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Erin B., Georgia

"There's one boy at my school who is open, out of the closet. He gets it horrible. . . . He gets it bad. He's really feminine.

"If a gay man is butch, they don't mess with him as much. If he's feminine, he gets pushed around. For girls, if you're butch, they say, `Dyke, you want to be a man.'

"[Taylor,] that boy in school, is out to selected people. It's all about knowing who you can surround yourself with. I came out to him first. I told him about YouthPride. [At first] he told me everyone assumes he's gay, but he's not. Two days later he came out to me.

"He's taunted and teased in gym because he doesn't play football, he hangs out with the girls instead. The girls are even worse to him because it's like they feel he wants to be a girl. Everybody gives him hell because he's feminine. He's a really sweet guy but no one cares about that. They just care about the fact that he's gay.

"My ex-girlfriend has it a lot easier. She's part of the `in' crowd; she's a cheerleader. . . . She doesn't get it nearly as bad as Taylor and I. She plays female roles, she's not butch, doesn't have weird hair. She doesn't get people confused about whether she's a girl or a guy.

"Her friend, my ex-girlfriend's friend, doesn't get it at all. She's going out with a guy now, but at the beginning of the school year she was dating a girl. . . . She's a sweet person. They see that and don't judge. . . . She's explained bisexuality to people, and they listened to her. But if I did that nobody would listen."

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Dylan N., Nevada
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Erin B., Georgia
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