Youth Story: Khalil
When I was ten years old — an age where many kids are happy — I was often sad and fearful. At this age, I first realized that I was attracted to other boys. I spent many nights in tears. Other kids used to make fun of me, but I didn’t really know why. I was terrified, and I did not know what to do, so I built up a wall around myself.
I came out as gay when I was fourteen. I told my family and my friends. This was not easy. No one believed me or took me seriously. This only made me feel more
I kept getting into confrontations with other students at school who picked on me for being gay. One time, a girl kept calling me a fag, and hit me. Not knowing what to do, I fought back. Large groups of boys would corner me and try to start fights. It made me not want to go to school, and I thought about dropping out. My teachers made me talk to a counselor. I was hesitant, but I didn’t want to be scared all the time. I also really wanted to graduate and further my education.
Luckily, my school told me about The Attic.
When I first came to The Attic, I was quiet and stayed in the corner. I felt really uncomfortable because I was not at all used to being around other people like me. I didn’t trust other people my age and I didn’t know how to interact with them.
The more I came to the space, the more I got used to the people and I learned that it was ok to be myself. I remember going to my first support group at The Attic. It was overwhelming, but I finally opened up. A lot of people had been through some of the same stuff as me, and that helped.
Now, I am no longer the boy hiding in the corner. I try to participate in as many groups as I can at The Attic. I’m there every day after school, and I am even a peer support leader.
Thanks to the support I receive everyday at The Attic, I am still in high school and I am on track to graduate.