from The Washington Post
The Washington Post has an amazing profile on 15 year old Saro Harvey, a student at Wakefield High School in Arlington County.
Saro describes what it's like for him to be an openly gay teenager and the constant harassment he receives by some of his peers for being unwilling to hide who he is.
The first time Saro said aloud what he had always felt -- that he liked boys -- came when he lived in Prince George's County. The words tumbled out, Saro said, as he and another sixth-grader were walking home. The boy shrugged it off with a "So?"
Later that year, that boy called him an anti-gay slur. When Saro ran to tell the teacher, according to a letter his parents wrote to the school, he was told: "Well, you act like one, so you should be used to it by now."
Emily Harvey, Saro's mother, said she long believed that her son was gay. When he told her at the end of eighth grade that he liked boys in addition to girls, she said it was a relief.
"I think he really became complete the day he told me that," she said. "It really made him be more comfortable in all aspects of life."
Saro's father, James Harvey, said he loves his son but confesses that he has faced his own prejudices as he watches Saro change.
"Sometimes I have the feeling I want to toughen him up," James Harvey said. "It's something I completely don't understand."
He said he struggles to grasp what "triggered" Saro's interest in the same sex. Had his son been molested? he questioned. Could this be just a phase?
It was at Wakefield that Saro determined that he was gay and not bisexual, and where he started incorporating bright color into a wardrobe of mostly girl's clothes. When he is later told about the comments that emerged about him at the GSA meeting, he laughs -- not nervously, but loudly.
"I tell my friends all the time, I'm like, 'What makes them think talking about me is going to make me change who I am?' " Saro says. "They can talk about me. They can do anything. But I'm still Saro. It doesn't bother me."
(Source/Washington Post/Theresa Vargas)