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Denise, who was driving, could hear the boy saying Terrell had let him down. She had something to ask him — even though she already knew the answer. (The year before, the number of black and Latino victims was 15.) But it wasn’t just safety that Denise had to think about after her son came out. They argued when she told him not to go out with friends. Terrell graduated from Central High School in 2008 and attended Marymount Manhattan College in New York.
It speaks to their mindset in doing whatever it takes in getting what they want,” said Lieutenant Stephen Riedener.Terrell’s mother, Denise, calls his race Strike One against him — something people will immediately use to stereotype him. Had a man touched Terrell inappropriately and made him gay? He had realized he was gay in first grade, when he ogled the light brown eyes of the boy sitting next to him in class. Terrell’s mother, a hospital supervisor, and father, who works for the city, taught him to be what they thought a young black man should be: Protector of the house. His parents were proud to be black and taught him about black history and pioneers. Being gay, Terrell recalls learning there, was bad.His mother remembers thinking that it was a sin but that she could dislike the sin and still love the person. “They were so fearful of what would happen to me out in the world,” Terrell said.In fact, last year was the first time more black Americans supported than opposed same-sex marriage — 48 percent for, 41 against, and 11 didn’t know — in polling done by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute. ’ ” said Denise, 54, who raised Terrell and his two older sisters in South Philadelphia.The number of black Americans who identify as LGBT also grew at a slower rate than Asians, Hispanics, and whites between 20, according to Gallup. Denise still remembers how angry she felt when Terrell came out to her 11 years ago — not at him, but at herself. Had she and her husband, Melvin, raised Terrell wrong? “I blamed myself for a very long time.” Terrell assured her she was not at fault. “I was expected to be strong, and that meant not crying, not sharing emotions,” said Terrell, who now lives in North Philadelphia.