Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure. 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.
My name is Ace Gilliam. I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada. Basically I’ve been out since I was thirteen years old. I came out to my family when I was fifteen. My grandma passed away. I lived with her for eight years, cause my mom passed away and my dad passed away and just two month ago my grandpa passed away. Every care giver I’ve ever had on top of the being gay, being deaf, I know what’s it like to be bullied for something that you can’t help. I hate seeing people being bullied for no matter what – they’ve been bullied for, even me for being deaf. I’m bullied for being deaf. For all things, that I really can’t help.
I think we need to stand up for ourselves. My freshman year of high school I was in theater of all classes. I would get all of these post it notes on my back. I’d be walking through school and they could read the back of them and say “Ace, why do you have cocksucker all over your back?” “I don’t know, but can you please get them off?”
My sophomore year, after taking one year of PE with all of them they all knew it especially by the way I played my sports. I was very good, I was still very flamboyant in a way so they kind of caught it, and they just didn’t like playing with me. So there was this one guy, and you could just tell by his presence, he had the shaved head, he’s very Republican, he was always talking about guns. It was just one of those really bad stereotypes. We’re all just sitting there changing and everything and I put my shoes back on and I’m down there tying my shoes – and he goes “Hey, while you’re down there, you might as well take care of your business, right? You cocksucker” and I’m just sitting there, “Okay, listen up, do you have a girlfriend?” He’s like, “No, why?” “If there’s no one with a vagina coming after you, then why the hell would I? No girls think you’re cute, neither do I. Leave me the fuck alone.” I just made it an embarrassing situation for him because I’m not a violent person and I don’t believe that violence is the way.
Usually when someone tells me something I’m going to counteract with kindness or something just more surprising than anger. Because that’s what they are always trying to get out of you. I got my point across and I stomped out of there everybody kind of stopped and paused – and he thought about it, and after that he wasn’t so bad toward me, but he was still bad toward other students and stuff. It’s not like college. Here we can pick and choose a click and kind of go quite a distance away.
It’s good. It feels better now obviously than high school.I guess sometimes it takes those trials and tribulations to get there.