Ode to Robbie & Bill by Rick Beck   
"Ode to Robbie & Bill"
by Rick Beck
A Writer's letter to two friends to soon gone from us.


Memorial
Gay Youth


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Hello there Robbie and Bill,

Man, what's it like up there? Tell the big guy hello for me. Not much has changed here. We miss you guys. We miss who you would have been and how much you could have accomplished.

Oh, I know why you had to go. I knew I was gay when I was ten, Robbie. I could hide it and I was afraid to come out. Some people didn't suspect me. I know we can't all hide it and for those kids it's difficult to face hate each day. It makes you very tired and very old.

Isn't it strange we are hated because we can love?

This old world is so full of hatred and violence that a little more love couldn't hurt.

Are people so full of hatred capable of loving?

Can hatred and love coexist in one single human body?

Glad you guys weren't here when Matthew died. Isn't he cute? What a future he had. You're probably buddies by now.

They said the only place on his face that wasn't covered in blood was where tears washed the blood away. They say it was a robbery gone bad. It looked a lot like hatred to me. You guys are all safe now.

Robbie & Bill, the Family Research Council says there is no gay teen suicide problem. They say you can't legally choose to be gay until you turn 18. You weren't really gay when you committed suicide. I bet that's a news flash to you and those who hated you.

Does it apply to straights? You aren't straight until you're 18?

As Bill said so much more eloquently than I can, "I did not choose this. It was not forced on me. It just is."

Hey, I'm sorry you guys left us. I just wanted you to know I know why you had to go. I've got this website we've just developed and we're going to try to change things so it isn't so hard for teenagers to grow up gay.

I'm sorry I wasn't here to help you before you had to go.

I encourage each of you to visit the dedication pages. This site wouldn't be here in this form if these three lives hadn't been out there. We don't ask much of you here but we'd like you to reflect for a moment when you visit each time. Please remember these young men and all the others that didn't make it. Don't let them die in vain. Reflect on why you are here. I spend dozens of hours each week trying to bring you something special. Do this for me and in their memory. It only takes a minute out of your day.

This site is my answer to their cry for help. The words you see on these pages are meant to show what it's like being a person that is gay. We have lives, ideas, inspiration, and we make contributions to society on a daily basis. We are not gay men and lesbian woman, we are men and woman that are gay and lesbian. This site is for all people, everywhere, all of the time. We will not hate anyone here, and we will not apologize for being able to love either.

Peace & Love,

Rick Beck

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DEDICATED TO ROBBIE
Robbie Kirkland - click his picture to visit a memorial to him and comments by his mom
Robbie Kirkland 1982 - 1997
     Some children are born too sensitive for the cruelty and hatred that many too important people spread in this world. Robbie knew he was gay at ten. He carried the hatred people inflicted with him in his heart. He heard people saying it was okay to hate him, a boy, a child, a life yet lived. At 14 he decided it was time to go.
     We have been robbed of a beautiful voice. Robbie was a writer, as is made obvious by his poem under his picture. Here he says more about his pain than I could ever tell you. My words pale in comparison to the words of this child grown too old and too tired before his time. No hatred goes unfelt but will it go unanswered as we enter the 3rd millennium of this Christian era?

DEDICATED TO BILL
The Legacy of Bill Clayton
Bill Clayton 1978 - 1995
     Bill was beaten, battered, and abused. He saw his friends suffer because he was a bi-sexual male. A gay man victimized him before he was old enough to understand what all of this is about. Then he was stalked and hunted like an animal by people looked on as "normal" in this culture. He was cornered, attacked, and then he was viciously beaten along with his friend. Bill didn't see any future for him. He saw what had been and he said no more. A beautiful life ended before we came to know him.
     Bill lived. He was somebody. He died. I won't forget.

DEDICATED TO MATTHEW
Matthew Shephard
Matthew Shephard 1976 - 1998

     Who can forget this beautiful young man?
     His story played out around the world. Beaten and hung on a fence to freeze to death, Matthew wasn't so easy to kill. His story became known as he fought for his life and eventually died. To soon gone a beautiful young life. This one is for you Matthew. We refuse to forget you and the fight you put up to live after you were left for dead.

     This site isn't just dedicated to Robbie, Bill, and Matthew, it's dedicated to LGBTQ youth.
     Each of these young men died too soon. In the stories I write I'll explore all the ways I know there is to be gay. My objective is to write stories about all the places where you find LGBTQ Folks.

     EVERYWHERE!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

2/22/2022

     I wrote the words above as I was creating my first website. I wrote dozens and dozens of papers and stories that explained my gay experience, my hope, and my love for my fellow LGBTQ people.
     That website came and went as my vision failed. I went back to writing stories for gay literary sites. Trying to maintain a website I couldn't see meant a loss of the quality I sought to achieve.
     When I found Jevic, Tarheel Writer, I found a kindred spirit. Just recently I've discovered how closely our sorrow over the loss of too many young beautiful LGBTQ kids trouble us in a similar way.
     I've resurrected my ODE TO ROBBIE & Bill, because it has never gone far from my mind. I've never forgotten them and they were foremost on my mind when I created my own website to speak to and about LGBTQ folks over twenty years ago. I didn't forget.
     I mentioned a period I remembered as September 2010 to Jevic. It stuck in my mind because of so many young gay suicides. It as startling enough to get the attention of newsrooms across the country. Every week there were two, three, more gay kids were reported to have committed suicide. They refused to live in such a hateful place.
     Jevic sent me a link to his pages documenting those suicides. I was blown away. I didn't remember the names. Jevic had a dedication for each September 2010 suicide. I wept for these young lives again.
     It broke my heart then and it breaks my heart now.
     Who am I?
     Why do I spend so much time writing for my people?
     I am you. I represent your beauty, your hopes and dreams, your flaws and regrets, your loves loved and loves you've lost.
     I think Jevic could write these sentences because he is me and I am him. We are you.
     I write for people like me. I write for my people. I was blessed with the gift of words and I give this gift to you.
     Together we have a strength none of us have alone. Nothing I say hasn't been said. Nothing I write hasn't been written.

     Peace & Love,
     Rick Beck


Send Rick an email at quillswritersrealm@yahoo.com

Rick Beck Home Page


"Ode to Bill & Robbie" Copyright © 22 February 2022 OLYMPIA50 All rights reserved.
    This work may not be duplicated in any form (physical, electronic, audio, or otherwise) without the author's written permission. All applicable copyright laws apply. All individuals depicted are fictional with any resemblance to real persons being purely coincidental.

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