I'm from Driftwood | LGBT Stories | Nathan Manske | News | Religion

LGBT Stories: Gay Teen Saved by Lesbian Teacher, Outed, and Ex-Communicated By Church

  Justin Wise TR



Nathan Manske and Marquise Lee embarked on 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. You can follow IFD on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Driftwood I never sought out stereotypical stories, no matter where we were. In Laramie, I didn't seek out Mathew Shepard stories. In Salt Lake City, I didn't seek out Mormon stories. And in the Deep South, I didn't seek out religious stories. But every single time, the stories naturally found me. The further South we went, I noticed how much more important it became for people to find a balance between their relgion and sexuality rather than simply abandon their religion.


SPECIAL NOTE: I'm From Driftwood is proud to announce our official 501(c)(3) non-profit status. To celebrate we're having a Rooftop BBQ Fundraiser in Lower Manhattan next Saturday, July 9. It's been great reading all your comments on the videos and I would love to meet all you Towleroaders in person. Details are on the invite below the video and you can RSVP here. Hope to see y'all there!


IFD Fundraiser Sponsors

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Will there be discounted student prices for the event?

    Posted by: Sam | Jul 1, 2011 1:38:51 PM

  2. Christians = evil

    Why anyone would want to be part of such a monstrous cult is incomprehensible

    Posted by: Steve | Jul 1, 2011 1:45:46 PM

  3. He was born into it, Steve. This was his family and they threw him out. An old -- and exceptionally ugly -- story. The good news is that lesbian teacher and the fact that he's still here alive and well -- and not about to kill himself.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jul 1, 2011 2:00:12 PM

  4. Did fundamentalist Christians somehow forget that Christ said "Love thy neighbor" and not "JUDGE thy neighbor"? This is one of the reasons that I avoid going to the South at all costs. So sorry that this incredibly brave and strong young man had to deal with an environment of hate and ignorance.

    Posted by: Will | Jul 1, 2011 2:23:13 PM

  5. Fundamentalist parents think that they are showing love to their child by shunning them or rejecting their 'gay lifestyle.' It is their way of showing loyalty... How backwards is that?

    Posted by: Brant | Jul 1, 2011 2:39:44 PM

  6. There is nothing more toxic than small-town fundamentalist religion.

    Posted by: BobN | Jul 1, 2011 3:00:48 PM

  7. Wow.

    Harsh as it sounds, the young man is much better off wothout those people. Yeah it hurts, but it will heal. Suicide heals nothing.

    Posted by: Craig | Jul 1, 2011 3:06:30 PM

  8. Burn all the preachers who promise you hell. Bright Eyes.

    Posted by: Ianmck | Jul 1, 2011 6:28:18 PM

  9. @Steve

    for that matter why be American? We thought nothing of having slaves, denying equal rights, trampling on the poor in favor of the wealthy, and pretty much sticking our nose into the business of third world nations.

    Its because some people aren't part of a "mindset". They create their own "America", "Christianity", etc. They define for themselves what being a: woman, a gay man, a Christian, an American means.

    and then some people drink the Koolaid and go cult-like and nuts.

    Humans are odd creatures.

    Posted by: Rin | Jul 1, 2011 7:37:19 PM

  10. Will, Christ said to love. Indeed He did. And not to judge another's eternal destiny.
    But read 1 Cor. 5 for what the Church can do. That too is love. That too is not judging the eternal destiny. But Christians can not close their eyes to the sins of same sex behavior.

    Posted by: Yar | Jul 1, 2011 10:47:08 PM

  11. These are ignorant Jesus worshipers. What do you expect. It's unfortunate that the young man grew up in a small town in South Carolina where there is less opportunity to avoid Xtians. In a larger urban area in the South or another region of the country, it would be the fundie Xtians who would be shunned by the rest of the community, and rightfully so.

    Posted by: Phil | Jul 1, 2011 11:33:12 PM

  12. @ Yar,

    I'll bet you wouldn't feel free to say that in your place of employment or in a school or in a government office or even in the military. I don't think you'd feel free to say that unless you were very certain that everyone within hearing distance was like-minded. You find yourself in a nineteenth-century closet in reverse: "The Hate That Dare Not Speak Its Name". So who's really in the closet? Get back to us on that, will you?

    Posted by: Phil | Jul 1, 2011 11:57:08 PM

  13. Uber emotive. I feel great sadness and anger at what he and others had and have to go through. The church family are disgusting. Jesus hung around with 'undesirables'. He certainly would not turn his back on this kid like these Christian frauds.


    If Jesus walked our Earth today, you'd find him in homeless shelters and with other down and out people and outcasts. And you all know this.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 2, 2011 12:29:07 AM

  14. Most christians are so not christian.

    Posted by: lk | Jul 2, 2011 7:25:42 AM

  15. I'm from MA. Born and raised and still live in this state. I completely understand where this guy is coming from. I too was raised in a strict religious household. My parents ARE Jehovah's Witnesses. I went through a very similar situation when I came out and the elders (a.k.a. Pastors) and they decided to disfellowshipped me (ex-communicate) from the religion. After 28 years of being a JW, my family, friends, home - everything was taken away from me in 1 night because of their decision. Over the course of the next few years I attempted suicide 4 times and had various other horrible things happen to me along the way all because I stopped living a lie and came out as a gay man. That whole sh*t show started 9 years ago. I still have no contact with my "friends" from the religion. They actually cross the street when they see me and act like I'll spread a disease to them if they walk near me. I have almost no contact with my parents. I might speak to them 2-3 times a year. My Mom was my best friend. I'd call her 5-6 times a week to check in on her and my Dad before all of this happened. It's very hard to think about that even to this day. But I've come to realize that it's their loss. I'vea been married to my wonderful husband of 4 years whom they've never met, my husbands' family have welcomed me with open arms and I'm very happy. My point is that this sort of "Christian" behavior happens EVERYWHERE, not just the south. People who say that the south is a horrible place to live and be gay because of the religious zealots should really take a closer look at life around themselves because things aren't always so rosy up here in the Northeast.

    Posted by: RT | Jul 2, 2011 7:57:38 AM

  16. Justin - it appears you have worked hard to come through some very dark times. Your video gives hope to lots of folks who are struggling with similar ugliness. Thank you for sharing and warm and loving thoughts as you find the joy in your life that you (and everyone) so richly deserves.

    Posted by: John | Jul 2, 2011 3:05:30 PM

  17. Just to be clear, it was his church "family" who threw him out not his real family. Remember he said he told his parents and they dealt with it within the family?

    Posted by: Randall | Jul 2, 2011 6:19:05 PM

  18. Somehow I can't picture Jesus throwing anybody out for being gay. That "church" sounds like a church of Satan.....a bunch of misguided sinners who like to throw stones at other people. You are better off without them.

    Posted by: Bob | Jul 8, 2011 4:33:22 PM

  19. I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
    ~Mahatma Gandhi

    Posted by: jlynch | Sep 17, 2011 8:29:56 AM

Post a comment


« «Glee's Cory Monteith Tells Straight Guys to Dump Their Homophobia: VIDEO« «