Just a quick update to say thank you to everyone who took the time to reach out to Tatianna and/or donate to her college graduation fund. As of this posting, 29 people have helped to raise $318 for Tatianna’s graduation. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Tatianna graduates from USC Upstate in Spartanburg tomorrow. Tatianna is going to email me a photo of her in her cap and gown that I am going to post as soon as I get it. In addition, Tatianna is working on a piece that I am going to run on my site this week about this whole experience—coming out, her parent’s reaction, and the support from a community that she didn’t know existed.

I just want to also say thank you to everyone who gave, who wanted to give, who emailed, and who forwarded the post. It’s much appreciated and just goes to show that recession and all, we’re a community that can come together for a good cause.

Okay so here’s the deal. A couple of weeks ago I went down to South Carolina to speak at the University of South Carolina Upstate. I never really wrote much about it because I am still trying to sort it all out in my head. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time and met some wonderful people while I was there, but it definitely was a culture shock for me and when I left I made a promise to myself that I’d be back.

While I was in South Carolina I met some wonderful students that I continue to keep up with, whether it’s via email or text messaging.

One of those students is 22-year-old Tatianna, a political science major who is graduating next week. Tatianna is a lesbian and yesterday, unexpectedly, her mother asked her if she was gay. Tatianna didn’t lie and told her that she was after years of trying to hide it, or at least thinking she was hiding it. History has shown that more often than not, parents tend to know that their child is gay, hence Tatianna’s mother asking her. Well, one thing led to another and before Tatianna knew it, her parents both came down on her and are now on the verge of disowning this sista. To make matters worse, her father has decided that since his daughter is a lesbian, he is not going to give her the money she needs for her graduation next week.

She got the usual, you’ll never get married and you won’t have any kids speech to go with all that.

Needless to say, at a time when Tatianna is supposed to be celebrating her graduation, she’s faced with being disowned by her family and it really breaks my heart.

It’s hard enough to get through college living your life in the closet, IN THE SOUTH, but to then come out and be disowned on the eve of your graduation really sucks.

I decided that I may not be able to do anything about her parents, the hope is that after the anger wears off the love of their daughter will kick in, hopefully…but that I could make sure that come graduation next week Tatianna has everything that she needs.

I think it’s important that those of us who have experienced what Tatianna is going through, reach back and extend a hand to make sure that this doesn’t ruin her life and that she knows that beyond South Carolina there’s a whole community of people who were once in her shoes and can sympathize with her situation.

And even though we are in a recession, gas is higher than ever along with food and everything else, I can still spare a couple of bucks for sista’s graduation ceremony.

Will you join me in doing the same?

Tatianna has a Paypal account for anyone who cares to donate to her graduation fund. She says that she still needs to pay for her cap and gown and some other associated fees that her father is not going to be helping with.

To contribute to Tatianna’s Graduation Fund, simply visit www.paypal.com and enter Tatianna’s email address for her account: ambition2k@msn.com.

In addition, if you care to send Tatianna any words of encouragement, they can be left here or sent to her privately at ambition2k@msn.com. She can be reached on Myspace at www.myspace.com/tl2006.

Now is the time to rally around this sista and anyone else that you know of going through the same thing.

And to Tatianna, girl keep your head up and WORK THAT!