Gabi Clayton's Guestbook #9 - From 4/12/98 to 6/3/98
Note: This guestbook reads from the bottom of the page up. -- Gabi

Date: Wed Jun 3 11:31:05 1998


I can't even think of words to say right now but I'm leaving a message to say "THANK YOU!" for having the courage and love to remember Bill in such a powerful way. May God bless you and give you peace.

From: Laura (
Date: Mon Jun 1 14:32:02 1998

Your page

I think that your webpage about Bill's story is so utterly important... it is about time people began to learn to accept everyone for who they are.. and not what society thinks they 'should' be. I'm putting your page in my list of links because I think you should reach as many people as possible. I too am bisexual, but I haven't come out to my parents. I've come out only to my closest friends.

From: santapaus (
Date: Sat May 30 16:50:24 1998

bills story

I was moved by this sad series of events I have every intention of giving this link to friends of mine who have children

From: Marco Girardi (
Date: Fri May 29 21:13:36 1998

Stay strong!

Greetings from Luxembourg (Europe).
Keep up the fight for the good cause ... I'm behind you!


From: BJ Adkins (
Date: Fri May 29 14:01:43 1998

Inspirational to All

Inspirational, heartwarming and heartwrenching! We applaud your continued fight against the injustices in the world. Hatred is as they say NOT a family value and should not be allowed to grow.

Out on the Web ( shares in your support and fight against descrimination, misunderstanding and hate.

From: Jacqueline (
Date: Thu May 28 21:29:02 1998

Jesus gives peace in the midst of the storm!

May you find peace that passes understanding, only Jesus can satisfy. In life, there are so many voices, so many views, so many paths one may walk. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." When in doubt as to the course of our lives, we should always turn to the Bible. It is the roadmap to eternal life, the most important thing in all the world. As you turn to Him, you will find everything you need. I prayed for you, the family and friends of Bill, today. I love you with the love of the Lord.

From: Deb
Date: Thu May 28 19:39:24 1998


The Loss of a child is something a parent should never have to face...but thanks to the ignorance and stupidity of some people you have had to suffer just that. My heart aches for you and the tears flow when I try to imagine how your beautiful son suffered throughout his brief life. He didn't take his own was taken from him by all those who have ever pointed the finger of ignorance, fear and evil at another human being. I would call that murder. Bills memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew him and read about him. His murderers fade into insignificance and will live the rest of thier miserable lives with blood on thier hands.

From: Fred G. (
Date: Tue May 26 23:23:18 1998

Bill's story

I am 14 years old and I've been bissexual all my life. However nobody knows, and after reading Bill's story, I do not plan on telling anybody (especially my parents who I think, would never accept having a gay son) in the near future. There is just too much hatred and lack of understanding from society at this time. I deeply thank Bill's mother from my heart and ask her to keep fighting against gay-haters. I wish I could fight too, but I want to be seen as an anonymous heterossexual to society, for my own safety.

From: Ann Uyeda (
Date: Tue May 26 14:45:12 1998

parents' support

I found your web page thanks to "Living In The Bonus Round," which listed the names and web links for four youth who had all taken their lives. Your page and your son's story were listed. As a lesbian who came out to her parents almost 10 years ago and suffered immediate rejection followed by a cutting out of my immediate and extended family, I wanted to just say how wonderful you must have been to your son in his brief life. It is so important for us to tell our kids and all youth how proud we are of them--no matter how they identify. Thank you for your story and your son's life.

From: Robert C. Petersen (
Date: Tue May 26 03:20:21 1998

Bill's Story

What a lucky young man Bill was for having such a wonderful and caring family!! When I came out to my Mom, I was paralized with fear. Fear that the coming out "horror stories" would happen to me and my family. But my Mom only showed love, support, and compation. It was hard on her, but she accepted me just as I always was, her son. Nothing had changed just the knowledge of the fact that I was gay.

The first thing I did was get her connected to the LA Chapter of PFLAG. Altough she only attended a handful of meetings, this organization helped her more than I can say.

Mom died three years ago. I miss her dearly as I'm sure you miss Bill. But it gives me great comfort in knowing that you, like my Mom will stand up and defend her flesh and blood and not be ashamed, you will not sit on your hands and watch as injustices are done to your kids.

Thank you being on the battle fields. We need more people like you-the world would be a much better place.

Peace be with you

From: Deb (
Date: Tue May 26 00:39:41 1998

your homepage

Bill's story was tryly tragic and touching. Tragic because of the hate that he had to face...touching because of the love and support that he received from his family. Thank-you for sharing!! If you get a chance, stop by my page sometime and say hello.

From: Brenda (
Date: Mon May 25 10:19:06 1998

The time has come

Dear Gabi:
So many emotions invade my heart while reading this story! I've been silent for so long, but not anymore.
It's a shame that, out of the lethal combination of arrogance and ignorance, so many people keep believing that being different makes a person less of a human being. The daily sacrifices of lives like Bill's and Robbie Kirkland's scream to our conscience that it's time for all of us to take a stand against the ignorance that feeds the hate.

From: Robert C. Petersen (
Date: Mon May 25 09:53:05 1998

Bill's Story

What a lucky guy Bill was for having such loving and accepting parents!! I wish there were more parents like you, this world would be a much better place. When I came out to my Mom she was very accepting and supportive like you. It meant so much to me, as I had heard horror of parents disowning their children.

My Mom died three years ago. But knowing there are still parents like you and her still out there makes me feel better about the world-parents who will stand up fight for their children regaurdless of sexual orientation.

May you and your family find peace,

Robert Petersen

From: Ralph Dettwiler (
Date: Mon May 25 09:15:14 1998

Your web page

I just stopped by to take a look at your page. Come visit my page sometime. http;//

From: Bobby Lincoln (
Date: Sat May 23 16:28:55 1998

Thank you so much

I was searching through a Yahoo! listing of gay personal pages, and when I read the description, I just wanted to cry. I immediately clicked on the link and went through the site. It must have been a great tragedy for you to lose your son under such pretenses. It makes me sick to my stomach to hear kids around school (I'll be a junior in high school next fall) badger people with words like "queer" and "fag" and "dyke", even if they're just playing around or whatever. I'm a gay teen myself and I know what it's like to be offended when words like that are spoken (even though I'm only out to a few of my very close friends). Anyway, I'm sorry, I'm getting off the subject. Please accept my warmest sympathy for your loss, as well as my most heartfelt congratulations and thank-you for your work with PFLAG. You can't imagine how many lives you might save on a daily basis.

From: A.Senne (
Date: Fri May 22 17:02:09 1998

Bill's story

Thank you so much for sharing this story with the world. As I read it tears filled my eyes. What a nasty thing that was that your son went through. The violance in this country has to end. My heart goes out to you and your family. Stop by and visit my family sometime.
God Bless!!!!!!

From: Tom (
Date: Mon May 18 22:10:38 1998

Bill's story is so sad. I hope it wont be too
long when all people will be treated with respect.
Great page. If you have the time you can visit
my site:
and perhaps sign my guestbook.

From: Steffaniy And Christina
Date: Mon May 18 14:33:58 1998

Bill's Story

We found this story sad and touching. We wish we could have known Bill in his life time. He was a handsome young man it's a shame he felt so bad about his life. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. Thanks for sharing this story, if enough people hear about these kind of things then maybe the hate will stop. Love Steff and Christina

From: Cyris ( )
Date: Sun May 17 21:30:01 1998

This Is For Billy's Eyes ~ONLY~<3<3<3

Dear Billy,
I'm a girl at age of 16 and I think that what happened to you was so incredible and what others did to you- I'm really sorry. I, like yourself, am also bi. No one knows this but my ex/current boy-friend and you. I didn't tell my parents because if I do, they'll take me to counceling because they think that it is "not normal". So much for love, care, and 100% support! Ha! I would be very happy if you would write back as soon as possible. If you can't write me with the address for this, please write to me AOL address:

Thanks to you and your mom, I feel a lot better about myself... Till next time~

~Always and Forever,~

From: rebecca brown (
Date: Sun May 17 20:19:10 1998

Bill's Story

I was just reading for research for my paper but instead I found myself in tears. He was so strong but society lied to him- "sticks and stones will break your bones but words can never hurt you..." is wrong!!! Hopefully he isn't hurting anymore. Atleast now he knows he is making a difference in all of our lives (who have read this.)
Homophobia is disgusting. This is what it leads to. No one should have to deal with this! I know the tears I cried could never amount to the ones he shed. I'm sorry people have to be so hateful...
I'm sorry he had to leave you.
Forever, rebecca

From: Doug (
Date: Sun May 17 16:15:26 1998

Bill's Story

I was looking at the Olympia PFLAG home page, and came across bill's story, and I'm glad that u shared that story to everyone. I just turned 25yo on April 25th, and on May 1st, 1998 I came out to my parents that I'm Bisexual, and they were cool about it.

From: Robbie (
Date: Sat May 16 20:39:28 1998

just finishing my letter....

As I was saying, My first boyfriend comitted suicide about 8 years ago, for various reasons, but many of them were simillar to Bill's I'm sure. By keeping his memory alive we defeat those who seek to humiliate, belittle and destroy us and those we love.
"Silence equals death, that is what they say,
But the anger and the tears do not take the pain away,
How far must it go, how near must it be?
Before it touches you, before it touches me?
Here in this cold white room,
Tied up to these machines, It's hard to imagine Life as it used to be.

Laughing, screaming, tumbling queen,
Like the most amazing light show you've ever seen,
Whirling, swirling, never blue,
How could you go and die? what a lonely thing to do" - Boy George.

May G-d bless and keep you in his peace.

From: Robbie (
Date: Sat May 16 20:29:16 1998

I am a 29 year old gay guy living in Tel Aviv Israel, which is an incredibly open and relatively accepting city, unlike much of the world. I grew up in South Africa which at that time in my life was still a very narrow minded society, where hatred, racism and bigotry were to an extent the order of the day.
I was often the victim of abuse -usually only verbal, but often enough physical- and I know something of how Bill must have felt, no matter how brave or strong a person is we all have a breaking point, it is just such a tragedy that Bill had to break in such a way.
He was blessed to have parents like yourselves, there are unfortunately far too many young men and women who are not as fortunate!!
Bill lives through you and your courage and strength to be able to share with us the tragic story of your son.
There is not enough darkness (or hatred) in the world to put out the light of your candle.

My first boyfriend comitted suicide a few years ago, for the same reasons tha

From: Danny (
Date: Sat May 16 15:25:44 1998

~*~Bill: You'll be missed~*~

I'm very touched by Bills story and I even had chills run up and down my back as I read through the many pages here. I have a very close friend who has came to me and told me he was gay. He has only told a hand-full of people, me being one, and I'm standing by him one hundred percent. Since reading your story, I've really been thinking about how to exactly handle myself around my friend who is gay and how to show that I don't care with he is gay or not.

I really admire Bill for beliving in what he felt was right and I only wish I would have had the chance to meet him. May god bless you and your family. We know have one more angle to look down apon up.

From: Mort Gale (
Date: Mon May 11 17:37:13 1998


I just had the opportunity to read BILL'S story. I had to do it in sections as I couldn't see the page sometimes. To HIS MEMORY, I pray for peace and a cessation of the need to be so unkind, to be so many GOOD people, I do feel, and understand.

From: bill (
Date: Sun May 10 16:54:55 1998

bill's sacrifice

i am a 52 year old gay male. when i was in high school, there were no resources available to anyone that thought they might be gay, and there was no "coming out." how i envy the help that your son received from his friends and family with no repercussions to those relationships. i am also a victim of violence due to my innate homosexuality and understand fully the price one pays for being themselves. i was one of the lucky ones, i survived what i shouldn't have. i am just so very sorry that your son felt the need to do what he did. if even one person can read your story and come away changed then your pain will not be in vain. my love to you for your support and understanding for your son.

From: Corey (
Date: Sun May 10 15:46:14 1998


I just wanted you to know that your page meant a lot to me. I am also 17 and have been beaten and called names for being gay. My parents are not as understanding as you were to Bill. He was a lucky guy to have parents as wonderful and loving as you. Although he chose to leave this life I am sure he didn't want to hurt you, I think his feelings and fears about the future were just too strong. It isn't easy to live in a hateful world even when you have loved ones. You are doing great things by making your life a tribute to your son. I wish you were my parents. Thank you.

From: Keith Williams (
Date: Wed May 6 01:41:54 1998

Thankyou for sharing

My wife and i found this page while investigating the net. We read Bill's story and found it sad that people are so judgemental. It opened our eyes to how hatefull people can be. We send our deepest sympathies to you , and your family and to Bills friends. By you opening up your lives maybe it will help others to find the love and support that they need and deserve.

From: JEN DAWN (
Date: Tue May 5 20:50:32 1998

Hate Crimes: The Pusuit to End the Violence and Harm

I came across your article while looking for information on Hate Crimes. Doing a research paper in college these days requires internet sources. The title "Bill's Story" really stuck in my mind. It sounded so common; meaning that this could be anybodys story----this could have been Jen's story. If you blanked out the story and looked at Bill, you wouldn't be able to judge him as being gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. Infact, he looked like a very handsome young man to me. I am positive God did not care what Bill's sexual preference was either. I am a youth group leader for my church, and I would love each and everyone of those children no matter what. When I began reading this story, I couldn't stop reading it. It's amazing how much how peers can play on our lives. I related to the story very closely, even though I am heterosexual. (Which is just a stupid label if you ask me). When I moved to a new town, the kids di

From: Denise Rooker
Date: Tue May 5 18:03:06 1998

Hate Crimes

To Bill's Family I really hope you get to read this. I am a 17 year old student in JCHS in Oregon. I am currently participating in a multicultural fair that my school is putting on. I did my project on Hate Crimes and how they affect people. I am personally not gay, but I do believe that people have the right to believe in what they choose. I think they should be supported and not judged. Your story touched me so deeply and your son's courage has affected me emotionally. You were so supportive. Thank you

From: Claudius (
Date: Mon May 4 16:06:50 1998

there is a lot to fight for

I got to this page by coincidence and it touched me although the subject is not new to me.
Once you want to make a point clear about your sexuality, should be a private matter where no puritan talks about, you get harrased from everyone and everywhere and even your best friends leave you quietly. This they are not to blame for, it's still our society that is incapable of handling our feelings, if there are any feelings wanted in this society. Being human is being honest about yourself, accepting what you are and in our society you assume that others accept your honesty and are proud of you. This is not the case, I've never gone through the hell he did but I have also strong feelings of putting an end to all this because "they" seem to be such a big power you can never fight against.
I hide my feelings until now, specially cause I'm working in a Moslem country but I can not be sure to be accepted by anyone I know.
I have the luck to live in a family th

From: Wendy (
Date: Mon May 4 06:24:12 1998

All I can say through my tears is thank you. Thank you for sharing a very private piece of your soul to fight for the rights of others.

May you find the strength you need to continue your fight and to live with the terrible loss of one so loved. You never get over losing one you love so much, you only learn to live with the pain. May his memory live in all our hearts forever.

From: Jill Judd (
Date: Sun May 3 03:50:26 1998

It takes a Village to raise a child

Now that I have dried my tears I can say that reading about Bill reminds me of the importance that family and community support have in the upbringing of our children. ALL children. As a parent, my heart aches for your loss, but thanks you for sharing your intimate story.

From: Nicole (
Date: Sat May 2 20:43:16 1998

His Story shall live on

I am doing an art exibit on homosexual people,and I was browsing through looking
for info.and I came across your son's story...I just wanted to say that it has opened
my eyes even more to the problems of homosexuality...although I myself am not
Homosexual I will defend them until the day I die,because I believe they are no different than other people.......I believe that all men are created equal and each beautiful in their own way...regardless of who or what they are........your son's heart and story shall live and go on FOREVER!.....Your son and family will be in my prayers every night........I attended church and have lighten a candle for your son and your family...God bless you all! for we are all thinking of you!

Date: Sat May 2 02:53:25 1998



From: Marty Dohmen (
Date: Thu Apr 30 14:33:18 1998

Bill's Message

Dear Gabi,
I must confess, I'm still learning how to use a computer - hit a wrong button - your're gone.
Anyway, I wanted to leave our home page, because I noticed some of your other guest are Catholic and wanted to let them know there was some hope, especially since we are able to approach this issue from a justice stand point. Our website is: Thanks again for being brave and great parents. I wish there was more of you out there.
Marty Dohmen

From: Marty Dohmen (
Date: Thu Apr 30 14:20:45 1998

Bill's Message

Dear Gabi,
I was accessing the internet looking for more update info on GLBT Harassment and came upon your son's story. I must say my heart died a little more when I read his story.
I am a 35 year old gay male and understand your son's pain he was going through when in school, fore I was thinking of only survival (not education) during 7-12th grade. Now I work with a group, Families & Friends of GLBT Persons in Catholic Education to help with this issue and educate to make life easier for these kids, so they do not go through (as much) what I and your son have gone through.
We are working with nine of the St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocesan schools here in Minnesota. I plan on sharing your son's story with a Safe Staff Training we are doing at one of the schools today.
Thank you for sharing your son's story - I know its hard to do, but for other kids and PARENTS to see this, I'm sure by now you know, really means and helps alot. Keep up the great work.

From: Brendan Hale (
Date: Wed Apr 29 23:26:23 1998

Still Speechless!

Hi Gabi,

When I first came across your website a couple of days ago, I was too overwhelmed by everything that you had written to write. I still have so much that I want to say, but I don't have the words. Thank you for your courage in facing what must be a mother's worst nightmare. I have enormous respect for you, and for Bill. His bravery in the face of what happened to him is amazing. It is such a pity that his bravery failed when it did.

I only hope that your heart-ache can stop one other person being abused for who they are.

I have one request - in your pages, you mention a drawing the Alec found in Bill's journal of the pink triangle with some very wise words written across it. Is there any chance you would scan it in and add it to your page? It says everything I have been trying to tell my parents better than I ever could.


From: Sophia
Date: Sun Apr 26 02:10:24 1998

Bill and life...

I am like a sister who is here to guide you in every way. May I not know 'til this day? For the I am sorry for what had happened and may he be with God, watching over us, as we pray for his happiness. Peace to the world of hatred and violent!

From: Jamie McCarthy (
Date: Sat Apr 25 09:49:39 1998


I wish even one parent in ten could be as
accepting and understanding as you were when your
son was alive. Rest in peace, Bill.

From: Jerry A. Fiore (
Date: Fri Apr 24 18:58:10 1998

Words can't express....Part 2

(original message was cut off; here's the rest)
group of GAY students / youths bashing on straight kids.
There needs to be some sort of memorial / tribute to gay youth who've left us because the world became too harsh on them. In researching this topic via the WWW, I've come to realize that this is an epidemic that's as heinous as AIDS. However, I don't see enough being done about it.
Life is such a precious gift and far too short to focus in being hurtful towards anyone who is different.
You know, this may sound "corny" but there's a song that fits how I feel now after reading about Bill...."What the world needs now, is love, sweet love - it's the only thing that there's just too little of...."
The story of your son has moved me more than I can tell you in words. I need to do something positive in the here and now - who'll join me? Any ideas or suggestions that will help prevent kids from ending their lives just for being themselves is most w

From: Jerry A. Fiore (
Date: Fri Apr 24 18:54:30 1998

Words can't express my feelings....

Dear Ms. Clayton,

I'm uncertain that any words could ever accurately express my feelings about the loss of your son. I looked at the photos and saw a beautiful boy who deserved a rich and full life of LOVE. We live in a time where our perception of the world is still narrow and limited, despite things like the WWW that provide resources for expanding. Someday the world will accept all people despite any differences: I hope I live to see that day. As a people, we Americans are as trapped by others religious beliefs now as we were 222 years ago. There is such hatred for that which doesn't fit into a pre-concieved ideology. All the world does NOT hate gays of any age, religion or race. However, the majority of uninformed and ignorant people grows daily - and at an alarming rate. The sexuality of a boy such as your son, Bill shouldn't have ever been a cause for such fearful hatred. I don't believe there's ever been an account of a

From: Joey (dormrats@hotmail)
Date: Fri Apr 24 18:44:43 1998

Gay college students

It wa sreally wonderful coming accross a page like your with interesting topics and good queer related stuff. I'm a gay college student in Pennslyvania ( a very conservative state) and have been observing the positive changes in my school, both in attitude and acceptance of students struggling with their gay identity. As young adults coming to grips with yourself means your own self-acceptance first, others second. Any how I enjoyed your page and will visit again for some updates. Keep up the good work, we all have to do it together. If you would like to come visit us at university

From: David (
Date: Fri Apr 24 15:49:54 1998

Surfed on and found your page

Dear Ms. Clayton,
I was surfing the net and came across your page. I am so sorry to hear about Bill's suicide. I myself am a bisexual college student living in Orange County, CA. I too, remember what high school was like. I was often rejected and harassed for being different. They all suspected I was gay or bi, but I didn't acknowledge to myself that I was back then. I respect and admire Bill very much for coming out to you when he was only 14! I never could have done that, in fact, I still have not to my parents. Only to some friends. It is especially hard for me because I am both bisexual and Catholic. All that homophobia on "religious grounds" makes me sick. I feel ashamed that I ever fell for it. It is not about religion at all; it is about hate. I will be transferring to Cal State Northridge next fall and will investigate becoming a member of a group called Dignityusa. This is a group within the Catholic Church that is encouraging change

From: Sarah (
Date: Thu Apr 23 22:50:00 1998


I will always remember standing in Sylvester Park and listening to Bill and his friends tell all of us what had happened to them. I remember feeling that it was very important to tell Bill "thank you" afterwards, which I did. I remember being at a medical appt. and asking the nurse if she was okay, because I noticed she was on the verge of tears. She told me that she had just gotten a call about Bill's suicide. I was stunned. I did not know Bill, but I felt him to be part of my community. I still do. And my passion for justice and dignity is even stronger. I want to thank you for keeping the candles lit.

From: John R. McLeod (
Date: Thu Apr 23 16:33:53 1998

A Beautiful Story

Had to express my sympathy. I can't imagine what Bill must have gone through. Just 16 so far, and have heard a lot of rednecks spouting their nonsense. I hope that you and your family are doing well, and that you win the war someday. Have you ever heard the song "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free" from the Ghosts of Mississippi Soundtrack? It would make a great 'anthem' for you, and it's a beautiful song on top of that.

From: James (
Date: Wed Apr 22 20:23:24 1998

Wonderful Page

Well I enjoyed your page. I can't imagine...I just can't imagine. I myself am 15 years old and have questioned my orientation for at least 5 years. I have a hard time knowing what to do and am often confused. I find myself suicidal, or at least what I think is suicidal, since I don't really know what suicidal is. But I often think that I want to die. And I want to see if people would come to the funeral, how many people liked me. I feel alot like no one likes me. That I talk like a gay person, that I try to act straight but it's hard. That all the girls love me, and all the guys hate me for that reason or another, with the exception of my friends. The pain of knowing that I will never grow up to have a family, to have children of my own and watch them grow up and have a normal life because I am like this. And it's hard, and I just think about how if I died right now, how everyone would miss me and love me.

From: Charles Glasgow (
Date: Wed Apr 22 10:52:12 1998

Sexual identity in the nineties , Armaggeddon honey, sorry

It seems a shame that Bill did what he did. I was
questioning my identiy when I was a youngster as well. I never came out and it is a good thing I didn't . As it turns out I am not gay or transexual, I am an avowed hetrosexual and I know
it for reasons that I will not elaborate on here.
I hope you find peace and joy with his older brother Noel. He is college educated apparently
and has a degree and will hopefully learn that don't tell even if asked is a good policy to follow in these times. I saw one of my classmates
attacked by a Roman Catholic gang member in the swiming pool one day. He was Jewish also. He (my
friend) was not gay either, I don't know how he grew up normal. Victims are victims I guess.
Peace and love ...sorry. May God be just.

From: Aaron (
Date: Tue Apr 21 00:52:02 1998

How inspiring

I came across this page while looking for information on Queer history on yahoo. I feel quite touched by this story, and I am very glad that you decided to share it with the world. I am a gay 17 year old, who is only out to my parents and friends. I see ignorance and homophobia everyday at high school, even though I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Society's ignorance has pushed me futher to be politically active to make sure tales like this will never be told again. Hearing stories like this, as I have many times, give me the motivation to go through my day to want to correct the evils. While I am not out at school as I do not want this crimes to be pushed on myself, I am preparing to make a speech to my fauculty on sensitvity issues. During spring break, a recent graduate commited suicide once abandoned after coming out to family and friends. While I cannot say that I've never had suicidal thoughts, hearing families talk about the aftershock quickly sh

From: Marty (
Date: Tue Apr 21 00:04:56 1998

Your Wonderful Work

Dear Gabi:

It was wonderful meeting you last week and again this evening on Steve Schalchlin's chat board. As I wrote you last week, all that "research" into the causes of homosexuality really irritates me because of its implied issues with a "cure" and a "prevention."

As you so eloquently and heart-breakingly demonstrate, the real issue is to find the cause, cure, and prevention of homophobia. It is such a finding that I sincerely believe will benefit all of humanity, because I believe concurrent with it is the cause, cure, and prevention for hatred overall.

In my own search on this topic, which I have made a life's goal, I've found the following process:


You are one of those, with this website and other of your efforts, addressing the prime cause of such unhappiness. I know your work is of inestimible aid to countless others.

Again, as a Gay person, you have my gratitude

From: Scott Penziner (
Date: Mon Apr 20 21:17:29 1998

Thank you for sharing

There are no words to describe just how much the story of your sons life has touched me. Suffice to say that his spirit truly lives on in his loving family, friends, and people like me who have read his story.

"although the ripples have faded from the pond, the water is forever changed..."

All the best....

From: Mina Moon (
Date: Mon Apr 20 10:13:07 1998

I came across this webpage while trying to find a controversial topic to write about for a class. When I read it, it made me sick. Living in New York City where people of ALL races, sexual orientation and backgrounds come together, I cannot even imagine what kind of pain Bill went through. 13 months in jail is nothing considering the crime that man committed. The teens that assaulted Bill should not have been treated as minors, but should have been tried as adults. What is wrong with people today? If we were all alike, this world would be pretty boring. Bill was on a crusade to raise awareness in his small town, and society shot him down. The next time someone decides that he/she hates someone because of his or her sexual orientation, maybe he should take a look in the mirror and see that just because he is a heterosexual does not mean that he is superior, and the fact taht he hates makes him less of a person.

From: Amelia
Date: Sun Apr 19 23:41:54 1998

I just want to say, I read "Bill's Story" and I thank you. I'm so very sorry. I wish every narrowminded, ignorant individual in this world could read your story and have his/her heart-mind-soul touched in such a way that hate crimes would cease. In the meantime, I wish you the best. (I've been there. My best friend in the whole wide world--probably the best friend I'll ever have. He wasn't successful. But, oh, he's not sane anymore. He's rebelling against a world he perceives as hateful. He won't give anyone a chance. He hasn't spoken to me in months. The effects of an angry society hurt persons and relationships even in the most intangible ways. . .)

From: Thomas Inskeep (
Date: Sun Apr 19 21:20:21 1998

Mrs. Clayton,
I stumbled upon your page while doing a net search, and cannot begin to tell you how deeply touched I am by the memorial you've set up to your late son, Bill. I cannot possibly understand the sorrow you (and the rest of your family) live with, so I won't say that I can. Being a gay man myself, I can understand a little of what Bill went through, being the survivor of hate crimes [I'm including hate mail, etc.]. I was an out student at a college of 1,000 students, and it wasn't easy - but it was ultimately so rewarding. From what I know of him (through your page), Bill was so, so brave. The thought of coming out at the age of 14 never occurred to me. I'm 27 now, and debating whether or not to come out at my 10-year high school reunion this summer, to let my former classmates know just why I hated & despised high school so much. The story of your son pushes me closer to doing it. Thank you for keeping your son's flame alive (i.e., like the Olympic flame), and tha

From: Crystal (wondergrrrrl@hotmail)
Date: Sun Apr 19 17:59:42 1998

Complete gratitude

I hear your story and I wish that I could have the same. It makes me feel so great to know that there are people in this world that do not judge on sexual preference, I thank you for all that you have done for not only your son but for giving the rest of us a little more hope in the world.

yours truly,

From: Sarah (
Date: Fri Apr 17 01:21:47 1998

Thank you

As a young lesbian raised in the nearby Puyallup area, I know how difficult it can be to be gay in such a homogenous community. Like Bill, I was lucky enough to have parents as supportive as you were of your son when he came out, and I can't tell you what a difference that has made in my life. In college, I was the only gay person out to her parents, b/c everyone else knew their parents would not accept them, and to this day my gay friends are haunted by the pain that still causes them. Now, as a graduate student in theology at Harvard, I realize how truly lucky I am to have such a wonderful family, so that I didn't have to struggle with the terrible feeling that my own parents would reject me. It must have been a great comfort to Bill to know that his parents and brother supported him; even in his darkest hour, he knew he was loved. If I can ever be of any assistance, please let me know.

From: Jhuncie (
Date: Thu Apr 16 23:49:33 1998

Bill's story


You are not alone in your struggle. Here in the eastern part of the world where homosexuality is still a no-no issue, some concerned individuals are trying to prove what God and Jesus Christ define LOVE to us.... "Love each and evry one of you because The Father and I love you".
It is very simple... so rest assured that Bill is already in God's wings and the air that push him to fly is still with us.

From: Daniel T. (
Date: Wed Apr 15 13:59:50 1998


you are an inspiration to me. you are courageous in your act of sharing your son's story, to get involved in bringing about change and you are one veritable resource directory.

you can count on me for those silent web cheers in your daily acts.


From: Rick Vitug (
Date: Tue Apr 14 06:26:52 1998


Dear Gabi,
Thanks for sharing your story of Bill. My heart goes to your feelings. May you
be blessed with peace and contentment. Fate has chosen your family with this
unwanted event, perhaps, to contribute to the enlightenment of other peoples
ignorance about sexual orientation

From: Rachel (
Date: Tue Apr 14 01:58:15 1998

Tears to my eyes

Gabi...beautiful and heart renching story...thank you for sharing it with not only me, but the world. Always, Rachel

From: Gabi 
Date: Mon Apr 13 17:23:32 1998

Another new guestbook

This guestbook was started on 4/13/98.

I have a page with links to all the response pages, other guestbook pages and pages related to "Bill's Story" at:

Thank you for visiting my website, for taking the time to respond, and for all your support.

From: Jennifer (
Date: Mon Apr 13 16:57:13 1998

Bill's story

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am studying to become an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Please know that you are not alone in your fight against violence, especially that towards gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. There are those of us in the religious community that are fighting with you. Being a Christian is at times a "taboo" among liberals, but Jesus taught us to love our neighbor. I don't remember that being followed with any exceptions in the Bible. My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing....may God bless you all.

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