December 7 is a day that will forever remain etched in my memory.
So far, I have not cried.
During the summer before my freshman year of high school, I realized that I am bisexual. It wasn’t too long after that I decided to come out. It seemed easier than keeping a secret.
I was wrong.
I was not bullied relentlessly; it was more like aggravating teasing because everyone assumed I was actually straight. After about three months, it slowed down, but I would still hear giggles as I walked through the freshman hallway. The few friends I had, had different schedules, and I found myself sitting alone in classes and at lunch. I was okay with this for the most part. I like being alone, but it’s difficult when your peers are laughing at you.
In January of 2003, a new girl enrolled at my school. She was a sophomore, pretty, shy, and alone… just like me. At lunch, I saw her walking around looking for somewhere to sit, so I invited her to my table.
Two weeks later, we started dating. That’s when the relentless bullying started.
We were being pushed into walls, getting food tossed down at us, and framed for cheating, and no matter how many times we went to the principal, it never stopped. He told us that we should break up, because that way everyone would be happy: we would no longer be bullied, and other people wouldn’t have to see us holding hands.
Breaking up was not a solution, so we stayed together through thick and thin. We got a few months of peace in the summer, and my sophomore year started off quiet until another gay couple started dating. We were accused of “turning the school gay” and “queering up the place.” The bullying only got worse. We were depressed, humiliated, and had trouble getting ourselves to go to school. She dropped out. Still, we stuck together.
She came back for the end of her junior year, hoping that it had been long enough for everyone to mature and leave us alone. I knew she was wrong. It was still hell.
I think that was her breaking point.
She spent the summer going in and out of psychiatric hospitals, so depressed she couldn’t get dressed. I tried to be strong for her, but I was having just as hard a time. I was battling an eating disorder and spent three months at a treatment center. At the beginning of her senior year, we both went back to school regularly, putting on our strong faces and trying to push through it. We bought our winter ball tickets and dresses. We were planning a night that nobody, not even our toughest bullies, could ruin.
Then we got the news: we wouldn’t be allowed to attend as a couple. We wouldn’t be allowed to dance together, kiss each other, or do anything that heterosexual couples were allowed to do. We were only allowed to be friends.
We didn’t go.
It was getting harder and harder to face our peers. It was one of the worst times of my life. Physical assaults were now the norm, and I had never seen my girlfriend more depressed.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when her mom called me on December 7, 2004, to tell me that she had overdosed and committed suicide.
My girlfriend, whom I loved so dearly, was dead. Gone forever. I was never going to see her again.
I wish I could say that the bullying stopped after that, but that would be a lie. My classmates blamed me for her death, saying that had we just broken up, she would still be alive. They told me it was my fault. I believed them.
It’s been eight years today since I got that call. It’s gotten easier to deal with and I’ve more or less moved on. But it hasn’t gotten better. Many of my bullies have apologized to me, and while I appreciate the thought, apologies won’t bring my girlfriend back. She is gone forever, and that’s something I will never get over. My current partner, a man, is supportive and caring. I love him like I loved her: completely, unconditionally, and deeply. Today, I will go sit at her grave site and listen to the last mix CD she ever made for me. I still haven’t cried today. And as time goes on, it will continue to get easier.
But I will never forget her.
Submitted by an anonymous reader