Jeneen: How did you finally confide in your parents that you are gay?
David: My parents actually confronted me one morning when I was 16 and asked “do you think you are gay?” because they traced everything I did on the computer and I was definitely looking for answers on the internet. I responded to my parents and said that I am gay.
Jeneen: Did they try to change you before they locked you up?
David: While attempting to finally admit to them with confidence about who I am, I didn’t receive the support I was hoping for. They told me I needed counseling to fix this “problem”, and I attended as they requested. They told the counselor I was “having issues with my sexuality and need to realize that I am straight” I told the counselor that I wasn’t having issues, and that I was gay. Period.
Jeneen: What was the counselors professional response?
David: At that time the therapist simply said “OK” and wanted to help me get through those last couple years of high school while I fought for acceptance from my parents.
Jeneen: When did your parents decide to put you in a lock down in the Dominican Republic?
David: When my parents realized I wasn’t going to therapy to “try and be straight,” I wasn’t to see him any longer. A year or so later I was taken away to Escuela Caribe.
Jeneen: That is horrific and unacceptable. David, tell me, why Escuela Caribe and not some other abusive teen lock down in the United States? Why take you out of the country?
David: They sent me to Escuela Caribe in the D.R. because I was 17, and this oversea’s program is notorious for holding kids past the age of 18 captive by feeding us bull crap about some clause in Dominican law stating that American kids in the DR in residential boarding facilities do not have rights until the age of 21, which I didn’t believe from the start. In the trailer, the last thing I said was “I’m an American citizen, I should be free” was in the context regarding the lies Escuela Caribe told us.
Would you throw your diamond ring in the trash?
Why your own child or did he/she not sparkle in the light the way you wanted?Teens in general have enough struggles with self-esteem issues and bullying in school. A parent should be an encouragement to their children so they can eventually turn into a butterfly. What David’s parents did to him in my opinion, is no different than a hate crime.
For whatever reason, David felt comfortable in confiding with his parents about who he is. He trusted them enough to come forth so he can have their support and a solid foundation. It’s hard enough to deal with society’s feedback on being gay. When you have your “solid foundation” turn their back on you when you need them the most, it’s quite devastating.
David was a straight A student, didn’t get into trouble and had a good head on his shoulders when his parents “hired escorts” to kidnap him at 5am to the Dominican Republic. In my personal opinion, there are so many abusive teen programs existing in the United States, his parents could have kept him here…I guess their “logic” was that the program was longer and David could be held captive until 21 and that would “straighten” him out. News Flash: Oppression doesn’t work.
So there you have it. Parents that didn’t want to accept their child for being gay for whatever reason. Let’s send him to a boot camp in another country to change because we don’t want to accept him. In my eyes, you threw away a perfect diamond and you were too blind to see the sparkle. Let’s take the abuse that took place in Escuela Caribe out of the equation for just a second. The act of placing a child in a reform school, boot camp or correctional facility is heartbreaking enough. What message does that send to your child? “No matter what, I’ll never be good enough. You don’t love me. You gave up on me.”
It is the biggest betrayal to confide in a parent about the truth and then have them lock you up in isolation for a crime that you didn’t commit. Again, what kind of message is that sending?
I don’t need to discuss the abuse that goes on behind closed doors. You have seen the video. Of course, that was only scratching the surface. I want to get to the core of it. If we don’t have parents shipping kids off to a “program,” we don’t have abuse.
I met David after watching this video. I held him in my arms so tight because I wanted him to feel the love I have for him. I would love to have a child like him as my son. It saddens me that parents will throw away a perfect piece of jewelry. You don’t deserve to have a diamond that you tossed in the trash with no regard because you let religion & social stigmas cloud your mind.
People need to think outside the box. It’s called agape love.
If you are a parent and are battling with a troubled teen, get out a magnifying glass and check your diamond again. You might find another facet and hopefully, you’ll have an epiphany that it is more valuable than you thought. Now take that same magnifying glass and turn it towards you.