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LGBT Stories: A Repressed Memory Of A Traumatic Gym Class and An Abusive Father

Will Welch Casper

NATHAN MANSKE

Guestblogger Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee recently finished a 4 month, 50 state tour of the United States collecting stories for their I'm From Driftwood site. We'll be sharing some of the stories they collected along with some of the insight into what they saw. They're still encouraging people to submit their written stories via IFD.

Additionally, Nathan and Marquise will be at the Rainbow Book Fair tomorrow at the LGBT Center in NYC from 11am-5pm. It's the only LGBT book fair in the country and they'll be selling their self-published I'm From Driftwood Book, which is a compilation of some of the best stories from the site.

Driftwood Will is a steadfast LGBT advocate in Wyoming and has consistently been fighting what might seem to some as a losing battle in the state. But knowing that people like his friends and him decide to stay in Wyoming and fight the good fight is incredibly inspiring. He's been mentioned on Towleroad before and his Facebook posts are constant reminders of his commitment to fairness and eqaulity. His dedication and vigilance is why it's so heartbreaking to hear him share the story he shared. People like Will are doing so much good, you can't help but want the best for him.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Wow. That's heavy stuff. Reminds me of my own childhood. Dressed up once in my mom's clothes for fun and my parents performed an exorcism on me. In gym class I didn't want to shower with the other boys and I got taunted not only by me classmates but also by the gym teachers. I can't count the times I got bullied either in school or on my way home. Once I got forced by older kids to kiss a girl on the mouth....
    Well, now I am married to a wonderful man and we got 2 funky dogs. We also are in the middle of adopting a child/children.
    All this to say that....
    ...it does get better!

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 25, 2011 1:37:12 PM


  2. Been there done that.. I wonder why so many elementary school gym teachers seem to pick out the different kids and bully them often worse than their classmates? It certainly happened to me multiple times in different schools.

    Posted by: Denis | Mar 25, 2011 2:11:29 PM


  3. seems to me lots of gym teachers are sadistic fu*ks who get off on being cruel to kids they sense are vulnerable, at least they used to be. Let's hope it's changed a little >

    Posted by: biggayneil | Mar 26, 2011 11:48:25 AM


  4. As a student, I dreaded gym class, more for a lack of even a shred of athletic skill than for abuse. Most of the people I went to school with were so ignorant, I don't think they even had an inkling of the concept of gay.

    A gay friend of mine who went to another school also dreaded gym class. He hated it so much that he used to run into the wall in his basement trying to break his arm so he wouldn't have to take gym. So sad.

    Posted by: Rusty | Mar 26, 2011 1:24:27 PM


  5. That was interesting as well as heartbreaking. I hated gym class. Very few P.E. teachers were thoughtful people, I only had one who had any compassion. Once in 8th grade, I broke my arm while playing soccer in gym class, and the teacher told me to quit being such a baby about it. Later in the nurse's office, he came in to check on me (really figure out if his ass was on the line) and asked the nurse "nothing broken, right?". She replied "Oh, yeah. His arm is broken". He just glared at me and told me that I had "fallen wrong".

    He was an idiot, and sadly, has lots of company in that field. If you have no athletic skill, you are useless in their eyes.

    Great educational system we have here. I feel for this guy and identify with him as well.

    Posted by: The_Fixer | Mar 27, 2011 12:49:03 PM


  6. I always suspected (but never proved) that my gym teacher was closeted. He always seemed to be more interested in who was, or wasn't, showering than in anything else that ever happened during gym class. He was always standing at the entry to the shower room to count heads and hand out the towels. He would then go looking for for anyone who didn't hit the showers. Once found he would stand and watch them undress and march them to the showers verbally scolding and mocking them all the way. Of course this usually turned out to be those with few (if any) athletic skills, the physically underdeveloped, or the heavier guys.

    It was rumored (and confirmed to me by a buddy on the football team) that there was always lots of "acceptable" horseplay among the jocks in the locker room after games and the coach would frequently participate, then shower with them (something that would never be allowed in most schools today) and comment on their physical (and genital) maturity. Most of the players really got off on it especially if the coach was positive in his comments toward them.

    Once I was out of school and had matured both physically and mentally I happened up the "coach" at a local event. It was amazing to me what a puny little runt he actually was and I remember physically looking down on him as I told him how miserable his gym classes were. He tried to explain that he was just trying to make "men" out of some of us guy but I him he taught me absolutely nothing about being a man.

    Posted by: Tyron | Mar 27, 2011 12:59:28 PM


  7. The really crazy thing is that this happened to me in third grade. It wasn't even like I was an adolescent in jinior high or high school, not that it would have been acceptable then. But the fact is that even then, at that age, everybody knew I was gay, you just couldn't even say the word "gay" in that town at that time. The homophobic establishment was straight up teaching third graders to marginalize and torment gay people, plain and simple.

    Posted by: Will Welch | Mar 28, 2011 11:52:49 AM


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