I spent my life surrounded by family and friends and I didnt have much of a bother about anything else but living in my own little world. I was always naive-I still am-but I wasn't prepared for the harsh emotions I felt when I first discovered how unfair homosexuals were treated. I do not like to admit that before 1997, I was a homophobe. I used to openly slander gays. I used to think it was wrong. Of course, I live in a rural community where the closet gay person is fifty miles away. Most people, if they are bisexual or gay, stay in the closet out of fear or perhaps to just not be judged but thats straying of course and will be related in another time.

I was convinced that people of the same gender could not fall in love. I was younger, intolerant but not stubborn. I was still able to be molded into the accepting and open-minded person I am today. I didn't have any gay friends when I was young and most of exposure to the positive side of homosexuality came from the internet and television. Though, at the time, there were not many homosexual elements on the screen. The internet became my haven for developing open-mindness.

I began to get interested in Japanese anime when I was 12. Over a period of a year and a half, I became throughly infatuated with the anime genre. On accident I came across a 'yaoi' story involving Hiei and Kurama from Yuu Yuu Hakusho. I didn't know at the time yaoi mean boy and boy love. It was a cute story with a captivating plot and detailed descriptions. Through my reading of yaoi fanfiction, I started to see homosexuality in a different light.

It was in 1998 that Mathew Shepard was murdered for being gay. I was hurt. I cried over someone I had never known. I was confused at why someone's death could affect when my own grandfather's hadn't. It was because Mathew died for the most mundane reason; he love those of his own gender. People hate because of reasons like those? How pathetic is the human race? Will humanity destroy itself based on prejudices? The entire religion biasis have caused humanity to become one cult of hate.

Certain religions think that homosexuality is bad and that 'God hates fags' and so they must be killed. Is it so wrong to fall in love? It is my opinion that people should keep their own hates and bigotry to themselves. People don't deserve to die. Its not their decision. Religion, according to those justified in their torment of gays, says that its not right and should be destroyed. So....the 'loving' God wants to have his own people killed? That is incredibly sick, twisted, and wrong.

I'm only 17 and people tell me that I can still be wavered in my beliefs that homosexuality is not disease. Want my take? Those who think it is a disease, are really the one's with the distorted minds. Don't like the fact that someone is gay? Then protest to yourself because there are millions of people just like me who fight against the prejudices shown against homosexuals. We will not let their lives be taken away because people are too blind to accept it.

It is in my experiences that even those who read and write 'yaoi and slash' fanfiction aren't all that tolerant. A good friend of mine writes stories but when its discovered that he's a gay male, he gets slandered by the same people who were just days before enjoying his slash stories. It was because he was the real life thing.

Another thing? Those who actually do hate homosexuals and call them names, actually go and meet one. Where I live, these boys and girls that say terrible things, have never known a homosexual. Wait until they actually do something to you before you go off and run your mouth.

I am a proud member of PFGBT. Parents, friends & families, of gay, bisexual and transgendered people. I support every single one of their actions to get equality. When I turn 18 and register to vote, I'll be voicing my opinion and my love for those people who constantly fight negativitey. I'm not a saint but I do know when I'm being right and your being wrong.

If you are a friend or family member of someone who is gay, please, offer your support as much as you can. Its a hard thing to be gay when you feel that you're completely alone.

If you are wondering if you are gay or bisexual, please, there is nothing wrong in it and do not think that there is. People will be wretched towards you but that's their own stupidity. Keep your head up and to whoever, if anyone, is reading this and you think you could be, please send me an e- mail or IM me on AOL.

If you're a bigot and you wish to flame me for writing this. Go ahead but you'll only be laughed at.

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Akemi