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UNITED STATES

Male to Male relationships: Legal
Punishments for male to male relationships: No law
Female to Female Relationships: Legal
Age of consent: Equal for heterosexuals and homosexuals
Marriage and Substitutes for Marriage: Marriage laws vary in this country depending on area
Is it possible to change your gender on official documents?: Only in some areas
Gay or lesbian able to serve in the armed forces: Yes

Your Views

Are you LGBTI? We want to hear from you! Help us inform other users of the site with your views on this country. Below is a random question about this country. If it is relevant to you please answer it.

Are you married to your same-sex partner in UNITED STATES?

The majority of people visiting this site have said No

Yes, I married here (25%) Yes, I was married in another country (0 %) No, but we have a civil partnership (0 %) No (74%)

The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
Post a new story to this section

Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UNITED STATES...
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the following is my friend Tom's story, in his own words

I committed statutory rape with a 15-year old male when I was 51. He was my student. I loved and love him whole-heartedly and completely, and promised him unconditional love, long before any sex took place. Human behavior is complicated and has many varieties. This is an unusual story. The government told a cartoon story with broad strokes of black and white.

I was imprisoned without bond, and had my freedom of speech taken away before I had been convicted of any crime. Newspapers printed government press releases without any checking of any facts. If necessary, I will submit to a polygraph on any statement I make, from any independent administrator. Ask those who contradict my statements if they will do the same. If a statement was proved by evidence or the victim's statements, I will put (P). I have discovered that the police falsify information, and distort and manipulate facts and testimony. My belief in the United States has been shaken.

The young man, a South American adopted into an Orthodox Jewish family, was cutting himself in September of 2009 when we met. He told me it was from the frustration with his home life, and not being allowed to be Latino or social, and being forced to observe a religion he found oppressive. He said one sister attacked him physically several times. He is a remarkable, bright, witty, and kind human being, with a fierce urge for freedom. I found him to be extraordinary. He came to see me most days, even more often after he was warned by his parents that I was homosexual, I found out later.(P) He brought a chess board in for lunches when he found out I played chess. We talked about history, religion, politics, psychology. He eventually he told me about the cutting.

I called his father, talked to the rabbis, called a psychologist, put him in touch with a former student with whom I thought he might click (heterosexual), gave him a copy of The Road Less Travelled, the best book I thought on how one gets happy. He kept cutting. I was frantic to help. I promised to love him unconditionally, forever. We loved talking, and I hoped I could make up whatever he lacked. I promised to do anything in my power to help him be happy. I sent him affirmation texts. (Know you are loved, you are great as you are, say "I am a wonderful person," etc.)

Some months later, on the phone, he said we should have sex. I told him that was a "really bad idea."

Some time later, he said he was playing tennis next to my building, and he would come by to work on a project. He came up, and said he was not there to work on the project, but to have sex. I tried to talk him out of it. (P) I said I could love him without sex. (P) He said I didn't have to. I said he did not owe me sex for love. He said he knew he did not owe, he wanted it, and he said I did too. I said sex was not that important, that he should not ask such a thing just for sex. He said it was for true love, that we were soul mates, we would be together forever. I said if we were soul mates then, we would be so in a few years. He said, true, but since we were we did not have to wait. Many times, he said he needed it to live. He confirmed at trial that he believed that. (P) He believed he loved me and that I loved him. (P) I said he should be with someone his age. He said he was attracted to older men. (P) I said everyone would assume it was my fault when it came out (even years later if we were together). He said he would tell them he picked me, and besides, we would be together. He said he had known what he wanted for a long time. He said such things happened all the time. Nothing happened that day (Feb,. 13 2010) We agreed to work it out. The conversation continued the next day with many more reasons for no on my part. He finally said if it was not me, it would be some other older white guy. (P) I agreed on February 14.

I have tried to be a good person my whole life. I try not to manipulate people. I love people without sex; sex and love are not the same thing. I do not even like to have sex with someone drunk, even a boyfriend because of the consent issue. I have always tried to tell the truth. Even in teaching, I would tell students the reason I was doing something (quizzes are designed to force you to read, etc.) I have tried to help the outcasts, with chess and theater. Many students said I saved lives, saved souls.

No combination of things could have made me give in like those. I had to save the life of someone I loved, a soul mate with love so true that 35 years made no difference, and if I didn't do it he would go do it somewhere else. I justified it by saving his life, not denying true love, and protecting him from those who did not love him. It was clearly wrong, but has anyone been subject to such arguments in such a situation? He said, trust me, believe me.

I thought that rejection just might kill him. I thought he wanted to be trusted and believed. I rationalized that the release of sex with someone he loved might stop the cutting. I let myself believe. He said in a statement later he did it for power and control. (P) The cutting stopped for four months until another fight with his sister.

Once I agreed I did whatever I could to make him happy. He was very advanced sexually. He claimed that I was the first, but close examination of his statement excluded from trial makes that claim dubious. He wanted to try light bondage and spanking. I always did what he asked. The prosecutor loved to say "penetrated with objects." I was the far more often penetrated. Everything done was done mutually. He was very happy, almost giddy. Only he could arrange meeting times. I came when he called, and did what he asked. He estimated 50 to 60 times in 5 months. The frequency with which he chose should have been proof of a loving if wrong relationship; I had no ability to arrange to see him. The schedule was his. He repeatedly texted and told me "You saved my life."

I had to move to Virginia to make more money. He said he wanted us to be together, so I remained faithful. I saw him that Christmas break, once, and it was clear he was no longer interested. He had been sleeping with a number of other older men. (P This is factual from his statements, not speculation.) I did not know that until my arrest. He called me to officially end the relationship in January. I was heart-broken, but I never raised his vow of eternal love. I tried to continue loving him as a friend. We soon emailed, and I never asked to renew the sexual relationship. I offered to be a best friend (my choice) or never talk to him if that was what he needed. (P) His emails say things like "Thank you...for everything," and "Not worry about you? Not possible." The emails are available.

He broke contact in early June of 2011. I heard by email from someone claiming to be him in October of that year, but it was not him. I denied the sex, thinking it was his family. I promised to do anything to help him if HE asked, and ended contact with the impostor. It was a Florida law enforcement agent. That was my first offer to turn myself in.

He got in trouble for his sexual contact with men. He refused to cooperate with police. (P) He was locked in psychological facilities for a year. He was brainwashed into changing the facts of what happened, (P) and his attitude was reversed. As far as I can tell, he was locked up for being actively gay. He was 17 for most of that time. In May 2012 he cooperated with police, and contacted me. When he called, I said I was ready to come tell the truth if that was what he needed. My second offer. He said he wanted me to come see him (reversed by police) and that he could not wait until he was 18. (P) I was confused by his previous rejection and now reversal. The policeman, as the young man, sent me sexually suggestive texts and emails, begging for me to renew the relationship, and made me promise to say something on the phone. It was the young man on the phone. I promised, and the young man initiated phone sex at the behest of the police. (P) I tried to decline; he said he had "needs." (P) I came to Florida and was arrested, after telling him twice more on the phone I would come and tell the truth. He was three months away from his 18th birthday at this point. The federal age of consent is 16, but they charged me under the Florida age of 18, but using a federal charge that carried a sentence of 10 to life.

The young man's police statement on which the indictment was based was largely disproved at trial. (P) The federal government charged me under an internet predator law, convinced that there were other victims. The police directed or suggested the false testimony. (P) They said I showed him child porn, which makes no sense. This was dismissed on sentencing, but they used it twice in trial to disgust the jury. They kept hinting at trial and sentencing about other victims, who do not exist, in spite of running a hotline number that was carried in the US and England. I find men from the age of maturity to 30ish more attractive sexually than older men, though not exclusively. Do heterosexuals do this as well? Does a 50 year old heterosexual fantasize about 50 year-ld women? I tried NOT to see students outside of school. I would never seduce anyone; the greatest attraction for me is someone's desire for me.

When the other victims did not appear, they brought in the FBI grooming expert to say I groomed him, since the evidence of persuading, enticing, inducing or coercing was slim. No grooming scenario exists in which the "groomer" waits for the "victim" to ask for sex, and then tries to dissuade the "victim." As unlikely as my story sounds, at trial he admitted that he, not I, proposed sex, that I tried to talk him out of it (and thus he talked me into it), that he BELIEVED he needed it to live, that I said I could love him without sex, and that he said he would find another older white guy if I said no. He AFFIRMED these at trial.

The interpretation of the law for induce as "cause" is to "allow to happen," when it should mean force. Under this absurd reading, this law has a LOWER threshold of guilt than statutory rape; a text message saying "OK, I will pick you up," would convict, without any contact. If every gay teen who texted an older lover were to be found in South Florida, there would be an army in prison. Statutory rape under federal guidelines carries a 41-51 month sentence. I was given 200 months under the persuasion statute. I had offered to plead guilty to statutory rape and it was rejected; they blamed me at sentencing for putting him through the trial.

Most heterosexual women in the same situation are sentenced to probation to two years. The application of this statute was arbitrary and unequal. The prosecutor announced to the jury that he granted that the "sex was consensual." The age of consent in Israel is 15, so in that civilized a country I would not even have committed a crime at all. The rich are sued for this. Where is the moral fairness?

Why was I prosecuted this way? Conservative politics and homosexuality. The family is Orthodox Jewish, the investigator who fashioned the testimony is Catholic, the prosecutor is Republican, and the judge voted for Rick Santorum.

I believed saving his life, or both of us believing it, would mitigate the statutory rape charge. I believed telling the truth and offering to turn myself in would mitigate. Telling the truth was the worst thing I could have done. Had I denied him when he called, and lied, nothing would have happened. I tried to be honest; rejecting him seemed to violate my vow of love.

I do not "blame" him for sleeping with other men. I do not love him less. I would have done anything for his happiness. I would have gladly NOT slept with him. I rationalized that I was being courageous to save his life and risk my own. I felt he was testing to see if my vow of eternal, unconditional love was real. He convinced me we were breaking convention for our mutual happiness. I thought I could serve some years to save him. If it truly saved his life, I wish I could say that knowing what I do now, I would still have been loyal enough to say yes. I would not have had the courage. I am sorry it happened either way.

Does love matter? Does fairness matter? Does the truth matter? When does a person have sexual and religious freedom? Can a conservative family change those by locking someone in psychological units, to change attitudes and alter facts? Does gay sex justify any level of charges, and any lying by the government?

I hope the young will save my life some day.

Please tell my story.

Thomas Patrick Keelan 98219-004
FDC Miami
add response to story
link
the following is my friend Tom's story, in his own words

I committed statutory rape with a 15-year old male when I was 51. He was my student. I loved and love him whole-heartedly and completely, and promised him unconditional love, long before any sex took place. Human behavior is complicated and has many varieties. This is an unusual story. The government told a cartoon story with broad strokes of black and white.

I was imprisoned without bond, and had my freedom of speech taken away before I had been convicted of any crime. Newspapers printed government press releases without any checking of any facts. If necessary, I will submit to a polygraph on any statement I make, from any independent administrator. Ask those who contradict my statements if they will do the same. If a statement was proved by evidence or the victim's statements, I will put (P). I have discovered that the police falsify information, and distort and manipulate facts and testimony. My belief in the United States has been shaken.

The young man, a South American adopted into an Orthodox Jewish family, was cutting himself in September of 2009 when we met. He told me it was from the frustration with his home life, and not being allowed to be Latino or social, and being forced to observe a religion he found oppressive. He said one sister attacked him physically several times. He is a remarkable, bright, witty, and kind human being, with a fierce urge for freedom. I found him to be extraordinary. He came to see me most days, even more often after he was warned by his parents that I was homosexual, I found out later.(P) He brought a chess board in for lunches when he found out I played chess. We talked about history, religion, politics, psychology. He eventually he told me about the cutting.

I called his father, talked to the rabbis, called a psychologist, put him in touch with a former student with whom I thought he might click (heterosexual), gave him a copy of The Road Less Travelled, the best book I thought on how one gets happy. He kept cutting. I was frantic to help. I promised to love him unconditionally, forever. We loved talking, and I hoped I could make up whatever he lacked. I promised to do anything in my power to help him be happy. I sent him affirmation texts. (Know you are loved, you are great as you are, say "I am a wonderful person," etc.)

Some months later, on the phone, he said we should have sex. I told him that was a "really bad idea."

Some time later, he said he was playing tennis next to my building, and he would come by to work on a project. He came up, and said he was not there to work on the project, but to have sex. I tried to talk him out of it. (P) I said I could love him without sex. (P) He said I didn't have to. I said he did not owe me sex for love. He said he knew he did not owe, he wanted it, and he said I did too. I said sex was not that important, that he should not ask such a thing just for sex. He said it was for true love, that we were soul mates, we would be together forever. I said if we were soul mates then, we would be so in a few years. He said, true, but since we were we did not have to wait. Many times, he said he needed it to live. He confirmed at trial that he believed that. (P) He believed he loved me and that I loved him. (P) I said he should be with someone his age. He said he was attracted to older men. (P) I said everyone would assume it was my fault when it came out (even years later if we were together). He said he would tell them he picked me, and besides, we would be together. He said he had known what he wanted for a long time. He said such things happened all the time. Nothing happened that day (Feb,. 13 2010) We agreed to work it out. The conversation continued the next day with many more reasons for no on my part. He finally said if it was not me, it would be some other older white guy. (P) I agreed on February 14.

I have tried to be a good person my whole life. I try not to manipulate people. I love people without sex; sex and love are not the same thing. I do not even like to have sex with someone drunk, even a boyfriend because of the consent issue. I have always tried to tell the truth. Even in teaching, I would tell students the reason I was doing something (quizzes are designed to force you to read, etc.) I have tried to help the outcasts, with chess and theater. Many students said I saved lives, saved souls.

No combination of things could have made me give in like those. I had to save the life of someone I loved, a soul mate with love so true that 35 years made no difference, and if I didn't do it he would go do it somewhere else. I justified it by saving his life, not denying true love, and protecting him from those who did not love him. It was clearly wrong, but has anyone been subject to such arguments in such a situation? He said, trust me, believe me.

I thought that rejection just might kill him. I thought he wanted to be trusted and believed. I rationalized that the release of sex with someone he loved might stop the cutting. I let myself believe. He said in a statement later he did it for power and control. (P) The cutting stopped for four months until another fight with his sister.

Once I agreed I did whatever I could to make him happy. He was very advanced sexually. He claimed that I was the first, but close examination of his statement excluded from trial makes that claim dubious. He wanted to try light bondage and spanking. I always did what he asked. The prosecutor loved to say "penetrated with objects." I was the far more often penetrated. Everything done was done mutually. He was very happy, almost giddy. Only he could arrange meeting times. I came when he called, and did what he asked. He estimated 50 to 60 times in 5 months. The frequency with which he chose should have been proof of a loving if wrong relationship; I had no ability to arrange to see him. The schedule was his. He repeatedly texted and told me "You saved my life."

I had to move to Virginia to make more money. He said he wanted us to be together, so I remained faithful. I saw him that Christmas break, once, and it was clear he was no longer interested. He had been sleeping with a number of other older men. (P This is factual from his statements, not speculation.) I did not know that until my arrest. He called me to officially end the relationship in January. I was heart-broken, but I never raised his vow of eternal love. I tried to continue loving him as a friend. We soon emailed, and I never asked to renew the sexual relationship. I offered to be a best friend (my choice) or never talk to him if that was what he needed. (P) His emails say things like "Thank you...for everything," and "Not worry about you? Not possible." The emails are available.

He broke contact in early June of 2011. I heard by email from someone claiming to be him in October of that year, but it was not him. I denied the sex, thinking it was his family. I promised to do anything to help him if HE asked, and ended contact with the impostor. It was a Florida law enforcement agent. That was my first offer to turn myself in.

He got in trouble for his sexual contact with men. He refused to cooperate with police. (P) He was locked in psychological facilities for a year. He was brainwashed into changing the facts of what happened, (P) and his attitude was reversed. As far as I can tell, he was locked up for being actively gay. He was 17 for most of that time. In May 2012 he cooperated with police, and contacted me. When he called, I said I was ready to come tell the truth if that was what he needed. My second offer. He said he wanted me to come see him (reversed by police) and that he could not wait until he was 18. (P) I was confused by his previous rejection and now reversal. The policeman, as the young man, sent me sexually suggestive texts and emails, begging for me to renew the relationship, and made me promise to say something on the phone. It was the young man on the phone. I promised, and the young man initiated phone sex at the behest of the police. (P) I tried to decline; he said he had "needs." (P) I came to Florida and was arrested, after telling him twice more on the phone I would come and tell the truth. He was three months away from his 18th birthday at this point. The federal age of consent is 16, but they charged me under the Florida age of 18, but using a federal charge that carried a sentence of 10 to life.

The young man's police statement on which the indictment was based was largely disproved at trial. (P) The federal government charged me under an internet predator law, convinced that there were other victims. The police directed or suggested the false testimony. (P) They said I showed him child porn, which makes no sense. This was dismissed on sentencing, but they used it twice in trial to disgust the jury. They kept hinting at trial and sentencing about other victims, who do not exist, in spite of running a hotline number that was carried in the US and England. I find men from the age of maturity to 30ish more attractive sexually than older men, though not exclusively. Do heterosexuals do this as well? Does a 50 year old heterosexual fantasize about 50 year-ld women? I tried NOT to see students outside of school. I would never seduce anyone; the greatest attraction for me is someone's desire for me.

When the other victims did not appear, they brought in the FBI grooming expert to say I groomed him, since the evidence of persuading, enticing, inducing or coercing was slim. No grooming scenario exists in which the "groomer" waits for the "victim" to ask for sex, and then tries to dissuade the "victim." As unlikely as my story sounds, at trial he admitted that he, not I, proposed sex, that I tried to talk him out of it (and thus he talked me into it), that he BELIEVED he needed it to live, that I said I could love him without sex, and that he said he would find another older white guy if I said no. He AFFIRMED these at trial.

The interpretation of the law for induce as "cause" is to "allow to happen," when it should mean force. Under this absurd reading, this law has a LOWER threshold of guilt than statutory rape; a text message saying "OK, I will pick you up," would convict, without any contact. If every gay teen who texted an older lover were to be found in South Florida, there would be an army in prison. Statutory rape under federal guidelines carries a 41-51 month sentence. I was given 200 months under the persuasion statute. I had offered to plead guilty to statutory rape and it was rejected; they blamed me at sentencing for putting him through the trial.

Most heterosexual women in the same situation are sentenced to probation to two years. The application of this statute was arbitrary and unequal. The prosecutor announced to the jury that he granted that the "sex was consensual." The age of consent in Israel is 15, so in that civilized a country I would not even have committed a crime at all. The rich are sued for this. Where is the moral fairness?

Why was I prosecuted this way? Conservative politics and homosexuality. The family is Orthodox Jewish, the investigator who fashioned the testimony is Catholic, the prosecutor is Republican, and the judge voted for Rick Santorum.

I believed saving his life, or both of us believing it, would mitigate the statutory rape charge. I believed telling the truth and offering to turn myself in would mitigate. Telling the truth was the worst thing I could have done. Had I denied him when he called, and lied, nothing would have happened. I tried to be honest; rejecting him seemed to violate my vow of love.

I do not "blame" him for sleeping with other men. I do not love him less. I would have done anything for his happiness. I would have gladly NOT slept with him. I rationalized that I was being courageous to save his life and risk my own. I felt he was testing to see if my vow of eternal, unconditional love was real. He convinced me we were breaking convention for our mutual happiness. I thought I could serve some years to save him. If it truly saved his life, I wish I could say that knowing what I do now, I would still have been loyal enough to say yes. I would not have had the courage. I am sorry it happened either way.

Does love matter? Does fairness matter? Does the truth matter? When does a person have sexual and religious freedom? Can a conservative family change those by locking someone in psychological units, to change attitudes and alter facts? Does gay sex justify any level of charges, and any lying by the government?

I hope the young will save my life some day.

Please tell my story.

Thomas Patrick Keelan 98219-004
FDC Miami
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Subha (user currently living in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) posted for readers on 09/10/2013
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There is no reason a peorsn with HIV couldn't work preparing food. HIV is not passed on through food. She should not work if she is suffering any diarrhoeal diseases, though, the same as anyone else.As for the gloves issue, there are some situations where people preparing food ought to wear gloves, particularly if they are handling money. But HIV is not a problem here: your colleague should take the same precautions as everyone else.
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Djalil (user currently living in CONGO) posted for readers on 09/10/2013
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Need help Now? Talk to a STD Specialist Mon-Sun : 7:00 am to 10:00 pm CST During your phone encounter the <a href="http://spklishgz.com">spilsaciet</a> you speak with will be able to provide medical advice, diagnose the symptoms, advise you on treatment, or answer any general question. All of our doctors/<a href="http://spklishgz.com">spilsaciet</a>s are of the highest quality, board certified, and can help you. Get the care you need at a rate you can afford. Call Now: 888-306-6817
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Clarissa (user currently living in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) posted for readers on 11/10/2013
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AlejandroDon, we are not all the same people. Many of us confrom to what heterosexual people consider to be normal , and many of us do not. I do not see why the presence of the S&M; community should get in the way of that since we are a diverse community, just like with straight people. It is not the fault of those poeple that we are targetted as victims of homophobia, and therefore we shouldn't be scapegoating them.What I do agree with is that instead of worrying about attracting more LGBT people by means of flashing shirtless guys around, we should be working on political change. The pride parades have slowly but surely changed from being a radical and political movement to one that shows how sexy we are with HRC collecting money, and very little more. If only we could go back to the days when we actually accomplished something like defending Stonewall Inn http://ezxmsgev.com [url=http://umqkeb.com]umqkeb[/url] [link=http://bksjtl.com]bksjtl[/link]
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Royal (user currently living in PAKISTAN) posted for readers on 12/10/2013
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首先多謝 羅師師 解答我有關接吻的問題!Q1)可能因為 HIV 進入身體時間太短 並未做成很多破壞 以致未出現 所有 西方點墨法 所鑑定的 試點 故出現 未確定 的結果 可是W君 的HIV 病毒量>1000萬/mL 明顯地身體內已感染 HIV Q2)抽血可以 驗得更清楚嘛?! 至於因為我不是台灣人 故也都不了解所謂的 通報機制 所以不知道答案......Q3)初期感染HIV(首一個月) 身體的 1st immune <a href="http://bjkimakc.com">repsnose</a> 會出現的正常反應 像第一次感染其他病毒一樣 等待 HIV 量大量下跌後 (因被immune system 殺害 而剩餘的HIV 躲進CD4 ) 這些反應將會自然消失 CD4量都會回升 當然不是醫生要放棄W君喔 反應消失後 真正的抗戰才開始
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Mike G (user currently living in UNITED STATES) posted for gay readers on 19/01/2014
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I am writing to respond to Tom's story, and to Tom personally. I was a close friend of yours 43 years ago. During 2010-2012, I spent some time Googling to try to find you online and then, in 2013, I saw these stories about you involving Miami Day School online. I live part-time in Miami Beach (close to the Rabbi Gross Hebrew Academy where you previously taught) and in Atlanta most of the time. I hope that I can re-establish contact with you, and also possibly to visit you in FDC when I am in Miami next time. Here is an email address where you can contact me. Maybe we can reconnect in 2014 - mgallivan at AmericaOnline Dot Com
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Kaylan (user currently living in BENIN) posted for readers on 05/03/2014
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QuotesChimp is additionally vital because nearly all of your properties are kept in your house to transport householder's policy contract. May very well not hold the money accessible to change out your own personal things or if harm or complete reduction happens reconstruct your house, unless you take householder's insurance. You will be left displaced as well as in severe debt, if catastrophe hits.
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