‘Out’ on the beat: 06/02

By Jim Bucher

Way back in 1977 when I graduated high school, being gay was a no-no.

Can you imagine the scorn and ridicule in that earlier time?

Well, we knew who was and who wasn’t, or who was suspected of being, but it was never revealed.

Cut to today’s high school atmosphere and you would think things have changed for the better. You would think.

I mean gay rights and gay marriage are prominent topics, and we know to value an acceptance of who we are over someone else’s views of what we should be.

For this story, we go inside a typical school to find out first hand…

We’re chatting with a 16-year-old male, and because of potential negativity we’ll change his name to David.

“I first knew I was gay around the beginning of my sixth-grade year,” David says. “I knew I was more attracted to the guys at my school rather than the girls. That is what scared me the most. The guys at my school at the time were the stereotypical jocks.”

So, who do you turn to? In this case it was an older cousin.

“She was so understanding and gave me amazing advice,” David remembers.

But then the next step was his folks.

“When I told my parents, it was a different story,” he says. “I told my mother first and she thought that with my young age it was only a stage and that was her mindset for about three years. My father and I did not talk for about three years because of his extreme homophobia, but after the third year he slowly started to realize that I am the same person he knew before he found out and slowly began to accept that he did not fail as a parent.”

School, though, was difficult.

“I was terrified to go to school because every day I got the same questions: ‘are you gay?’ ‘I bet you want me, huh?’ It was not only comments, but actions too. I would get touched by the other male students just so they could prove they are ‘better than me’ because I was different from them.”

Then it got worse.

“When I started my seventh-grade year, that’s when it became more mental than physical,” he remembers. “I was told daily to kill myself, that I was worthless, and that I was going to hell for being something I couldn’t change. By the end of my first semester I believed them and that’s when I lost myself as a person and began to think of myself as a disease. I felt that if I was gone that it would make everyone’s life better and the world would not miss me.”

This is a tough story. High school became even worse for young David. Remember, this isn’t 1977; it’s 2015.

David toughened up.

“I was a shell of myself my entire freshman year, but as my sophomore year came around I was on the rebound,” David says. “If I heard my name being called out I called right back. If I would hear the word f-g, I would confront the person immediately. Now at the end of my sophomore year no one says anything about me when I am near them because they know I am not scared of them.”

He is now an out and proud young man.

“The best part about being gay is how connected I am to people from all over the world because we all face the same problems no matter where we live,” he says. “It’s almost like a huge family that tries to support one another even though we have never met.”

David offers advice for others who may be going through the same thing.

“Do not give up! I did and almost lost everything and I would have missed so much. If you need help all you have to do is ask. There are organizations out there to help. The National Suicide prevention Hotlines number is 1.800.273.8255, its toll free, and they saved my life.

“And one last thing, I am so proud of you. I know how you feel because I’ve felt that and I love you,” he continues. “I don’t care about your race, religion, sexuality because I know how you feel and I will be that person that loves and supports you to get stronger because the world needs you.”

And David we love you.



A regionally known and loved local television icon for over 25 years, “Buch’s” followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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