Editor's Note: American Crime is a TV drama on ABC that this season centers in part on the alleged rape of one gay male high school student by a gay male high school athlete. The storyline centers around overt homophobia in rural America and continues the drumbeat of a sports world filled with homophobic coaches and athletes.
I'm watching American Crime and seeing the same overdone gay storyline of a teenager hating himself, and it reminded me of what it was like to feel that intense self-hate and those people who cause this self-hate in our community.
Would they still hate people like us if they went through what we go through? Would they still think we deserve to go to Hell if they knew what it was like to dig into your wrists with a box cutter because you've been taught to hate yourself and you think you deserve it?
Would they think who I am is so disgusting if they knew what it was like to cry yourself to sleep at night because you live in constant fear of what people will do when they find out why you are?
Gay Texas athlete opens up about self-harm
Ryan Beene grew up in a small Texas town where he took to cutting himself before opening up with family, friends and teammates about being gay.
I wonder if they would hate us if they knew what it was like to lose family and friends just because of who you're attracted to. Or if they understood what it felt like to believe taking your own life is the right thing to do, because no one could possibly love you, to lose family and friends just because of whom you're attracted to.
Or if they understood what it felt like to believe taking your own life is the right thing to do, maybe they'd change their minds.
If they felt hate toward themselves so strong that they couldn't bare to look at themselves in the mirror, do you think they'd accept us?
Maybe if they knew how many times I blacked out to forget who I was for a night, they'd get that it's definitely not a choice. If a parent knew what it was like to feel worthless and defective, would they still kick their child out?
It shouldn't take all of this to realize we are human beings, but I can't help but wonder if people experienced what we do with coming to terms with who we are, maybe they'd get it.
You can follow Ryan Beene on Instagram @ThatsSoRyannn.