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In Memory of Robin Reed

by Steven Cozza

For the Mexican celebration of Dias de Los Muertos I choose to honor Robin Reed. Robin Reed was a former student of Petaluma high School.

He was born 3/15/79 and died 1/24/95. I feel it is very important that we do not forget about Robin Reed and the cause of his death. He is special to me because he represents many other Gay students around the world. I never new or ever met Robin Reed but every time I hear the word fag and hate towards gays I remember Robin Reed and can understand why he felt pain and suffering from his peers the way he did.

Throughout my life I have been taught to stand up for other people and I feel I at least owe that to Robin Reed. I my sister and a friend of mine help start Petaluma highs first Gay Straight Alliance. I was motivated to start this in memory of Robin Reed. If there were a GSA back when he went to school maybe he wouldn't have taken his own life.

I feel it is very important to honor Robin Reed because he committed suicide by jumping off the golden gate bridge when he was only 15 years old. He did this because he felt rejected and like he didn't belong. This is why I feel it is important not to forget about him. Petaluma High School never made a memorial or day of remembrance for him and I think that is a shame.

By the end of this year it is my goal to have the GSA paint a mural in memory of Robin Reed. Robin Reed is a special person
because he had the courage to be out about his sexual orientation.

Despite the risk of being made fun of he came out to the school and set a good example for all the other closeted gay and lesbian kids of the school. What I want people to remember about Robin Reed is that he was a kid just like anyone else and it is said that he had to feel different because of people not accepting him. I hope that the memory of Robin Reed and his death will remind kids not to make fun of people because of their sexual orientation but to love people for who they. I wish that I
could have one day meet Robin Reed but sadly I cannot. I will just have to wait till my next life to meet him. Hopefully by then everyone will be treated equally with love. I hope that someday it is okay to be gay and that society will someday accept gay people.

The following are the words that will be on Robin's memorial plaque:

Robin Reed (Date born and died)
"I took my life because I felt rejected for being gay."
"Learn to love yourself and reach out to those who are different."
Petaluma H.S. Gay Straight Alliance Club - Diversity Rocks! 2003

Please support GSAs, Gay Straight Alliance Clubs in a high school in your community.

Steven Cozza, Co-Pres. GSA, PHS
Senior Petaluma HS
Petaluma, California

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