Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure and learn more about Bevan and our trip to San Francisco. If you haven’t submitted a story yet to IFD, or if you want to submit another one, I’d love to read and publish it. Write one up and send it in.
I’m Bevan Dufty. I was born and raised in New York City. Now I’m a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and I have the privilege of serving the seat that was once held by Harvey Milk. We have New York and being Jews in common with one another. When I was growing up in New York City, I went to public school and I can remember in the the 3rd grade, there was a young man Bennett who kind of a friend, kind of a frenemy. He had wanted to play, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours – and so, we’re kids, what’s the big deal? So we kind of pulled our pants down in the bathroom one day, and two days later, he had two buddies and they started beating me up. It wasn’t one day, it wasn’t two days. It went about thirty school days in a row and I lived right in the heart of Manhattan and so my house was a couple blocks from school but it might as well have been 5 miles. I couldn’t get home without getting jacked up. I still feel enormous responsibility to our children and other children growing up. Not every kid that gets harassed for being gay, is gay, or even realizes that they might be gay. And they have the right not to know that, it’s not something they necessarily have to know at eight, nine or ten. For me, the focus is to ensure that our schools are safe places. I’m a gay dad, and I have a daughter who is four, with a lesbian co-parent. My daughter actually wants to be a boy which is really fun, so she dresses up as a boy and does her thing. And I’m going to be a very vigilant parent to make sure that my child – whatever her choices, whatever her gender expression is and how she dresses or what she wants to be, that that’s protected, and that she grows up not being beaten up, not being harassed and not being bullied to the point that she might think that life is not worth living.