Gay + Lesbian Youth – Making History

REBECCA SPENSE: In the fall of 1992, the Governor’s Commission organized a series of five public hearings across Massachusetts. Gay and lesbian youth spoke of the rejection and isolation they suffered at school and at home. A total of 90 people testified and over half of those were gay and lesbian youth themselves. The honest and often painful stories of lesbian and gay teenagers would move the people of Massachusetts towards a recognition and humanity of gay and lesbian youth.

Troix Bettencourt, President,
Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian Youth

TROIX BETTENCOURT: I couldn’t hide it any more. I got kicked out of my house in July. And at that point, there was violence involved. My mother went nuts and just came at me with an iron. I went downstairs and locked the door and she called the police. And the police came and they asked me what was going on. And I told them. And my mother started saying alway..with the fags and doing this and doing that. And he started cracking all kinds of gay jokes and telling me what he would do to his kids if they were gay. And told me that he thinks that I should leave

And I said, “Well no, where am I going to go?

And he said, “Well that’s not my problem.”

And he took my keys and he made me leave. And I went to a friend’s house. And by that time I hadn’t come out to a lot of my friends. And it was okay to have a gay friend, but when it came time when it came time I needed someone’s support from them, it wasn’t okay to help me out, because then what would people think about them? And then when I called the Department of Social Services, because that’s the only place I knew that I might get some kind of help, they told me they couldn’t help, because I was gay and because my 18th birthday was coming up in September, and by the time they got to the case, then I’d be too old to take their services. So there I was left alone with nowhere to go, nowhere to go to, nowhere to stay.