I have always had a little crush on this girl:
Heather Matarazzo hated high school. The 22-year-old actress, best known for her movie roles in ”Welcome to the Dollhouse” and ”Saved,” said she has known since second grade that she was attracted to other girls. But shame forced the actress into years of silence and self-destruction. She abused drugs and alcohol. She ran away from home.
Yesterday, Matarazzo described her experiences to more than 500 teachers, students, and parents who attended the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of Boston’s 15th annual conference at Brookline High School. As the keynote speaker, Matarazzo drew tears and applause when she described her struggle to gain acceptance of her sexuality.
”It was such a burden, because I had to pretend to be this person that I wasn’t,” Matarazzo told the audience…
…Jiovani Robles and Valdir DePina, eighth-graders at the Academy of the Pacific Rim, a charter school in Hyde Park, attended the conference to support their gay teachers. Robles said he had not known until hearing Matarazzo’s speech that gay youth struggled so much for acceptance. He said his Catholic parents had taught him to respect everyone. But the boys said the conference opened their eyes to how much work still needs to be done to teach tolerance in schools.
I hated these conferences in high school (god, I hated high school), in part because they always turned into Cryfest ’99 so a particular set of kids could prolong their absence from class. But maybe that is unfair. Judging from the last paragraph, if these boys are honest, talks like this might actually make a difference.
via JC. Again.