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Woman explains 'why we can't stop saying gay' with moving story of how family took in her gay friend

'There are kids like him right now across the US who are scared with the new legislation passing,' she tweeted.

Woman explains 'why we can't stop saying gay' with moving story of how family took in her gay friend
Cover Image Source: Twitter/Rhian Beutler

A Twitter user recently took to the platform to speak out against Florida's new controversial "Don't Say Gay" law and similar bills being proposed across the nation. While many have responded to such attempts to curb classroom discussion on sexual orientation or gender identity with anger and warnings of how it'll impact young lives, Rhian Beutler shared a deeply personal story of how her family took in her gay high school friend. In a series of tweets, Beutler—an entrepreneur from Southern California—explained that the story shows "why we can't stop saying gay."


"On the first day of my senior year of high school, a new boy showed up in my AP English class. He had transferred from a prestigious private school to my public school, and I was confused. I asked him why he moved and he shrugged," Beutler's story begins. "I had lost most of my friends due to graduation and I decided he was going to be my new friend, and much to my excitement he seemed just as happy to be my new friend. We decided to partner together on a project, and his mom insisted that she come to my house as well."


"I'm first-gen and he is a refugee so I didn't think much of it. Literally thought 'European parents are going to European,'" she wrote. However, after spending some time with the boy's mom, Beutler's also felt there was something a bit off. "At this point, he and I were spending EVERY part of the school day that wasn't in class together. One day, with all the grace of a 17-year-old in the early 2000s who didn't know this is inappropriate I asked him 'so... you're gay right?' He looked at me horrified," the Twitter thread continues. "He asked, almost in tears, 'how did you know?' I explained that my uncle was gay and that I had grown up around queer people and that I didn't care and that we could obviously still be friends and that I wouldn't tell ANYONE. Then everything clicked."


Beutler's friend revealed that his parents had pulled him from his previous school after finding out he was gay. He confided in her that he was afraid to go home every day as he faced constant abuse from his family for being who he is. "I went home and told my parents. I begged them to do something about it. They said they would think about it, and they did. My Mom is a green card holder so she said he couldn't come and live with us until he was 18 because that would be considered kidnapping," Beutler tweeted.


Fortunately, Beutler's friend survived his family's abuse for a few more years and left home as soon as he turned 18. "He blossomed while living with us. My parents and the aforementioned social worker took him shopping, made sure he had everything he needed for school and he became like my brother. I remember his excitement after his first date with another boy. I remember how excited he was to be able to dress the way he wanted. I remember how he came into my bedroom EVERY MORNING WITHOUT KNOCKING to ask me if he looked good in his outfits," she recalled.


"His joy and comfort living as his authentic self is a core memory of mine. The story is longer but he went to an Ivy and is an immunologist literally working on curing cancer. He is my brother and best friend. I would move mountains for him. There are kids like him right now across the US who are SCARED with the new legislation passing. If they thought they were safe they no longer think that. One of my mentees shared that they feel like no one wants them to live. I DO. Don't you? There is a LOT of anti-queer legislation being passed at the state level right now. FIGHT IT. Queer kids need to feel safe. They deserve to feel safe. DO SOMETHING," Beutler urged.


"Call your legislators at all levels. Encourage the passage of FEDERAL protection of the LGBTQIA+ community. Queer lives matter. Also, be a safe adult. Be like my mom. Every kid and every person deserves to feel safe," she added. Beutler concluded her moving story by urging her followers to "donate to: @TrevorProject @LALGBTCenter @AliForneyCenter @TransEquality @sageusa @PointFoundation @HRC Also engage in mutual aid, but donating locally and directly to those who need it. And again, be the safe adult."

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