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LGBT Stories: Deaf, Gay, Bullied, and Fighting Back

Ace

NATHAN MANSKE

Guestblogger Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee are halfway though a 3 month trip around the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We're finally ready to start catching up with some of the stories collected over the first half of the trip along with some of the insight into what they're seeing now. Anyone can submit their own story via IFD.

We met Ace at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. When he first started sharing his story, Ace started mentioning several things in life that were stacked against him. What I thought was going to be a downer of a story turned into an empowering message to gay youth that shows what can happen if you take control of a situation and stand up for yourself. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. The first thing stacked against him is that hideous hairstyle.

    Posted by: Gridlock | Jan 13, 2011 1:01:52 PM


  2. @Gridlock. Not funny.
    Ace, nice comeback to the bully.

    Posted by: Sylvatica | Jan 13, 2011 1:13:42 PM


  3. Gridlock, don't be such an ass.
    This is great for young people to see. A great series and an inspiring guy.

    Posted by: mb | Jan 13, 2011 1:25:16 PM


  4. @Gridlock reminds us that when it comes to bullying some people both gay and straight just don't get it. Given all the recent media attention about tone of discourse, we should all stop and think before running out mouths off without adding anything meaningful to the discussion.

    Posted by: teyshan | Jan 13, 2011 1:35:41 PM


  5. @Gridlock: Nice comment to a story about being bullied for your appearance and mannerisms. You're a gem.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 13, 2011 1:39:36 PM


  6. "None of the girls think you're cute" is about the best comeback you can think of to an insecure straight bully. Way to go, Ace!

    Posted by: Matt in PDX | Jan 13, 2011 1:48:29 PM


  7. I sometimes wonder if bullying is why we have so many wicked rude people in the GLBT community. Let's not judge others (at least negatively) for their appearance. Sheesh.

    He sounds like a very well-adjusted, nice guy who'll get out there and make something of himself and isn't afraid of who he is in life. We need more people like that, gay and otherwise.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 13, 2011 1:53:39 PM


  8. Re Gridlock, I don't know why you think gays aren't bullies!!! Geez, go to some gay bar and all the queens are out their to stab you if you don't fit into thei ideal of fake beauty.

    People are people. Expect som support in the gay community but don't be surprised when you face many people like Grid.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jan 13, 2011 1:56:28 PM


  9. Ace, clearly you are smart enough to just ignore people like Gridlock.
    Secondly - Congratulations! The thought of you being out since 13 (or did you say 15?) and then loosing parents and grandparents - wow. You must have amazing inner strength and self confidence.
    Kudos!

    Posted by: Fred | Jan 13, 2011 2:16:27 PM


  10. Gridlock sadly reminds me that while I faced bullying in my school years, it didn't stop when I found the gay community. We continue to face catty comments from our own gay brothers in places like West Hollywood, where, if you aren't 21 and perfect looking according to some twink standard, you are made to feel like no one will ever want you. Thank you, gridlock, for reminding us as far as critical comments and judgements go, we might all want to consider what we say and how it sounds before it comes out of our mouths.

    Posted by: jon cortez | Jan 13, 2011 2:47:12 PM


  11. What a brave kid, with a nice hair style ;). Just a side note though and not to nit pick, but I don't think he's Deaf. As an ASL student who knows a ton of Deaf people he seems hearing. I think he is in the process of losing his hearing as he gets older and will eventually become deaf.

    Posted by: Lazlo | Jan 13, 2011 3:15:55 PM


  12. This video was particularlly moving from Ace working through all the advercities, and surviving. He would make a great poster boy for "It Gets Better".

    Posted by: neppy503 | Jan 13, 2011 3:16:09 PM


  13. i live in Vegas, I have gone to UNLV, Ace is the kind of person I would have gone out of my way to meet. He sets a great example for the rest of us regardless of age.

    Posted by: Markankhamen | Jan 13, 2011 3:27:26 PM


  14. Thanks everyone! You guys are very sweet and if that comeback wasn't your favorite, I have plenty more where that came from!

    Ace

    Posted by: Ace | Jan 13, 2011 4:14:26 PM


  15. I love your comeback ace!

    Posted by: Josue | Jan 13, 2011 4:43:03 PM


  16. @gridlock your tolerance is amazing and your compassion right on the level with most homophobes.
    Ace keep on being the person you are and end up being the best you can be good luck

    Posted by: walter | Jan 13, 2011 6:26:13 PM


  17. Adorable and just the right amount of sassy! He would have fit right in with the group I hung around through college. :)

    Posted by: sparks | Jan 13, 2011 6:26:37 PM


  18. Ace looks like that Florida gay porn actor dude who strangled his wolf mix dog.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 13, 2011 6:28:40 PM


  19. Ace, I like your hair. You're adorable.

    I never would have guessed you're deaf (and I can't believe people bullied you for it; some people are truly ignorant). I met many gay students from Gallaudet University and their speech made it clear that they were deaf (not to slight them; I understand it's incredibly challenging to learn to speak if you can't hear).

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 13, 2011 6:37:10 PM


  20. @Gridlock.
    I'd gladly run my fingers through his hair, he is super cute!

    Posted by: Casper_O | Jan 13, 2011 7:57:20 PM


  21. Ace is a beautiful young man, physically and in terms of his self-assurance, obvious compassion, internal strength and willingness to talk about himself so un-selfconsciously.
    He's somebody who should be featured on the "It Gets Better" vids instead of all the celebrity whores, billionaires and others who can say the words without having any clear idea about what young queers of all kinds face on the "front lines" of life. I'd feel honored to count Ace among my younger friends.

    Posted by: CoMo'mo | Jan 13, 2011 11:06:20 PM


  22. My only complaint is that there don't seem to be any closed captions for this, which makes it impossible to share with a deaf gay friend who might not be able to lip-read it. Let me know if there's a subtitled version, please.

    Posted by: CoMo'mo | Jan 13, 2011 11:08:49 PM


  23. @COMO'MO, all the Video Stories on ImFromDriftwood.com are transcribed and have subtitles and transcripts; sometimes it takes a day or two to happen, but this one will have them, too. Check back tomorrow or Saturday. You're right; this one especially should have them so thanks for mentioning it.

    Be sure to send your deaf gay friend this Video Story of a man who tells his story through ASL: http://www.imfromdriftwood.com/2009/12/18/im-from-minneapolis-mn-video-story/

    Posted by: Nathan | Jan 14, 2011 3:12:32 AM


  24. He is fuckin' adorable!!!!!!

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 14, 2011 6:40:49 AM


  25. This man has such a good heart and mind, and such a sweet soul. I wonder if he knows that he's tougher than most of the people he'll meet in his lifetime?

    I'm so touched by this interview. Wishing him the best.

    Posted by: Brooks | Feb 3, 2011 11:59:19 AM


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