Brian’s Story

An #Upstander shares how performing Tyler's Suite gives him reason to reflect on his own bullying experience.

When I heard that we were doing Tyler’s Suite, I knew it was going to be a difficult experience for me because I have a strong connection with the sentiment behind the story. Some people just do not understand the toll that bullying takes on people, no matter what form it’s in.

I grew up in a small, rural town where there were no openly gay people. I got teased incessantly by my peers about being gay even before I knew I was. I grew up learning that it was easier to hide who I was than be myself. I’ve thought of taking my own life more times than I can count for something that is a part of me. Unfortunately, even with my friends and family, there are just some things that cannot be shut out.


However, I can say that they are the one thing that have prevented me from going through with suicide. I could not bear to cause them that pain, even to relieve my own.

Being able to share in this story helps reinforce that everyone should be able to embrace their true selves without having to hide them away.

The messages in Tyler’s Suite are so powerful and resonate so much with me that it is sometimes hard to make it through them without breaking down in tears. That is a testament to how powerful this story is and how much more powerful it becomes when set to beautiful music.

Brian Sixbury is a member of the Heartland Men’s Chorus of Kansas City. Follow the chorus on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The views or experiences expressed are solely those of the contributor or interview subject and do not represent the views of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, its staff or board. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the material, please contact the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and we appreciate your support and commitment to end bullying starting on #Day1.