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Teen Health 411

In Memory of Larry King

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Larry King was murdered on February 12, 2008 at his junior high in Oxnard, CA. Larry was only 15 years old and liked to come to school in makeup, high heels, and earrings. When teased by the other boys, he teased them right back and was confident in his own gay, brave self.

The eighth-grade boy who shot him "because he was gay" is being tried as an adult and will likely go to prison for life, which means two lives were lost that day because letting other people be "different" is not OK with some people. I say being different should not matter, at school, work, and especially in our families. Please share the poem below with anyone who you think needs to know they are OK.

DOES IT MATTER

My father asked me if I am gay
I said, "Does it matter?"
He said, "No, not really."
I told him, "Yes."
He said, "Get out of my life."
I guess it mattered.

My Boss asked me if I am gay.
I said, "Does it matter?"
He said, "No, not really."
I told him, "Yes."
He said, "You're fired, faggot."
I guess it mattered.

My friend asked me if I am gay.
I said, "Does it matter?"
He said, "No, not really."
I told him, "Yes."
He said, "Don't call me your friend."
I guess it mattered.

My lover asked, "Do you love me?"
I said, "Does it matter."
He said, "Yes."
I told him, "I love you."
He said, "Let me hold you in my arms."
For the first time in my life
something matters.

My God (goddess, higher power) asked, "Do you love yourself?"
I said, "Does it matter?"
S/He said, "Yes."
I asked, "How can I love myself?
I am gay."
S/He said, "That's the way
I made you."

Nothing again will matter.

- Author Unknown

Photo credit: seanmcgrath
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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