As I am in Oregon helping my Dad recuperate from knee surgery, I thought I’d do something I’ll call “On This Date In ISBL History” and repost some things from back when the blog was new, and newish … this was originally published November 6, 2013:
It’s long been said that members of the LGBT community often create new families for themselves out of friends and lovers that they meet along the way. We do this because, sometimes, our own families want nothing to do with us when we come out to them.
I was one of the lucky ones for my family was mostly, Um, okay? So what?
Carlos, on the other hand wasn’t so lucky. His mother accepts him as a gay man, and accepts me as his partner, but his father wants nothing to do with him; or me. So Carlos made a new family out of friends he made when he moved to Miami and friends we both made when we moved to Smallville. And he stills gets choked up that my sister calls him ‘brother’ and my father calls him ‘son,’ and all my nieces call him Uncle Carlos.
So, as LGBT men and women, we make do, and we build new families to take the place of our birth families that no longer want us when we come out.
That’s the case with Nick. Nick is an 18-year-old young man, a freshman at Kennesaw State University, who lives in Marietta, Georgia. Last month someone he knew told Nick’s parents that he is bisexual and they weren’t having it. They kicked him out of the house; while he was at work, they took the car that was in their name, even though he made the payments on it; they took all of his belongings from their house and threw them on the front lawn.
Bad? Not even bad enough. They then used the fact that his bank accounts were "custodial accounts" and they emptied his bank accounts into theirs; taking all the money he’d saved over the last three years working as a bagger at Publix.
Lovely parents; role models, really.
But Nick didn’t give up, and people who knew him didn’t give up either. The mother-in-law of Steve Bevers, one of his co-workers, took Nick into her home instantly, and set up a crowdfunding page on GoFundMe to help him on with his life.
"When I heard about what happened to Nick I was flabbergasted. I couldn't understand how a parent could do that. While I'm sure there are multiple sides to the story, I just was amazed. I was hurt. The first thing I asked was, 'Does he need a place to stay? Does he need some money?'" — Steve Bevers
So Steve Bevers set up the GoFundMe page for Nick on October 22nd, to help him pay for school, maybe get another car, and finance a place of his own when he’s able. In just a couple of weeks the site has raised $26,000 — as of this morning — for Nick.
Complete strangers, who don’t know Nick, might never know Nick, have stepped up to help him when his own parents told him to get out of their house.
Last week, Nick uploaded a video to the site to thank his supporters and tell his story:
"This whole thing started when my stepmom caught wind of me being bisexual. I don't know where she got her information from, but I know it wasn't from me. She didn't like that and neither did my dad. I got told some very vulgar and disgusting things... That's why I didn't tell them, because I wasn't ready. And I didn't tell them for the exact reaction I was scared about, and that's exactly what happened."
Now, while Nick may be sleeping on the sofa at the Bevers home, he is still working, and planning to continue his education; he’s using the donations to pay for school and get himself a car so he can get back and forth to classes.
Complete strangers did this for him when his own family threw him out of the house.
As I said, we sometimes create new families for ourselves when our own families don’t want us because we’re gay, or something, but in the case of Nick, his new family is made up of people who might never meet him, who realize that just because he’s bisexual doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to be loved.
Apparently Nick's father released his own version of what happened in their family and tried to paint Nick as “the bad guy” in all of this because Nick had the nerve to consult an attorney about getting the money back that his parents stole from him.
Nick was a straight A student in high school, and has done very well in college, all the while working nearly full time.
Yeah, he sounds like a bad guy. Or maybe just a young bisexual man trying to make his way through life after his family disowned him.
PS Naturally, the GoFundMe page, while still up, is done; Nick accepted donations just to pay for college and housing and plans to pay it forward.