What your peers are saying about the Rainbow Youth, York Region

• This group provided me with a perspective I wouldn’t have had if I didn’t come

• There is nothing wrong with me and now I accept myself … I am lucky

• I realize I don’t have a problem, it’s the attitude of others that is the problem

• I am able to find out a lot more about people in my community

• Coming to this group has made my family stronger and I love my parents more

• I feel more like an individual … I don’t have to be like everyone else

• I’m not sure whether I’m there yet, but I feel challenged to feel proud

• My family and friends are more accepting in general

• I feel more like me and I feel my family is closer now

• I’m proud to be myself and strong enough to accept myself

• I am happy, just ‘cause that’s the way I am

• Rainbow Youth helps make people aware there is sexual diversity

• The group environment understands and relates to every experience and loves everybody

• I can be true to myself and honest with others at Rainbow Youth

• If I didn’t come, I wouldn’t have met all these great people

• Being accepting of myself and that others don’t have the same experience

• I can see both sides of the issue and it motivates me to make us (gays) stronger

Do you know where your teenager was last night?

  • I wasn't out getting into trouble.
  • I was at the Rainbow Youth , York Region Support Group. (Does that shock you?)
  • I hate lying about where I am but it feels so good knowing I'm not alone.
The counsellor says I'm such a fine caring young person, full of integrity. She says I've really blossomed in the group. No one else knows I'm gay and here is somewhere I can be myself. It takes so much energy to hide it at home and school. Last night, I told them I just can't live the lie anymore and maybe it's time to tell you. The group worried about what would happen to me if I told you, but you see, I can live with who I am and be proud. It's you I worry about. Will you feel I've failed you? Will the rest of the family reject our family? I love my family and want us to stay together. I just know I can't live a lie anymore. You see it's not a choice. It's who I am and the only choice is whether to be true to myself. You've worked so hard to raise me to be someone you can be proud of. I'm gay! There it's out and it feels so good to say it. But, I need your unconditional love too. Please, please, please give me a sign it's ok to tell you. Please tell me you love me whether I'm gay or straight. You do love me ... don't you?

Do You Know Me?

Do you know me? I'm invisible. I spend a lot of energy being silent, for fear of being harassed. I may be just one of the regular kids but I could be abusing substances, getting into risky behaviours, over or under achieving, dropping out or being depressed and thinking of suicide. My family could be supportive or I could be at risk of homelessness. Maybe one or two friends know or maybe the secret is all mine..

Twice a month on Monday nights, I attend the Rainbow Youth York Region Support Group. There I can just be myself, connect with others and discuss my issues. I wish I could be like some of the others who are "out" to everyone.

You may not recognize me as. I don't fit the stereotypes. If you just interrupt the "you're so gay" type comments or mention the author is gay, I will feel a little more accepted. This is about who I am! It doesn't take much. Please, please, please just take a small step. Maybe someday I won't have to be invisible in this school any more. Do you know me?

hey did u hear me
I think u went to my school
did u ever stand up for me
when you saw them beat me down
shred me to pieces
and instigate my tears

hey did u see me
when I ran from them beating me
when they chased me down the street
off of their public property
yelling fag in the background
shooting flames at my frail body

hey could u smell me
my blood
when it was dripping from their slashes
to my heart
or from that scrape I gave myself
with a vegetable peeler

hey did you see them
thinkin they're all fly
and she's all that
and I ain't worth it
but I am do ya hear me

I have style, I have flare
I have pride, I have grace

I am not just a pretty face
that is putty in your hands
you can't just live and expect me not to
seek out foreign lands
you may be mystifying
and you may spellbind me
but I need to be somewhere
where I can walk with dignity

so don't pretend that you can just
leave me and walk away
and sign and fade
and dance and sway
away from the moonlight
because the stars simply kiss me and not you

maybe next time you will
think before you talk
think before you act
listen before you play and taunt

and one day
maybe you'll see the stars in my eyes
and if you act properly
maybe you'll see them twinkle