Gabi Clayton's Guestbook #21 - From 8/28/99 to 10/22/99
Note: This guestbook reads from the bottom of the page up. -- Gabi

Name: Len
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Easton PA
Time: 1999-10-21 20:58:55
Comments: "Hold Back The Dawn"meeningful,but sad,and dark. I'm Len.i come here often,to find courage,and strength.find it every time.

Name: Lindsay
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Baltimore
Time: 1999-10-21 16:52:19
Comments: was extremely difficult for me to read your story about Bill's life and death. On September 23, 1999, my best friend of twelve years, Dusty, killed himself. I spent the night at his house and the next morning I found him hanging in his bedroom. Most of us who knew Dusty knew he was gay. His parents knew too, and gave him a hard time about it. Like your son, Dusty left no note but I have no doubt that his sexual orientation and the frustration he felt from it had a major impact on his decision to commit suicide. I am very sorry about Bill and I thank you for this opportunity to tell someone about my amazing friend. Lindsay

Name: Christopher Cole
Referred by: Lycos
From: Atlanta, Georgia
Time: 1999-10-21 13:31:14
Comments: One would think that in this day and age, with all of the exposure given to crimes like this, that people would finally realize that sexual orientation isn't one's entire worth as a human being. Sadly, it's not. Don't worry, God will be with you forever. I know Bill's in Heaven right now smiling down on all of us--especially those desperately fighting to "Hold Back the Dawn."

Name: wendy
Referred by: From a Friend
From: michigan
Time: 1999-10-21 13:25:35
Comments: i think that your story was very very touchin and i have sent it to all my friends and i know they will feel the same. i just want to let you know i am sorry for your lost and i know how it feels. thank you for sharing your story with everyone it took a lot of courge. thank you again love wendy

Name: RJ Stevens
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 1999-10-21 09:51:53
Comments: God bless the memory of Bill, I will light a candle for him at St. Mary's Basilica in Minneapolis, MN in his memory. You are a strong family and he was lucky to have you. Thank you for sharing your story! RJ

Name: Patrick Durgin
Referred by: NewsGroups
From: San Angelo Texas
Time: 1999-10-21 08:50:39
Comments: Your story is very touching and sad. I praise you for your courage and offer any support I can

Name: Michael Brickey
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Washington, DC
Time: 1999-10-21 05:39:58
Comments: Gabi, I am so sorry for your loss, especially such an unnecessary one. Bill sounds like an incredible young man and the world is a worse place because they made it intolerable for him to live his life here. Thank you for the courage and strength to share your story. My hope is that it will find its way into the lives of many people who can be helped by it: another person considering suicide because of sexual orientation, another parent/friend who has faced similar loss, parents who have not been loving and supportive of their child who is facing this same dilemna, those who would hate because of ignorance or fear, and the Christian "right" who through their actions and words are influencing those who would hate and react hatefully towards those of alternative lifestyles. I am passing on your website to many friends and family members and asking them to do the same. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and the friends/supporters of Bill. His memory will remain with me always -- - Michael

Name: Paul Penny
Referred by: Net Search
From: London England
Time: 1999-10-20 06:16:49
Comments: Prejudice and hate WILL NOT prevail. We will stand up ! We will act ! We will NOT be silent !! Wishing you strength and courage. Paul

Name: amie
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: ohio, living in ca
Time: 1999-10-19 20:06:58
Comments: i know what he went through, i've been there, i've tried to kill myself, and i would like to thank the people like you who have helped the people like me amie

Name: Jodi Stone
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Near Cincinnati, Ohio
Time: 1999-10-19 00:46:24
Comments: I just wanted to thank you for sharing something close to your heart...alot of people try to keep quiet about their children's sexual orientation (if its something that's not "normal") are very brave, and again...thank you.

Referred by: Just Surfed On In
Time: 1999-10-18 20:43:25
Comments: I attend Truman state University in Missouri, Im in a group that is making a hate crime cemetary. Using peoples stories and how hate crimes have affected vitimcs and family memebers life. Im sorry you lost a grea t person so tragically I had tears come to my eyes while i was reading this. Would you mind is we shared your sons story...thanks ginger dial and thatnks for supporting gay/bisexual/lesbian teens.

Name: Stacy
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: new york
Time: 1999-10-18 14:01:05
Comments: I think people that do that to gay people or bi...I don't think that they should be punished for it.....I don't think t=it is there falt is was just fate....God i guess wanted them to be that way.....I don't think Bill or any other agy guys wanted to be gay it was just the way they were...That is what I think

Name: Summer Winston
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: thibodaux, louisiana
Time: 1999-10-16 22:22:55

Name: sian
Referred by: From a Friend
From: University of Rochester
Time: 1999-10-16 07:25:55
Comments: Although I am straight- and will never have to endure all of the pain that your son had to through - I do know that he should never have had to experience it. My best friends are open lesbians and I watch people make rude remarks about them all of the time and I just pray that they will never be victimised further. I am glad that you put your sons story out that it can not be ignored- so that others will remember and hopefully see all of the wrong in the situation.

Name: Jennifer
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Lancaster PA
Time: 1999-10-16 05:53:24
Comments: Very very touching.... We're very sorry about your terrible loss!

Name: Brian
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Maryland
Time: 1999-10-15 18:33:35
Comments: That was a very powerful story. It has gotten my emotions flowing. Thank you for sharing. I just wanted to say my thoughts, best wishes, and love are with you all!

Name: Ruth Yoder
Website: um
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Peoria, Illinois
Time: 1999-10-15 15:40:02
Comments: Thank you for telling your story to us. My love goes out to you and Bill~

Name: Alan Rackley
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Los Angeles, CA
Time: 1999-10-15 12:07:20
Comments: dear gabi: i was almost a gay teen suicide statistic. i was raised in the southern baptist church by 'good christian parents' who abused me emotionally and physically. i bought sleeping pills when i was in the 11th grade 'just in case' i got to the point where i couldn't handle it any more. i am one of the lucky ones. my high school friend, bill levelsmier, succeeded in his suicide after many trips to the hospital and several attempts. i am now 35 years old, in recovery for several addictions that i have used to hide from the pain, shame and guilt. i am rebuilding my relationship with god-not the accusing, punitive god of my parents- but the loving god who created me and cares about my physical and spiritual being. i am discovering how much that i, along with most of the gay community, tend to minimize the impact that overt hate has on our collective psyche. thank god for caring, compassionate mothers like yourself who have the strength to carry the message to mothers like mine who are unable to deal with the pain and hurt that their children suffer.

Name: Maria
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: Warren,MI
Time: 1999-10-14 20:10:59
Comments: Hi I read your sons story it was vary touching i found it because i am doing a persuasive essay and i am trying to pursua people thaT people who are bi homosexual ect are normal and good people and i was wondering if i could youse bills story for a example thanks so much i think this is a beautiful site and you did a grate job

Name: Ashley
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: California
Time: 1999-10-14 17:47:22
Comments: Thank you very much for your story about Bill. The only way we can end homophobia in our society is by speaking out about injustice. I hope that your son's story will help to enlighten some people. All my best wishes to your family.

Name: john parker
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: florida
Time: 1999-10-14 04:37:50
Comments: That is a very sad story and it really depresses me that that had to happen. im a gay 18 male who wants to come out but is very scared to john

Name: daniel
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: kentucky
Time: 1999-10-13 00:50:52
Comments: wow gabi, i can only sympathize for the loss of your son. im gay too, fortunately i did make it through my adolescence, im now 24. I still feel many pressures because of my sexuality, consequently, im not entirely open with everyone i know either. i do want to mention that it is extremely cool that you were so supportive of your son. my mom knows, ive not told my father. shes not rejected me, but would rather not discuss homosexually related issues either. i really would do anything, anything! to have parents that were makes it that much more difficult that i cant confide in them. i still wonder how i seemingly deal with being gay in our society...i dunno...was it neitzche who said 'that which does not destroy me only makes me stronger'...god i hope, because it doesnt get any easier.

Name: Ellie Collinson
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Westchester County, NY
Time: 1999-10-12 18:41:51
Comments: I just wanted to thank you for your endearing memorial to your son. I am myself queer and I have been searching the web for information on hate crimes. I am trying to plan a vigil for hate crimes at my college campus. I hope that you will allow me to share some excerpts of your story with the rally group. You sincerity and love is truly moving to me. I only wish that more parents could be as concerned and caring as you have been. Thank you so much for your thoughts. Sincerely, Ellie Collinson

Name: Ray&Randy
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Florida
Time: 1999-10-12 14:08:53
Comments: Dear friend, I have such deep feelings for you and your family. I'am 39 yrs. and have come out 2 years ago. I was married for 10 years and have a 6 yr. old!! He is the joy of my life!! I pray daily and as a christian I hope with the CLOSE relationship we've always had he will be explained about life's struggles we all endure. With the love of myself and his mother, he will be the example of the future!! If not GOD will teach where I couldn't! BLESS YOU and may the strenght of our Lord and Savior be with you!By the way, I'am gay and happily in-love with a school teacher,P-FLAG,GLESEN, and full time choir director at our church. Again Bless you and remember for those of you who are anti-gay and enjoy HATE!! You will have to face GOD for what you've done!! LOVE TO ALL!!

Name: amanda
Referred by: Lycos
From: kansas city mo
Time: 1999-10-11 19:51:47
Comments: I was reading bill clayton's story, a poem by jason joaquin almonte on his webpage and i was deeply touched by it. Then i saw that you had a webpage in memory of Bill. I find it very saddening that homophobic people drove your son to kill him self. I myself have felt suicidal too and tried to kill myself and i know how it feels. If I could say anything to Bill I would say that "I accept you." Just a couple of months ago my cousin told me that he was bisexual. Before that I always thought gays and Bisexuals were gross but I geuss him coming out to me kind of opened my eyes. I realized that gays are people too they just have a different sexual preference. Now i accept gays and biseuals cuz i realize they are people too. Please email me if there anything i can do to help our society accept gays.

Name: Jenna
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: New York
Time: 1999-10-11 15:16:27
Comments: hi...your story really did touch me and I would just like you to know that i feel for you. You are a very trong person. Jenna

Name: Justin Bryant
Referred by: AOL
From: St Petersburg Florida
Time: 1999-10-11 12:31:40
Comments: I hope evrything is going alright with the family you all have my best wishes

Name: kerrhys jeeves
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: plymouth, england
Time: 1999-10-11 07:13:38
Comments: A very moving story from which we have decided to produce a talk on for our university degree. It will address issues of how innocent people turn to suicide for being who they are.

Name: Austin Perkins
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Nekoosa, wis---a small closed-minded town
Time: 1999-10-10 20:18:28
Comments: I stumbled upon Billy's story searching for resources to use to open up my town about homosexualty and other prejudices. I'm 18 yrs old, openly gay and live in a very closed-minded town. I am lucky to have not been physically assualted--yet. I, too, suffered from depression because of society's view on homosexualty; was put into the hospital for trying to commit suicide, luckily I learned to deal with being gay, and now live happily. I read Billy and your story, and I Cried. It's terrible. I'm so sorry. I know what's it's like. Please if you did open your area against hate and prejudices, I would appreicate it so I can do the same to my town and fight for Billy and everyone else. Your story really touched me. I didn't know Billy but would like to keep his spirit alive. Thanks for your time......

Name: A guy from Sweden
Referred by: Net Search
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Time: 1999-10-10 11:03:11
Comments: Gabi, I was doing a search on the internet for Hate Crimes in human history, and I came to your site. I was very moved by your story, and I want you to know that as long as there is people like you in this world, there is hope for mankind. May the memory of Bill live forever.

Name: Aaron Nelson
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Canton, SD
Time: 1999-10-10 07:12:31
Comments: I read Bill's story and found a lot of similarities in his own life and in mine. I'm a gay teenager from a very small and close-minded community. Growing up is a very difficult process with many confusing thoughts, this process is made even more difficult when you are facing something that everyone tells you is wrong and sinful. Although I would like to think that hate crimes will soon no longer exist, I know this is not true, so all we can do is keep our poise and learn to defend ourselves with pride and dignity.

Name: william tan
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: Malaysia
Time: 1999-10-08 20:45:45
Comments: I read the story of bill with great sadness and I would like to say that what you did was inspirational to me. I am bi-sexual and when I read Bill's story, the radio was playing "Stay the same" by Joey McIntyre. The story and song reminds me of how fragile and precious life is and we should always be who we are. It would be perfect if we could do so without fear or prejudice

Name: Lesley
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: Ohio
Time: 1999-10-08 11:17:08
Comments: I am very sorry for your loss and Ihope that something can be done about the hate crimes that go on in America

Name: Robert Raketty
Website: Robert Raketty's Homepage
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Seattle, WA
Time: 1999-10-07 18:52:44
Comments: I feel like it is an honor to know Gabi personally, her strength and her wisdom are contagous. I have also learned a great deal from her and she has taught me one important virtue, patience. In my eyes, her son, Bill is a victim of an ineffective and divided political/social system. Had her son learned about the lives of important gays and lesbians, had not there existed ineffective laws/legislation and had our society taught respect for all human kind, Bill may still be with us today. As a survivor, I am thankful to Gabi for exposing the hipocrasy of it all. Keep up the good fight!

Name: Michael
Website: .......
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: spokane wa
Time: 1999-10-07 01:52:33
Comments: I am 18 years old, i'm a bisexual male...... I lost my brother to suiced. I understand how it feels to be in both shoes... I pray that one day this hatred for gays/bis/etc, will just end.... Bill's story was beautiful, it was very sad. i am very sad this happened. I hope it all works out for you Thanks Love Michael

Name: Dave G
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England
Time: 1999-10-06 08:16:27
Comments: Whilst no words can express the sadness you must have felt and continue to feel over the loss of your Son, your sheer strength of love and will in bringing his story to our attention, can only but help shine a light in the darkness of the minds of those who practice homophobia and gay bashing. Sadly so many people to this day remain prejudiced to any other form of love than that of their own, inspite of love being beautiful whether it be from woman to woman, woman to man, or man to man. May I sincerely wish you every luck and success with your goals and for sharing "Bill's Story" with us and one that has touched me deeply. Bill will never be forgotten, as he forever lives in your hearts and of those who read your words. My sincere thoughts to you. Dave G.

Name: samantha staver
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: myrtle beach sc
Time: 1999-10-05 17:49:21
Comments: i was working on a project about hate groups and your page affected me. i am still touched by it. i am writing to tell you that i am sorry for your lose. i am totally against all this hate in the world today and i have managed to help some of my friends change their ways. sincerely, samantha

Name: Carlos Velez
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Sacramento, CA
Time: 1999-10-03 22:33:28
Comments: I have reached this destination from It deeply saddens me to read what happened to Bill. We all must work together to erradicate the hate epidemic that is spreading throughout the country. People need to LEARN and PRACTICE tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I do my part by volunteering in the community and showing people that being different is an asset and hate has no place in our community.

Name: Gina Costanzo
Referred by: Net Search
From: Katy Texas
Time: 1999-10-03 14:45:50
Comments: I am a gay woman that is just comming out. I felt sad and angry while reading what your son, and your family has gone through. I volenteer at the Gay and Lesbian switch board in Houston, and I talk to gay teens, and adults who are having trouble accepting the fact that they are gay. Reading Bill's story has confirmed my belief that I need to speak out about being gay, and getting people I work with and come in contact with to at least understand gays. I had alot of trouble getting over my own homophobia and self hate. Since being an open lesbian at work and with freinds is something new to me, your story has given me a reason not to go back in the closet.

Name: Amber
Referred by: NewsGroups
From: currently, Texas
Time: 1999-10-02 17:48:25
Comments: Reading Bill's story has touched my heart and given me courage. I am a 20 year old female serving in the military. Right now the only people who know I am a lesbian are very close friends and the one woman I was in a relationship with. I have recently joined a group against hate crimes in my area. Being in the military, the fear and depression that your son lived through hits me hard every morning. The difference is that he had the courage to face it, and I am still hiding in my closet. I was very sorry to read Bill's story, and my prayers and thoughts are with you. I know how hard it is to lose a child, my daughter was killed in a car wreck two years ago. I think it is wonderful that you have taken up the fight against hate crimes and such. Thank you for your support, even as a stranger. It helps to know that there are people that care, people that aren't homophobic. God Bless....... Amber

Name: GavinGerry
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Ireland
Time: 1999-10-02 05:26:08
Comments: Hi We have visited this site quite a few times to remind us of the hatered that the world is full of,Heaven is in the hearts and minds of the people that love you and we are sure thats where Bill is.The future of humanity it seems is dependant on the consience of mankind (or the lack of it). It is our Diversity that makes us unique(mankind)We must fight and keep fighting the hatered when and wherever it arises.Kind Regards G+G

Name: Pedro
Website: index
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Ecuador
Time: 1999-09-30 09:05:13
Comments: Dear Mrs. Gaby Clayton: First of all I would like tell you that I wish there were millions of people like you in the world. I've read Bill's story and could cry while reading it, I can completely understand what you and specially Bill felt the last days of his life. I have not been assaulted but I am bi sexual and I have felt myself lonely my whole life (I realized about my sexuality when I was 14 as well). No body knows about it, including my family, unfortunately the society I live in is so "moral" and nobody accepts people like me at all, including my family. All this loneliness have been in my mind for years and it seems it is getting worse, I am 22 years old and feel like dying, I´m thinking that suicide is the best choice I have, I am considering to commit suicide cause I am so tired of "living hidden" and even if I had Bill's courage to talk about it with my family…they would never accept it…..but at the same time I do not want to die. For the last weeks all I have been doing is to be locked in my room after work and crying very much for all the pain in my heart, I have not attended to university for the last 3 weeks as well. I am writing this email because I really needed to share this thoughts with someone, I do not expect you solve my problem. Pedro (Peter) Ps: I found Bill's story after making a "search" in the internet with the word "Suicide"…to find out possible ways to commit suicide.

Name: Tim Criscione
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Arlington, VA
Time: 1999-09-30 09:04:15
Comments: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of God. May God's grace constantly be with you and His love flow through your hearts. Thanks for all you have done!

Name: Melissa
Referred by: Net Search
From: Portage, Mi
Time: 1999-09-30 08:55:13
Comments: I am a college student doing a research project about gay/lesbains topic is discrimination and hate crimes in schools. I have read this part of the story and am truly touched at how brave Bill was at such a young age. I am truly sorry that he felt that there was no other way out, other than to die. It is a great loss to the world that he had not yet been able to reach yet, but through the web he will live forever. Hopefully his story will bring awareness to all and we can stop this hate that is going on in the world. All my best Melissa Carr

Name: Stefan Gretzler
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Germany
Time: 1999-09-29 14:52:35
Comments: Hi Gabi. The story of your son is so dramatic and sad but you can be proud on Bill - all people can be proud. He was so young, cute, powerful and strong - everyone (including myself) will never forget what he did. He stood for his own opinion. We all need people like Bill. They help to make the world a better place. I thank you to share the story of your Bill with the whole world and wish you all good thinks for your future and the "fight" against racism. Stefan / Germany

Name: Tony Nelson
Referred by: From a Friend
Time: 1999-09-27 17:56:04
Comments: Nothing can replace the love you have lost but, at least know, that by publishing your story and Bill's short life, you add to the growing groundswell that may, one day, make a similar story less likely. As a gay man who makes no apologies and yet feels every day he is fighting for simple equality I empathise with Bill's struggle. I wish that those that made him feel unable to cope had the intellect, feelings or moral responsibility to realise that they share the burden for his death. I hope time and the slowly changing attitudes of others have helped to, if not heal, then at least comfort the hurt you have expereienced. Thank you Tony Nelson Sydney, Australia

Name: Edd Parsons
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Weymouth, England
Time: 1999-09-25 20:54:57
Comments: Hi, im 18 and unsure of my sexuality. I've just read Bill's Story, and it brought a lump to my throat, but it wasn't till I looked at the picture gallery of Bill that it really brought it home to me. This was a real person with a real life that should have been much longer than it was. I just had to say how truly sorry I am for your loss. Edd Parsons , UK

Name: allan
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Panama City, Florida
Time: 1999-09-24 19:30:00
Comments: A very touching story. Thanks for all the effort, and I'm sure that it will change people's views. If it saves one of "us", it is worth all the effort. I will pass this page address to all of my friends and family. THANK YOU

Name: Noel
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Manila, Philippines
Time: 1999-09-24 12:49:34
Comments: Gabi: Like, Bill, i was abused at a very young age, but manage to keep it within me until time had come to release what i felt inside, but this came way after the pressures of growing up and fitting in. Being from Asia, who's traditions make change for the better a lot more difficult, And the Philippines, with a deep seated religous moralistic foundation make it also a homophobic society, i can only say a prayer for you and all those who we lost and continue to fight against ignorance and hate, that we do not loose others in the future.

Name: carolyn Morris
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: downsville, LA
Time: 1999-09-23 07:04:01
Comments: You have my utmost sympathy. We live in a very small town (not even really a town). My 15 year old daughter openly professes to belief in WICCA and now there is a witch hunt going on. Several of her friends have non-Christian beliefs and they are being openly harrassed by the religious right. My mother committed suicide when I was 18 (I saw her shoot herself) and can empathize. Know that your son is in a better place where ther is no pain. Carolyn

Name: Linda Delayen
Website: I WAS HERE
Referred by: From a Friend
From: hmmm. a lot of places
Time: 1999-09-20 17:48:40
Comments: Hi Gabi! I think your new page is great! I truly hope I am blessed with opportunity to meet you and your family some day.

Name: Dinah
Referred by: AngelFire
From: Nashville, TN
Time: 1999-09-20 12:54:26
Comments: Thank you for sharing your Bill with us. I lost my brother to suicide in June 1998. Suicide is a horrific experience, and to compound the problem with the hate crimes is unspeakably scary to me. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your family.

Name: Vincent
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Los Angeles, CA
Time: 1999-09-20 02:13:32
Comments: I want to extend my deepest regards. While reading ur web page, tears ran down my cheeks. It reminded me of alot of different things, including a friend who went through the same pain. He committed suicide after going through so much homophobia. I am also bisexual and try to lead a good life, but it is very hard. Well, anyways, i wish u alot of strength.

Name: William Stroh
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Hamilton, Indiana
Time: 1999-09-19 23:10:33
Comments: I found your story very scary, I was sad for what happend with your son. But also, I can somewhat udnerstand the pain he was going threw. I am 19 years old, and I came out of the closet as being bisexual when I was in high school. Almost everyone was okay with it. I didn't lose anyfriends over it, or any family members. But there was a group of kids I went to school with, that would hesitate to take every chance they got to say something about it. Whether it was yelling hatefull words such as "queer" or "fagget". They were always doing something. They even would call my home and harrass (sp?) my family and me, and drive by my home and yell things. It was very scary. But anyrate, after the town found out, which happend very fast, my town has a population of about 700 people. There were several adults who put their words in too. But fortunately there are more people who accept me, then people who don't. With out them, I wouldn't know what to do. In ending this message, I would like to you to know, that I really think that your web page is sending a powerfull message to everyone. Bless you and your family. William Stroh.

Name: Steve
Referred by: AOL
From: Indiana
Time: 1999-09-18 22:14:56
Comments: This is a great story, its amazing how much love and sympathey I have for someone that I have never met. Thank you!

Name: ian yu
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: california
Time: 1999-09-17 22:05:14
Comments: to bill's family: thanks for sharing bill's story. it placed a lump in my throat as i was reading it because i can in some ways identify with bill. at times, i was suicidal because i too was a victim of a hate crime, but not because i was gay. i was beat up because i was asian. although i am not openly gay, i can identify with bill's experience with homophobic hatred, as many other gay people can. i think it's great that you are using his death to help others instead of staying silent about it. it has helped people like me. as a senior in high school, stories like yours give me the courage to achieve my goal: attending college. from what i've read, people like bill are a great loss to the world; they are hard to find. i hope that you continue in your efforts to spread your message. it is parents and families like you who truly make the difference. all i can say is thank you. sincerely, ian yu

Name: Stafford
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Hilo, Hawaii and West hollywood
Time: 1999-09-17 20:22:00
Comments: Much Sweetness to you loving beings- Thank you for being thankable loveable parents. Love love Love always in the face of hate. anything less than love is a cry for help- to which you have responded with light. Namaste' my beautiful brother sister friends. Stafford

Name: Ken Wallace
Referred by: Lycos
From: London
Time: 1999-09-17 00:26:57
Comments: I cried uncontrollably when I read Bill's story... I too have been the victim of hate crime and shared the pain that Bill was going through. It led to depression and suicide attempts with admissions to intensive care units and psychiatric hospital. They have saved me each time and I am now 41 - the pain and depression continue and I find it difficult to go on at times. The world has lost a beautiful person who is still touching the hearts of many people.

Name: Daryl
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Southern California
Time: 1999-09-16 01:06:15
Comments: The story you wrote about your son Bill is not only touching, but unfortunately a very true reality for all of us who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. I cried when I read your story. I did not know your son, but have also been a victim on more than one occasion due to my sexual orientation. I have a number of friends and aquaintances who have also experienced the same thing. Every time I hear or read another story about someone in our community being subjected to a hate crime I am purely saddened. It is hard enough for us to accept ourselves and to tell others without having people attack us verbally and physically for our mere existance. Our web site is a free service offering numerous links to report hate crimes, abuse and misconduct. With your permission I would like to add a link to your site at the top of our "Reporting Hate Crimes" page. Your story is very touching and should be read by millions for educational purposes. Thank you very much for sharing your experience and the life of Bill. Hopefully by writing and publishing your story some lives in the GLBT community may be spared.

Name: Mark Ellison
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Australia
Time: 1999-09-16 00:52:41
Comments: You wonderful, wonderful woman. I cried reading these stories. I don't think if I was in the same place I would of had the strength. I am a gay man 37 yo. I have been in a loving relationship for 18yrs. My family threw me out on the street when I was 17 after finding a letter I had written to a man I liked. I was harrassed for two years. Luckily I hung on in there and eventually they understood. I have lost many friends to suicide and aids. Recently we took in a young boy whose father ( a jehovah's witness minister) broke his back against the edge of the bed for being gay, he is fine now, but will always be a bit delicate. Thank-you for being there!!!

Name: Ann-Marie Haley
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: Ottawa, Canada
Time: 1999-09-15 16:47:47
Comments: This was a very touching story. I am doing an independant study on Suicide for my OAC Canadian Families class. I am doing all different types so suicide, teen, gay/lesbian/bisexual, elder poeple, assisted, inmate... I came across this story and it touched my heart. I can kinda relate to what happend to Bill. My best friend was gay and the town we lived in was very closed minded. The people of that town didn't accept anyone "different". It was so bad, I hated it. My best friend was raped by six grown men while on one of his nightly walks. He knew who did it and eventually went to the police. The police didn't do too much. The man who got things started and the other 5 men are free and walking. They didn't get charged or anything! I am glad that the boys who abused Bill and his friend are paying for it. It kinda makes me feel good to know that some people who do these bad things, actually have to pay for them. Among lots of other things, that was one thing that made my best friend hang himself on October 31,1998. Some people say that Jay and I were soul mates. I believe it. we could talk to each other about anything at all and we would never judge each other no matter what. Since he has died, I have been so lost. I don't know what to do with myself. It still really hurts and it always will. But i just wanted to say that reading your story and you saying that you want to do things to not let this happen again, that is a good thing to hear. Good luck to you in everything you do in the future.

Name: Emily
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Nebraska
Time: 1999-09-15 10:42:17
Comments: I wish everyone could be as educated, and accepting as you! This is an excellent site, and I hope that people will learn from Bill's story, and help prevent more tragedies from occuring. Stop the hate!

Name: Tim Rapier
Referred by: AOL
From: Baton Rouge, La
Time: 1999-09-12 22:00:31
Comments: I was totally moved and touched by this page in memory of your son. I have passed it on to others who in turn have also passed it on for others to read. You have my upmost support in the campaign to help stamp out the hate crimes inflicted on gays and bisexuals. Let me know of any other support campaigns you may be involved in

Name: Jesse R. Moore
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Texarkana,AR
Time: 1999-09-12 15:23:22
Comments: I was very impressed with the accomplishments your son made while on this earth. I wish that more gay men / bisexual men would have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. I believe that several of us who are gay have been in the same situation as Bill. By reading your story it has made me realize that life is very important and that in order to be me I must remember all gay people and the fights they have put up for our rights. Thank you for sharing this very important story.

Name: Robert
Referred by: Lycos
From: UK
Time: 1999-09-12 14:53:45
Comments: Dear Mrs Clayton, How can I say how much Bill's Story has moved me? This site is such a wonderful memorial to him. I cannot imagine the pain you feel at your loss but I know only too well the hell through which Bill lived. I am now 36 years old and have been living a lonely, repressed, closeted life for nearly 24 of those years. Until today I had almost repressed all memories of my schooldays - of several years of almost daily physical assault. Well at this moment my clothes are wet with tears - I have not cried for twenty years, I have built up a wall to keep out emotions - but reading this has broken through, I can empathise so closely. Reading your courageous words I cannot continue to act out a lie, I must live as who I truly am. Maybe it will change my life. THANKYOU SO MUCH

Name: Jason Lavergne
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Time: 1999-09-12 11:22:18
Comments: I am an 18 year old gay college student at LSU. I was forced out of the closet at 16. I thought I would be hated by many. But my coming out had an inverse effect. I made more friends than I had before, I no longer had to hide my feelings. Everyone was very supportive of me. However, I went to a school of special people, a school for smart people. These people realized how stupid it was to be prejudiced. Sometimes, I wish everyone could be as smart as the little fourteen year olds that attended my school, but that would be a miracle.

Name: Larry
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Houston
Time: 1999-09-12 08:34:56
Comments: God Bless you! Having lost so many friends to aids, don't know if I could endure losing a friend this way. What a world we live in... the only thing I was brought up to believe was to love one another whatever their differences. Sometimes that is a hard concept considering all the hate and misunderstanding in this world Larry

Name: Karl Black
Website: About Me as a Gay Individual in Society
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Delhi, Louisiana
Time: 1999-09-12 08:25:51
Comments: I would like to THANK YOU for sharing your story with the world. I was SO touched. I cried the entire way through the story because it touches a place deep in my heart that few others know. I am a Gay Man, I have been suicidal also. I know the JOY and the PAIN of living. I agree with Bill in that I do not choose to be this way, I am not forced to be this way, I just AM. I would like to add a link to Bills Story onto my page. If this is acceptable, please email me with the address so that I may link it. GOD BLESS YOU --- Bill----Keep Heaven's Gates open honey cause one day, I will SEE you there! Just save the Best Mansion for me---I wanna be your neighbor! **KISSES** and **HUGGS**

Name: Kathy
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Jacksonville, Florida
Time: 1999-09-12 05:34:44
Comments: As an openly gay lesbian in a big city, I can relate to some of the feelings that Bill experienced growing up in Olympia. I am so sorry for the way it ended. Although I can relate to the feelings...I've only experienced one assault, and I viewed that as fear from my attacker. I've learned that people fear and unfortunately hate what they don't understand. You are doing the right thing by trying to educate the public. All we can do is keep trying. It's the same with racial issues. Not only am I in a lesbian marraige (4 years now), the woman I married is bi-racial. I'll never understand why people feel it is their responsibility to determine "who you should be when you grow up". Thank You for your Web Page. I will not forget Bill.

Name: Natalie Rae Pena
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: Corpus Christi Texas
Time: 1999-09-11 22:47:47
Comments: Dear Mrs. Clayton, Just wanted to let you know that Bill's story touched my heart like nothing ever has before. I would like to be a part of your organization and help out in any way possible. I am a 19 year old bisexual female who struggles with my sexual orientation every minute of every day. I came across Bill's story because I am doing a English paper regarding Hate Crimes and have decided to dedicate it to your beloved son. I am only one person and am sure that this letter will make no difference in your life but it has made all the difference in mine. Thank you for sharing your sons story with me. Always&Forever Natalie Rae Pena

Name: heath
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: new orleans LA
Time: 1999-09-11 11:51:07
Comments: very compelling and i feel for u all. i think it was senseless and i really dont understand but i feel.

Name: Della
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: London
Time: 1999-09-11 11:19:14
Comments: Your web page made me feel ashamed of the inactivity I adopt on a daily basis to all the petty prejudices in the world.

Referred by: Yahoo!
Time: 1999-09-11 06:37:23
Comments: Your son's story has inspired me to be open about my sexual orientation! to have the courage that he did. It also makes me want to be supportive of others that have been out of the closet! to step up to the world! and just be me! no more putting up a fake illusion!. I am also bisexual! and i am no longer going to argue with people! when they come to me with thier suspicions of my lifestyle! I come from a hispanic background that is real oppresive over these issues. i know that things will change only when more people step up and stop accepting! what others say! is suppose to be considered normal and unnormal!. But it starts with each and every one of us! str8 or bi,heteral! to have understanding and compasion! and to lose the fear! of not being accepted by OTHERS same gos for my religon! I aslo believe in a Native American shamanic path! very much so pagan! which feels me with pride! for my heritage sense i come from Native american/spanish-Mexican ancestry! which also brings me hatefull atitudes from people! espicially in the hispanic community I live in! Some among my people want to make us all think! that we should only honor our spanish catholic heritage! and deny our native amerindian culture! also the same type of oppression existed for european belivers in pre christian faith!. That also makes me believe that Bill had guts honor and courage! not to just go with the maintstream organized religon! to have an open mind and follow a path! that was right for him! and not what others thought he should believe in. In the eyes of the great creator! in the tradition of my ancestors Bill lived those teen years as a Warrior! and he proved himself worthy of such a title! cuase he didnt deny who he was! knowing what great harm would come to him! to show soo much bravery! the creator keeps his warriors by his side! and thier strong courage and energy lives on in firey rays of the morning sun riseing in the east! a place only for warriors and people with his courage! nomatter how it ended for Bill! he left this life with much love from the creator!

Name: Angela Carrington
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Time: 1999-09-09 13:31:00
Comments: Your very right. Wrong is Wrong. I never knew the terrible fear most gay bi and lesbians live with until I married a gay man. To treat someone different because of who they are is incomprehensible to me. I cannot understand that kind of hate. My heart goes out to you and your family. You will be in my Prayers. Angela

Name: Oscar
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Los Angeles
Time: 1999-09-08 02:37:23
Comments: You're an incredible mother and an inspiration to more than you know. When you speak, Bill speaks, so keep on talking. Go girl!

Name: Linda Kolosky
Referred by: AOL
From: Jacksonville, FL
Time: 1999-09-07 18:47:31
Comments: I am the President of the Jacksonville, Florida PFLAG and I was looking at PFLAG web sites to get an idea of what I wanted for the one we are fixing to have put together. I never cease to be shocked when I read someone else has lost a child to suicide. So far I have been blessed and have not had to experience that with my gay son. God bless you and your family and may his memory always bring you a smile.

Name: Monique
Website: All The Shit My Bumhole Puts Up With
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Australia
Time: 1999-09-07 00:18:01
Comments: Hi, I am a 16 year old girl from Australia. I am also gay, and have been the victim of anti-gay bashings. I came across your site while surfing to find support some where from anyone really. You see my parents are also against homosexuality for religious reasons. I am open to my friends and most people as long as i know my parents wont find out. Because i live in a small city of only 40,000 people, there are no real support groups for these types of things and there are not many people i know who cant relate to it. So therefore I often find myself suicdal and alone. When I found your site I was effected by it greatly. I would like to offer my condolances, and tell you how good it makes me feel to know there are people out there who arent afraid to accept gays and lesbians. I would also like to tell you how sad it makes me feel to know that this is happening all over the world. I would love to hear from you sometime, if you get a chance to email me. Thankyou.

Name: todd
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: ohio
Time: 1999-09-06 01:04:08
Comments: hi i just wanted to tell you how this page has touched me. i saw his story on tv sometime i believe. and now i have read his story. and my tears are still fresh. im a 17 year old male from ohio. i have gay and bisexual friends. some are out and some not. and i know how hard it is for them sometimes. to sit in class as some kid calls another one a fag or tells him hes his a F****** queer. and even though its not directed to them, it still tears there heart up. ive been educated on homophobia and various things through my involvment with the punkrock/hardcore/etc community. and i have seen how hard it is for children to deal with homosexuality. bill had courage. i admire him. he will live in my mind from now on. a band i am in, we are writing a song about his situation. and telling the story of what happened to him when we play shows...just to some how try to educate other people on homophobia and to do our part to erase this hatred. thank you for sharing your story. if you would like to read the song, you may email me. -t0dd-

Name: Claudia Backhaus
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Fresno, Calif.
Time: 1999-09-05 15:30:21
Comments: I was deeply touched by Bill's story. I am so sorry for your loss.

Name: Denise
Website: Denise's Enchantments
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: FL
Time: 1999-09-05 11:05:14
Comments: Your story is all the more touching for the very fact that it is becoming all too common. I found your son's story while getting a "Stop the Hate" button for my own page. "Stop the Hate" has far too many stories like yours. We all have to do something about this...Thank you for your courage in sharing your family's loss and pain.

Name: Corey
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Fresno, California
Time: 1999-09-04 14:31:54
Comments: I am very touched by your incredible strength and courage. I am a gay person, I was directed to your site and Bill's story by a friend who was actually a teacher of mine years ago! Please know that you are making changes for all people and it is much appreciated by those of us who know "we are just this way". Thanks to all of you and especially to Bill whos courage is inspirational.

Name: Rob
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: San Jose, CA
Time: 1999-09-04 11:56:14
Comments: I am so sorry to hear of your loss. The message that you deliver is a very powerful one, unfortunately based on facts. I am usually not an emotional person but his story put tears in my eyes. Thank you for delivering this message.

Name: John
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Cincinnati Ohio
Time: 1999-09-04 11:51:15
Comments: Hi, I just want you to know that I think your site is wonderful. I think that it helps gay people to know that there are good people like you who care about others as much as you. Still I wish that gay people like me had more opportunity to show that the people that youth see are just the tip of the iceburg and that there are wonderful people everywhere. Your site does just that! Thanks. John

Name: Dan
Website: Dayton PFLAG
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Dayton, Ohio
Time: 1999-09-04 09:28:38
Comments: Actually I am verifing links for our Dayton PFLAG page. But wanted to let you know who was here.

Name: Drew
Website: This is TwistyDrew
Referred by: Net Search
From: South Seattle
Time: 1999-09-04 01:14:24
Comments: It pains me to find that yet another young life is taken due to social pressure and ignorance of persons unable to understand that gay, lesbian, bi, is not an alternate lifestyle, but that of an unfortunately unspoken of mainstrem lifestyle. I realized that I was crying when I read this site. When will this hatred stop? I am so very sorry for you and your family, but together we shall over come.

Name: Myriah
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Bowling Green, Ohio
Time: 1999-09-03 20:54:09
Comments: When I finished reading Bill's Story.. I noticed I had been crying the whole time. I want to thank you for sharing this with the rest of the world. I'm very sad for you loss but so happy to hear that you never turned your backs on him. I have seen with my own eyes what happens when family and friends turn away. I have lived in places where the hate ended in the death of several young men who were openly gay. They didn't get the chance to make up their mind to do it theirselves.. it was done for them. This is a very ugly world we live in where you can not even walk down the street and feel safe from ignorance and hate. We must all band together and stop this before another beautiful life is taken because of it. Blessed Be. In Light and love.

Name: kevin
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: minneapolis, MN
Time: 1999-09-03 11:49:01
Comments: I am sorry to hear about what happened to your son. I know kids can do unspeakable things to other kids, especially when they don't understand them. I was kind of like your son. I didn't get spectacular grades it school, yet I could always make people laugh. I commend you son for being himself and not being affraid to open up to people and let people know who he was. I know this probably isn't any comfort to you but going on what you said I wish I could have had a friend like your son. Sincerely,Kevin Johnson/21

Name: Benjamin Maslin
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: England
Time: 1999-09-01 20:19:36
Comments: As a gay man and Pagan myself, I can only say I have been touched and moved by your story. You obviously had a wonderful son and that is thanks to him having great parents. All I can say is thank the heavens there are people like you in the world, it gives hope that maybe oneday it will be a better place for everyone. Thanks again, love and best wishes Ben.

Name: John
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Akron/Ohio
Time: 1999-09-01 15:06:50
Comments: Im very sorry for the loss of such a fine son. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. John

Name: scott mark ramos
Referred by: Net Search
From: stirling scotland
Time: 1999-09-01 09:23:00
Comments: the things you wrote they sound so much like myself, the feelings he had, the inability to see a futue of anything but pain and suffering. I never have been atacked or fear it but the sence of just being tired of everything reminds me so much of myself. there arent any words i can say that will make the pain you feel go away but hold to yourself the knowledge that your doing something and you help to show the rest of us that the world is perhaps a little more careing that we thought. Bestwishes for the future and sorrow for your loss, take care, mark

Name: Mark Ansel, Ph.D.
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: Hawi, Hawaii
Time: 1999-09-01 00:35:43
Comments: I'm looking for resources to assist a teen in dealing with his identification issues.

Name: Robert
Referred by: From a Friend
Time: 1999-08-31 21:56:05
Comments: I am sorry about your son. As a teacher, I see students who are put down for many reasons, but the number one insult is "gay" or "fag". I could never have been out in high school 10 years ago and sometimes it is easier to believe that things have changed;however, in truth society hasn't, but we have! Young people today courageously face their fears, but unfortunately that courage can fade--if only for a moment--and end in disaster. God Bless you and all people who stand up and say "enough is enough!!!"

Name: Gloria
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Canada
Time: 1999-08-30 22:27:03
Comments: I'm so sorry about what happened to your son. The story made me cry. I'm no gay but I belive that everybody should be treated the same. People don't realize that what they do will come back to them in this life. Anyway I wish you luck, god bless you

Name: Leslie Birdwell
Referred by: From a Friend
From: Huntington WV
Time: 1999-08-30 17:38:49
Comments: Dear Gabi: Thank you for sharing your son's life. I'm glad I got to know Bill, and he will always be an inspiration to me. You have a brave family. You take care of yourself and hang in there, OK? Warmly, Leslie

Name: diana
Referred by: Yahoo!
From: abilene, texas
Time: 1999-08-30 14:19:37
Comments: i came across this while doing a report for a class. my report is over hate crimes "gays and lesbians" i too am gay, i am very open about it. i know too what it is like to be hated and discriminated

Name: Megan
Referred by: Net Search
From: Houston, Texas
Time: 1999-08-29 19:48:03
Comments: I wish I knew what to say. I don't believe that I have ever cried more pure tears.

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