Jer's Vision recieved this from a teacher in Chelmsford, Ontario:
I just saw you present your story this afternoon at Chelmsford Valley District Secondary School. I was lucky enough to be supplying there today. It was wonderful to hear you speak so well and so personally to the students. And they listened!?
I was raised in this area and was a student at CVDSS several decades ago. I would never have come out in high school, not in a million years. As soon as I was graduated, it was a different story, because I knew I could leave.
Long story short, when you mentioned the repeated paper cuts I almost began to cry. The scars I carry will always hold me back, a little, from living a complete life. It seems to me the cuts never healed. I am only now starting to "almost catch-up" in life. I spent my young adult life coping with "the scars", using addictive behaviours and substances to dull the pain of those thousand paper cuts.
I, only barely, survived the trauma of high school. I also lived through the AIDS crisis. In the mid 1980s I became a "refugee" of the "Gay Plague", returning to the northland that I love to try to pull my life together. So here I am, "stitched" and healing after decades of working on myself.
Your story left me raw and helped me know that I have still to nurse some more of those "paper cuts". Your story helped me see how society has, maybe, changed. You offer hope that fewer young people will have to “just survive” their lives. We can indeed start to celebrate our living on this earth and rejoice in the wondrous diversity that we are, gay or straight.
Thank you so much. I am so very glad I was able to be there to see you.
Sincerely, Chelmsford Teacher