Bill Walker’s story

Bill Walker with his Pride flag. Photo provided.

by Bill Walker
Special to The Gayly

Hi, my name is Bill Walker, and I want to tell you my story. I hope that I can help someone by sharing it today.

I’m a 23-year-old man living at a group home for adults with disabilities. I have trouble with my speech, and people have a hard time understanding me when I talk. My speech impediment causes a lot of difficulties communicating. It’s one of my biggest struggles.

I am a gay man. I’ve struggled throughout my life to feel accepted. I am still searching for a way to love myself and be loved by others. I have lots of love to give. 

I’m from Mississippi, but I was raised in Oklahoma. I have lived in foster care and with my dad. I have a mom and I love her very much. I was raised in a Christian home and my church told me that gay people go to hell. That didn’t help with my depression.

I wanted to come out to my family and friends, but I was so afraid and depressed. I told a friend that I wanted to hurt myself, and I attempted suicide by taking too much medicine in 2016. Thankfully, I called 911 and got taken to a hospital. 

I told my dad I was gay, and I could see in his eyes that he was disappointed in me. He never said that, but that’s how I felt. I used to date girls so my dad wouldn’t know I was gay. I also lost my grandpa around that time. I began to really hate myself. 

Fast forward to this year, 2020. I still struggle every day to like myself. Recently, a pastor told me I couldn’t join a church because I am gay. I was also in a relationship not very long ago in which I was used for money. I feel unlovable, but I’m trying to make a life for myself where I can find happiness. 

I decided to take matters into my own hands. I started an LGBTQA support group at the group home where I live, with the help of my mental health therapist. I want to help my friends and the residents there understand who I am. I want to share what it’s like to be gay and disabled.

I started the support group back in August, and I feel proud. We meet each week to talk about all kinds of topics. We have had a staff member who is gay speak to the group and we take turns offering support and understanding. I’m the only gay resident where I live, so I was feeling really alone. Our support group went to gay pride in Edmond last year and we had a lot of fun. I think it helped my friends and staff see my world. I also got a pride flag and am going to bring it to our next support group.

My role model is Ellen DeGeneres. I like how she stands up for gay people. She helps people to try and accept gay people and all people. I want to be like her. I want to be a voice for my community. I want people to understand that there is nothing wrong with being gay.

I’m so happy that I started the LGBTQA support group in my home. I understand that there is nothing wrong with me for being gay, but I want my dad and everyone to accept me for me. I want to help myself by helping other people like me. Thank you for reading my story.

Bill has mild intellectual disability, depression and anxiety. He and his therapist contacted The Gayly to share his story.

Copyright The Gayly. 3/23/2020 @ 2:59 p.m. CST.