Spirit Day

Millions of Americans wear purple on Spirit Day as a sign of support for LGBT youth and to speak out against bullying. http://glaad.org/spiritday

How a Bullied Gay Marion Teen Used Secret Identity to Fight Back

Matt Shankles lost friends and self-esteem and his depression grew when his eighth-grade classmates learned he was gay. They bullied him relentlessly.

He one day locked himself in his bathroom and jammed the door shut with a drawer, intending to end his life with of a box of X-Acto blades.

"I hated myself more than I hate war," said Shankles, 16, now a Linn-Mar High School sophomore. "More than I hate famine, more than I hate hate."

Thankfully, Shankles didn't die that day.

Marion Patch
|
May 1, 2012

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