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|"Kids are coming out younger, but are schools ready to handle the complex issues of identity and sexuality? For Larry King, the question had tragic implications."|
Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1). "Kids do as well as they can."
|Kids like Larry are so comfortable with the concept of being openly gay that they are coming out younger and younger. One study found that the average age when kids self-identify as gay has tumbled to 13.4; their parents usually find out a year later.
What you might call "the shrinking closet" is arguably a major factor in Larry's death.
|Larry's grades were also dropping—he went from having a 1.71 GPA in November to a 1.0 in February, his father says. But he was too busy reveling in the spotlight to care. "He was like Britney Spears," says one teacher who knew Larry. "Everyone wanted to know what's the next thing he's going to do." Girls would take photos of him on their camera phones and discuss him with their friends. "My class was in a frenzy every day with Larry stories," says a humanities teacher who didn't have Larry as one of her students. He wore a Playboy-bunny necklace, which one of his teachers told him to remove because it was offensive to women. But those brown Target stilettos Larry King's wobbled on.|
|They're not blaming Larry for his own death—as if anything could justify his murder—but their attitude toward his assailant is not unsympathetic. "We failed Brandon," a teacher says. "We didn't know the bullying was coming from the other side—Larry was pushing as hard as he could, because he liked the attention."|
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