Letter to LGBT News: On LGBT youth, bullying, runaways, activism, vision and change

Here we reproduce a letter we have received from Caleb Laieski, a 15 year old who is set to change a world full of negativity, pessimism and hate. Caleb is a fresh face of hope, perseverance and determination, and we believe he can do whatever he sets his mind to. See why:
My name is Caleb Laieski. I am a 15 year old gay teenager living and attending high school in Surprise, Arizona.

As a gay youth in a public school system, I have endured relentless harassment, threats, and bullying simply because I am a gay teenager. During my 8th grade year of school, I finally acknowledged to the public and myself that I am, in fact, gay. As the news of my gay "outing" made the rounds at school, "anti-gay" slurs and innuendos began. Words like "fag and homo" became a way of life for me.

When I started high school, it became worse. The harassment, slurs, and threats became more bold, frequent and the vast majority of teachers failed to intervene. In fact, one teacher had said, in front of other students, that all gays are "going to hell." As those issues worsened, I contacted the school district countless times for help. Help never came.

Not only these issues occurring to myself, a very close friend of mine who is openly gay himself, had told me about how he is experiencing the same concerns and had once attempted suicide by drinking a majority of a bottle of rubbing alcohol. He had also trimmed his teeth down with a nail filer, with confidence issues in result of the comments being made by other students.

On March 24, 2010, at about 1:45 p.m., while walking home from the bus stop, I was approached by multiple male individuals in a vehicle yelling "Fuck you Caleb, you fucking faggot" followed by "fuck gay people" with finger gestures.

At this point, I finally contacted the Arizona ACLU for help. The ACLU followed with a letter to the school district that included a response deadline of "April 23, 2010." That deadline went unanswered. The district finally responded in mid-May by stating that "their attorney will be in touch shortly."

On May 13, 2010, at lunchtime, I was again confronted by a male student stating "I'm gonna sock you in the face, you fuckin homo" followed by the word "Faggot" simply because I asked his girlfriend why she was cutting in front of the lunch line instead of waiting like the other students. I reported the incident to the school administration and my ACLU attorney. While the school administration acknowledged the incident, the vice principal made light of the situation stating that she knows the student involved because "He's in my office often," and she would address it with him. Concerns for my safety, well-being and emotional stress caused by these repeated incidents were shooed out the door, leaving me to wonder whether or not I would make it through the day without being attacked. I was so scared that I walked out of school that day because I was afraid for my life.

Since that time, I have spoken with the vice principal, the school district and my ACLU attorney. Nothing transpired. Fortunately, I made it through school "this time" without incident. But, what does my future hold? Will I have to submit to ongoing harassment, threats, and bullying for the rest of my educational career? Will I end up being one of the teens that attempts suicide, develops a drug or alcohol problem; or end up homeless on the streets?

In 2008, I became an activist one month before elections on Proposition 102 (Arizona) and Proposition 8 (California) - both defining marriage as a right only available between one man and one woman.

After the passage of both propositions, my frustrations led me to begin researching and investigating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rights and offering my assistance to local as well as national organizations. Thanks to the positive support of these organizations, I gained some very essential experience, but I felt that those organizations were not working fast enough. Change needed to happen sooner!

So, I had the vision of founding my own organization -- Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination (GLUAD) to help support the LGBT local and national communities. I worked day and night to make sure this vision became a reality.

In January, 2009, GLUAD began writing to legislatures in all 50 states with literature containing insight on LGBT issues. After a year of unexpected challenges, it became apparent to me how critical legislation is in providing essential changes towards LGBT equality. As a gay youth, having survived my own issues, I felt that GLUAD could make the most crucial impact by focusing on LGBT youth communities both locally and nationally. I reached out to other LGBT youth. I heard stories from other students whose lives echoed with mine. Whose stories all contained common threads of serious harassment, threats, and bullying. Stories of unheard victims of violence and abuse. It made me angry! Angry to the point that I began an intensive search for answers. Answers that both shocked, saddened and horrified me. Statistics that showed me the alarming amount of homeless teenagers and even worse -the preventable teen suicide rate.

Currently, GLUAD is in the process of opening a homeless shelter focusing primarily on LGBT runaways or displaced people. We will provide housing for LGBT youth, adults, elderly and other members of the homeless community that have nowhere to go and no one to help them. GLUAD is continuing to work with all 50 state legislatures to address LGBT statistics, background and work for protective legislation.

My hope is to prevent people from experiencing and surviving the same type of harassment, threats, and bullying that I had to endure during my teen years. For LGBT people to have the same rights, goals and dreams of every other person in this country. To have somewhere to go, and someone to turn to when the world turns its back on them!

With hope and determination,

Caleb Laieski
Executive Director
Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination


8 comments:

  1. Anonymous says

    Fantastic Caleb !! I support you 200%. Sending you a letter right now to find out how I can help.
    caleb@gluad.org


    Anonymous says

    Inspirational.


    Anonymous says

    Caleb, you are not just a beacon of inspiration to the LGBT community, but to the whole of society. You have me now thinking as to what and how I can do anything to help further our combined causes. Please let me know what I can do to help.


    Jason Warren says

    Just wondering... if this guy is doing all this amazing stuff at 15... what is he going to achieve by 3o! We will be hearing this name again and again and again...


    Joe says

    For people who are wondering what to do, GLUAD is THE only group I know of that has as a goal giving thrown-out-on-the-street gay kids a place to go. The NEED funding. Money. I'm going to send a check as soon as i stop typing here.


    polo outlet says

    Walking on the way home, Nike Air Jordan, suddenly a scenery touched, Ralph Outlet, stopped to savor, MCM Outlet Online, to put a camera gesture, Polo Outlet Online, to leave a shallow spring, Gucci Shoes UK, of negatives here, Michael Kors Outlet, deep in her heart extended spring scenery, Marc Jacobs Bags Outlet, etc, returned home, Canada Goose Jackets, using bamboo memo box, Ralph Lauren Outlet, to do with pen, Michael Kors USA, and ink painting, North Jackets Outlet Online, the intention to write, a sweet words, Beats By Dre, do a recall album, wait until old age, Hermes Bags Outlet, come to appreciate slowly, North Clearace Outlet Online, walked with light, Burberry Bags Outlet, footsteps walked on, the King, Monster Headphones Outlet, or the original scene, Longchamp Pairs, people are still the original person, Prada Outlet Online, just change a mood, Michael Kors Outlet Online, all plain people, Cheap Oakley Sunglaases, things, Coach Factory Shop, and it was better together.


    polo outlet says

    Handbags Outlet Online, http://www.superbagsmarket.com/

    Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

    Hermes Bags Outlet Online

    Prada Outlet

    Chanel Outlet Online

    Gucci Outlet Online

    Burberry Outlet

    Celine Outlet

    Balenciaga Outlet

    Christian Bior Outlet Online

    Chloe Outlet Online

    Bvlgari Outlet Online

    Bally Outlet

    coach Outlet

    Michael Kors Outlet Online

    MCM Backpack Outlet Online

    Fendi Outlet Online

    mulberry Outlet

    Marc Jacobs Outlet

    Miu Miu Outlet Online

    Ysl Outlet Online

    Tory Burch Outlet Online

    Givenchy Outlet Online

    Ferragamo Outlet Online

    Lancel Outlet Online

    Loewe Bags Outlet Online

    Tods Outlet Online

    Paul Smith Outlet Online

    D&G Bags Outlet Online

    Alexander Wang Outlet Online

    Bottega Veneta Outlet Online


    Gege Dai says

    "babyliss flat iron"
    "true religion outlet"
    "tory burch outlet"
    "swarovski crystal"
    "true religion sale"
    "hollister"
    "timberland boots"
    "mac cosmetics"
    "michael kors outlet"
    "hermes birkin"
    "michael kors handbags"
    "chrome hearts eyewear"
    "michael kors outlet"
    "true religion jeans"
    "ferragamo outlet"
    "kate spade uk"
    "ralph lauren outlet"
    "ray ban sunglasses"
    "prada sneakers"
    "michael kors outlet"
    "cheap nba jerseys"
    "coach outlet online"
    "longchamp handbags"
    "nike huarache"
    "coach outlet store"
    "jordan shoes"
    "ferragamo shoes"
    "beats headphones"
    "cheap jordans"
    "tiffany and co"
    "burberry sunglasses on sale"
    "converse shoes"
    "ralph lauren pas cher"
    "polo ralph lauren outlet"
    "ralph lauren polo"
    16.7.12qqqqqing


8 comments so far. What do you think?