Young and Gay in the Bible Belt

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‘My Mom Came at Me With a Butcher Knife!’

The crisis gay youth face in the Bible Belt struck home particularly hard for me this week while dining with members of a gay/straight alliance in a small Southern town.
After asking the conversation-opener of the group — “So, would you like to all share your coming out stories with me?” — a young woman on my right named Angie* immediately burst out, “My mother came at me with a butcher knife!” 

Stunned, I was trying to process this when a young woman to my left whispered, “You don’t want to hear my story, it’s too violent.” More violent than your mother attacking you with a butcher knife? How is that possible? What does that mean?