Outspoken: Ross Bynum

BY

October 23 2005 11:00 PM ET

Since Hurricane
Katrina hit, life has been quite rough in southern
Mississippi, where I live. But as people here begin to
rebuild their lives, mine continues to be difficult.

It actually
started last summer when my Missionary Baptist parents found
out I am gay. A teenage girl from my church found an online
journal of mine and decided to print it out and
distribute it to everyone in the community. Not
surprisingly, my parents didn’t take it so well. They
took away everything I had: my cell phone, my car, my
computer—everything. The ensuing drama was
horrendously ugly: yelling, screaming, cursing, the
works.

They reluctantly
gave my stuff back, but about a month later they went
ballistic again when they found out I was on a date with my
boyfriend. I received a cell phone call from my dad.
“Get your fucking ass home now,” my
father yelled. When I got home he had a belt in his hand.
The next day I had bruises all down my arms and on my
legs. It had gotten that bad.

Now, in the midst
of the aftermath of Katrina, it’s happened again,
only this time they are not giving my car back.
It’s all because my dad found some random
e-mail address in my computer. Almost a year after the last
drama went down here at the Bynum household, I again find
myself with no car or computer. I’m at school
on an academic scholarship, but I have no way to get
there, and my father doesn’t care. I can’t get
to work, and he doesn’t care.

Now I’ve
decided to share my story. Maybe there is someone else out
there who’s been through the same thing. I
could go on for days—hell, I could even write a
novel. Nobody would believe, it because it’s hard to
imagine someone treating their child the way
I’ve been treated. And it’s all been
justified because they “love me.”

As everyone picks
up the pieces from Katrina, I have to pick up the
pieces of my life for the third time. I hope this is the
last time.

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