Some stories need to be told. One such story is the short life of Anthony Castro. As first reported by Outsports, Castro’s courage and determination was tragically cut short by an auto accident on January 21. Yet his impact on his community and the perceptions others may have will live on.
From an ESPN article:
A four-year starter for the Banning High Broncos when the team’s starting quarterback was ruled academically ineligible, Anthony, a 6-foot, 210-pound fullback, volunteered to take his place. He had never played the position before, but that didn’t stop the Broncos’ captain from making all-conference.
Anthony was also captain of the swim team, a member of the wrestling squad and part of the yearbook staff. Despite his being the big man on campus, freshmen felt comfortable enough around him to ask for help if they were being bullied by other upperclassmen. Teachers loved him, and the girls adored him. In six years, there had been only one graduation party principal Jim Broncatello stayed at until the end. It was Anthony’s.
This may not appear special until you know that Anthony was openly gay in a conservative school in a redneck town whose mother kicked him out when she found out he was gay. Anthony rose above his challenges and gained the respect of those who knew him.
We salute him.
(photo courtesy www.outsports.com)
Anthony obviously felt estranged from other boys because of his problems with coordination which made him poor at sports. No? Well perhaps he only “perceived” that.
He seems like he was an amazing guy. What a sad thing to happen.
I’m sitting here wiping tears off my cheeks. He sounds like such a wonderful young man, full of the best of life, and who never let bigots or hate get him down. Those ex-gays who make themselves professional victims could learn some lessons from people like him, even as they proclaim that any homosexual who does not force themselves into a life of shame and self-hatred is not a good person.
Its just sad such wonderful stories usually come out AFTER someone is gone. I wish more stories like Anthony’s were known before a tragedy strikes, life is too short to leave great people without the recognition they deserve in life.
Banning is about 20 minutes away from where I live. What is most amazing is that Banning and Beaumont are known as very poor, very conservative, very hateful communities. There are a lot of racists (the Neo-Nazi community is very strong in this area), and Banning is about as backward as a community can be. Even though it is Southern California, these communities seem almost surreal. The fact that this young man was out (and he was known in the area) made him a hero. The schools in that area are considered some of the worst in California, and many live dead-end lives there. However, Anthony stood out, and he was a beautiful person. His death was a major shock, and we lost a true leader. Since learning of his death, many in the area have been very sad, and he really affected people’s lives. Amazing person, but very tragic end.
Read the original ESPN article. What a tough start in life. How did he develop the courage and the character to stand up for the little guy. Amazing, making good out of such a horrible start in life.
A story that makes you smile and breaks your heart.
This is too much…imagine what might have been, what might have been done.
Despite his struggles…he proved that stuggles make us strong, and we don’t have to give into the heterosexual, ex gay definition of ‘struggling’ with homosexuality.
But he was mos def a testament to what a gay youth can do, when the straight folks GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY!!!
Needs to have a movie made – to tell the rest of Middle America this incredible story!!!
It makes me ponder if I c/should have done things differently in my high-school days.
This editorial identifies Anthony’s boyfriend as Cody Mariscal:
This article identifies the driver as Shawn Cody Mariscal, 24:
Unfortunately, it seems that this sad story has an additional tragic element.
Amen baby! Imagine all that might be accomplished if the energy we were caused to direct to our own defense, defining and defending our own self worth was directed to something more positive and more worthy?! Instead, because to straight folks that live daily to define who we are and what we should be, we are obligated to direct our energies elsewhere.
And unfortunately true.
But maybe someday, in our lifetime, it will change.
(and…BTW…What’s a boy gotta do to make the blogroll?) 😉
Wow. I feel so bad about what that community must be going through. It’s always so heartbreaking to lose a friend so young. A young girl who I grew up with was killed in a car accident when she was 16. People in our community couldn’t believe she was gone. I was rattled, because it hit me that none of us are guaranteed any time here, and that makes the moments we do have even more precious.
Anthony truly did live a courageous, amazing life. I wish his soul rest and his loved ones peace in this time. I think his life teaches us all to challenge our perceptions, whatever they may refer to, for things aren’t always as they seem.
“Sometimes he would come to my office and ask if he could just spend the rest of the day there. He would say that he couldn’t take being called ‘faggot’ any more today and just needed a break.
Would someone remind me again why Exodus opposes anti-harrasement programs in schools. I think we go too easy on Alan, Randy, Mike and the rest of them.
I wonder how many times someone ex-gay had to do that?
“Sometimes he’d come in my office tired of being called “ex-faggot”…?”
I think not.
Exactly. Yet PFOX has the perverse audacity to ask that ex-gay be considered a sexual orientation in danger of discrimination.
This made me cry, too, for the same reasons that others have mentioned.
I would *love* to see that movie!!!
Amazing that some of you can talk about a town that you don’t know. REDNECK, obviously you have never been to Banning. There are many people that are highly educated in this city of so called “worst schools in California”. Banning is not a “very poor, very conservative, very hateful community”, I invite you to spend some time in the community before you dis it. I believe Anthony’s story is trajic but he was not a hero in a small town redneck backwards community. He was a gay guy in our city, End of story. The trajedy is that he died at such a young age, not his sexual orientation, don’t make this story into more than what it is.
Clearly he wasn’t a hero to you. But Anthony’s story made him a hero to other gay youth that too often are told that they cannot compete or participate in “manly sports” like football.
As for Banning, I guess that you will just have to serve as an example of the attitudes that are present there. I’ll leave it up to others to decide if your comments are consistent with the way the city was described.
Anthony was a very smart and brilliant young man. But there is one thing in common that all of these websites have wrong. Anthony came out at the young age of 14. At that time he was living with his best friend( of the time). It wasn’t until two years later that his mom found out he was gay. She never kicked him out and did in fact tell him it was wrong. But she immediately felt regret for what she had said.
Kristin, Anthony was a hero and the only reason you think otherwise is because you didn’t have the pleasure of knowing him. He could put a smile on anybody’s face. He would do anything in the world to cheer a person up. Not only was he respected by a majority of the youth in Banning, but that majority being(football teams wrestling teams, and kids from his school). Were all at his funeral. For a gay young man to be so respected in his community is rare. He changed so many people’s lives, mine being one of them. And he is hugely missed.
I feel sorry for Cody, his partner, HE’s facing prison time and will have to live with this for the rest of his life. BTW Banning is not a “poor” town at all! How dare you comment on Banning, when you aren’t from here. Also, Cody was a parent as well.