"I decided to come out when I was in year eight at school. It took me about three months to build up the courage to tell anyone as I had heard of people being bullied, assaulted and even killed because of their sexuality but I felt I had to in order to live a normal life."
"I came out to my best friend first and she said she had already thought so anyway and she didn't mind. So I felt great and I thought that everyone else would be fine about it."
"But I couldn't have been more wrong. People close to me were fine as they, knowing me better than others, had already guessed but other people in my school who found out were nasty, calling me all the names they could think of. 'Muff diver, lesbo, rug muncher,' and they could be threatening saying things like they were going to beat me up because they thought I was 'disgusting'."
"I hated it and started to truant from school and pretend to be ill to get away from it. I regretted my decision to come out but things started to calm down until I started a relationship with my current partner which caused everything to flare up again. I was coming out of the girls toilets when a group who had been giving me grief for ages started shouting things at me. I had had enough and turned to tell them to leave me alone. But one of the girls then punched me in the face."
"I felt I finally had to report it to the teachers, but the school didn't seem to sort out the problem completely so I had no choice but to report what had been happening to the police. I still get trouble from people in my town but my family as well as the lesbian and gay liaison officers I was put in touch with when I first reported what was happening to the police are helping me and my partner to have a slightly easier time."