as shadows overtook the small room but the woman never moved despite the tears running freely down her face. Only when the sun had finally slipped out to beyond the sky did she speak. “Good-bye, Lily. I am so sorry, my little girl.”

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