Hi my name is Anthony and I live in Albuquerque New Mexico, I live at Casa Q and I’ve been there probably a month. I am 16 years old.
I was placed into CFYD (The New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department) custody when I was 6 months old. I was placed in my Aunt Joanna’s care, who is essentially my mom. She’s everything I love and everything I want to be in this world. Originally, she tried to adopt me and my brother when I was six-months old and my brother was a year-and-a-half old. She was close to finishing the adoption process when CYFD let my mom get her stuff back together and returned us to her. I was with my mother for about a year before I got put back into CYFD custody.
In that year I experienced a lot of trauma. I had a lot of sexual abuse, physical abuse, and mental abuse...
They finally took me from my mother and gave my brother and I back to our aunt. My Aunt Joanna tried to adopt us, again, and CYFD had a problem with that, for some reason. I don’t know the whole story but we were given back to our mom for the third time.
She was with a new guy this time, except he was a drug dealer, we lived in Clovis this time, it was a small, very Christian community. I was growing up as a Christian and, by this time, I was realizing: I am gay; I am very gay and not interested in girls. For the longest time, my family didn’t know. It wasn’t until I was 9 and was with my mom for the last time-- they found out. During those last few days we were on the run from the police; me and her boyfriend-- and that's when a lot of aggression occurred towards me.
While my mother was in handcuffs, I told her I was gay and she said “I don't fucking care about you anymore. You’re not my child, and you’ll never be my child.”
It was at this moment that I just broke down in tears because that's the last thing you want to hear from someone you love despite the shit that they put you through. The last thing you want to hear is that they don’t love you, and I was put in my Aunt Joanna’s custody for the last time.
I was angry at life and I hated myself. I told her that she was a worthless bitch and that she wasn’t my mom; she didn’t know I was gay and it got to the point where I was hitting her. The only person who ever gave two shits about me and she was shocked.
My brother knew what had happened, at this time he was about 12, and he said the exact same thing that my mother had said: “you are not my brother; I never loved you and you’re going to be a piece of shit that makes us worthless.” It was at that point that I tried to kill myself several times because I had lost my mom, my preferred mom, and now the only sibling out of 10, who had been there with me my entire life, and witnessed all the pain with me. I had lost everyone.
I was put in the foster care system and I bounced around from home to home.
It wasn’t until I was 13 that my brother and I found ourselves in the same foster home again with two Christians. They adored him and despised me. They were sports-going outrageous people type of people. They wanted me to give up who I was to be who they wanted me to be. I told them ‘no, i’m not going to do it’ and it got to the point where they were just as mentally and physically abusive as my mom had been.
I was locked in my room sometimes. I was told to pray away the gay...and I was tired of it. I gave up and tried to kill myself again.
I was put through TFC again (Treatment Foster Care program) and I found a foster mom who I love and still love. Her name was Linda. I love her so much, she took me in and I was with her for 3 years-- up until I was almost 16 when she and I got into a really big fight, but then made up. We were trying to go to therapy and get along and at that point I was so angry. I didn’t want anything to do with anyone; I didn’t want to speak to a therapist who would give me more useless meds that didn’t make me feel better.
Linda wanted me to go to a therapist and actually try. I didn’t want to try for anyone because no one was there for me during my times of need. I had run away before and I had called my family and I asked “I need help. I really need help. That's all I need right now.”
They used to tell me if I needed help, if you find a way to contact us we’ll help. Instead, they all had the same excuse “i’m sorry, I’m really busy, I can’t help you right now.” I think it was because they wanted me to learn my lesson with how I treated my aunt, because I know they love me and I know that they still love me they just were dealing with their own stuff. For the longest time I felt that no one cared, so I cut off everyone from my life.
In a way I did want to die. No one cared about me so why should I care about life? I got to the point where I was ready to leave when my foster mom called me and told me “you’re going through your own shit right now I get it, but cut your shit.” She said “you have to forgive to forget. You have to fight to prove that you’re better than the people who brought you down and don’t lower yourself to their standards and don’t try and get back to them. Eventually it will corrupt you and kill you.”
She told me that she loved me, and this is when I started to go to therapy and get help because she told me she loved me but that she didn’t want to talk to me or see me until I got help. So I did. I started working on myself.
After a long struggle I’m at Casa Q, the staff love you and tell you that you’re free to do what you want as long as its legal.
I am so happy here. I now have a boyfriend, which I’m happy about, He’s really kind and great and a big teddy bear. I love him a lot, and I don’t use that word. I haven’t even told him that to his face nor will I until… but I do. I could sit there and tell him anything and show him real emotion and just be able to get help.
If I could give any advice to the LGBTQ+ community or gay teens who are struggling it would be that it may seem, at the time, that the entire world is against you and that no one will ever be there to help you...but even the people who hurt you, care. They care enough because bullies at school wouldn’t bully you unless they cared. They would just look at you and think ‘there’s just another kid’ and walk away but there is something about you that makes people notice and pay attention and make sure that you’re there every day.
So just don’t give up, just find the people who care and be more comfortable with them. Let them help, don’t push them away and allow yourself to be isolated.
I’m 16 and my next step is to get my GED; hopefully get into college early and get a degree with a nice paying job. I really want to get into digital art and programming. I love Steven Universe and doing fan-fic comics of it and I’m trying to get really great at digital art so I could continue.