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How far we have come
I look in the mirror and try to remember and forget how it was, I remember my friends in middle school that no longer could stand the pain from their mother's and father's as well as their siblings, Scott kenw that there was a pistol in the night stand by the front door, I had talked to him 4 hours before he took his own life, a junior classman, I was a friend of his brother. Brandon was in the class 1 year ahead of mine, took his life the night of the senior prom, just couldn't cope anymore. William was in my class and we knew each other in the physical sense, he no longer could cope when his dad found out and threatened him with physical harm if he didn't change. A few years ago I found out that there was a gay/straight alliance at my old school, now I wonder not only if I had been there more for them, if we had an alliance like this, would they be alive today. Here where I have decided to spend my last hours I find gay kids openly kissing and hugging on campuses, I see straight people see that with no effect, at least the younger ones, some of the parents make comments. I think it is easier now but still I think that we must support our breathren and let tham know that they are not alone and we as a people support and stand with them as they find themselves helping to give them direction and guidance so they will not fail, Jim
Looking back on this post I see I didn't say how I knew what they were thinking before they killed themselves, there were notes left as well as a letter to me which tore my heart out. So when a newbie is asking for help or someone is still in the closet respect it and give advice or if you don't know maybe you do know someone who can help, been a long time since I used this soapbox, kinda dusty, guess I will get off of it now, Jim
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My "how far have we come" is bitter sweet. I have freedom for the first time in my life, but I am alone.
... Not sure how to respond but just to say I've read it!
[COLOR="Purple"]As I grow to understand less and less,
I learn to love it more and more.
Thanks for reminding us, James, that where we are now has been built largely on the blood, toil and troubles of others. Sadly these troubles are still too much to the forefront in the lives of many. Maybe ... just maybe ... one day?

I don't see it as just a soapbox. Not everyone has life as good as we have and it does no harm to raise that awareness from time to time.
I understand Twazzle"s comment but I guess my point is why should someone die because society doesn't accept what is ingrained in someone's soul, does the whole of society need a scapegoat so badly to blame that they are willing to pick those who are differant and pick and those who are differant than what is considered normal. If any of you can, please define normalacy, I have been trying for 45 years and havn't come up with a good difinition yet.
My hope is that the support now will give those who can't cope somewhere to go and miss the fate of those I cared about, Jim
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Rereading this thread and now being involved with the glbtq center here in Las Cruces, I can see how much further we have come in such a short time. It is good to be alive in these times, to be a part of the change, to have such unselfish and out young people who are wanting to be out in front to push for change. Lots of changes in the last 48 years, some good, some bad, but overall I think that acceptance and equality is not that far off and that I will see it in my life time, Jim
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Now if we can only get the American South on board.
Although there is much left to be desired, it is important to reflect on how far we've come... and to acknowledge those that are unable to witness the progress due to unfortunate circumstances is important as well.
How far have we come?

Today many gay people enjoy more freedom then before, but still there are many wrongs to right in this cruel world of ours. The war of hate against gays is still there, battles still need to be fought and won. People's attitudes are changing and many are accepting the change but still some will not. The path we travel is long and is not straight, with many stop and go signs along the way. I hope the future is better with more love and understanding then hate and oppression.
Yes Rychard, there is much more to do I was just reflecting on my own past and feelings see how far we have come since I was 14, James
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