DEAR ABBY: I have a friend I'll call "George." He is a good person, smart and fun to be with. He hasn't matured as fast as other boys and his voice is soft and high-pitched. People call him gay, and it hurts him terribly.
He recently dropped out of school and is now being home-schooled. When he told me why, it shocked me.
Won't you explain to your readers not to judge people until you have walked a mile in their shoes? Get to know them. I am the only person who stands up for George, and I always will. Please tell people it is not OK to ridicule others.
It hurts me to hear him say his life is ruined. He says he will get a new wardrobe and change everything. But he shouldn't have to change. He has a right to be himself. -- CONCERNED FRIEND IN BILLINGS, MONT.
DEAR CONCERNED FRIEND: I don't have to tell people that it's not OK to ridicule others. You have done a good job of that in your letter. But I'll tell you a secret. People who make derogatory comments about the sexuality of others often have doubts about their own.
P.S. I'm sorry that George's parents didn't talk over their son's predicament with their lawyer and the school principal. If they had, I'll bet George would still be your classmate.