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Outspoken: Ross

Outspoken: Ross


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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