Gay Bullying Update: Your Near-Daily Roundup Of Stuff That’s Happening

JOEL BURNS:

Have you seen this yet? Jesus Christ, what is wrong with you. This almost made me cry, and I’ve had my feelings surgically removed. Fort Worth councilman Joel Burns took his speaking time in a city council meeting to take a stand on Gay Bullying Crisis 2010, and make one of the most amazing It Gets Better stories possible. For God’s sake, just watch it. “Burns fought through tears as he told those attending Tuesday’s meeting that he’d like to give his 13-year-old self, who struggled with being gay, glimpses into the future. “Yes, high school was difficult, coming out was painful, but life got so much better for me,” Burns said. “And I want to tell any teen who might see this, give yourself a chance to see how much better life will get, and it will get better. … Life will get so, so, so much better.” Later in his speech, he added, “Please stick around to make those happy memories for yourself.” (@star-telegram)

AWESOME CHILDREN AND FAMILIES:

Seventh-grade Marco Melgoza has been bullied mercilessly by his classmates, and he and his dad are doing something about it. Namely, they’re protesting in front of his school, so that the community can’t ignore what’s going on. They are fucking awesome. (@advocate)

                      Other awesome families include Dyson’s, who are fiercely protective of his right to dress/present however he wants, including pink sparkly dresses. His mom, Cheryl, wrote a book called My Princess Boy, to be used as an anti-bullying tool in his school system. Dyson and his mom are fucking awesome. (@jezebel)

SMACKDOWN:

This is the kind of thing we would have written an angry article about, but someone else has already done such a good job we can just pass the savings on to you. When the Washington Post published Tony Perkins’ opinion that homosexuality is to blame for gay suicides, not bullying, they said it was because they need to present “both sides.” Jarrett Barrios of GLAAD does an excellent job explaining that this is bullshit because there are no “sides” when it comes to kids killing themselves. Thanks for playing, though! “By letting Tony Perkins stand on its soapbox, the Washington Post is telling today’s kids, their parents, and the educators whose job it is to prepare them for life, that it’s perfectly reasonable to claim (as Perkins does) that those dark thoughts are caused by simply being gay – and not by the fact that people like Perkins have made it their lives’ work to deny gay people the opportunity to live freely and peacefully.” (@wapo)

FACEBOOK:

Technology was a major part of Tyler Clementi’s horrific outing, and while the Facebook memorial pages put up to dead gay youth are a small comfort, the comfort is kind of outweighed by the number of homophobic comments and attacks they’ve been receiving. Facebook has stepped up with a commitment to respond quickly and definitively when hate speech is used on their site, and maintain it as a safe space for gay people and gay youth. It would be nice if the people making that commitment were, you know, schools or something, but still, kudos to Facebook, I guess. (@cnn)

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1096 articles for us.

8 Comments

  1. Watching that video, I couldn’t help but think how his politlcal career might suffer because of what he did. This kind of thing happens in Dallas. Not Fort Worth. Many people in Fort Worth are so homophobic . He did an amazing thing, i just hope that there isn’t any negative consequences for him.

  2. It is a proud day to be a member of the Fort Worth queer community! Even our local Fox News affiliate was interviewing him and broadcasting parts of his video. Who knew? Well, for one, I did. As a proud citizen of Cowtown, I have to say that Fort Worth has made immense strides in becoming a welcoming place for LGBT folks. We have a long-running queer film festival, bars (heh), city Pride events, and a task force called Fairness Fort Worth that worked to successfully implement same-sex partner benefits for city employees and anti-discrimination policies based on gender identity. That’s not to say we have a long way to go–but then, what city doesn’t? Even the most “gay friendly” places have homophobic bigots lurking around the corner.

    Joel Burns, of course, has been proactive on all of our community improvement fronts. He has been serving as an openly gay man on our city council for several years, generally well-respected and loved by the community who elected him (LGBT and straight.) Sure, not everybody wants to write him a love letter, and I’m certain this will ruffle some tea-partyin’ feathers. But–as Joel illustrates–it CAN get better, if we make it better–wherever we might live.

    Even though he may not have initially intended this outcome, Joel has done a brilliant job of showing the world that Fort Worth/The South isn’t the backwater regressive place that it so often gets written off as. We’re queer and we’re here on purpose! All we need now are more elected officials like Joel in cities all across the country. (I’m looking at you, Autostraddlers!)

  3. that video did make me cry. also, when I read “Gay Bullying Update: Your Near-Daily Roundup Of Stuff That’s Happening,” my heart sighed and I almost didn’t click on it tonight. I’m glad I did, because I needed the positive news.

  4. RE the Jarrett Barios article, I’ve a little snippet combed from Woolf:

    “All this pitting of sex against sex, of quality against quality, all this claiming of superiority and imputing of inferiority, belong to the private school stage of human existence where there are “sides,” and it is necessary for one side to beat another side, and of the utmost importance to walk up to a platform and receive from the hands of the Headmaster himself a highly ornamental pot. As people mature, they cease to believe in sides, or Headmasters or in highly ornamental pots.”

    — Virginia Woolf “A Room of One’s Own”

  5. I am from Oregon, not Texas – but I really admire this guy for speaking out and making this video. He is a hero. This could really hurt his political career, but I do hope that it helps him in the long run. It made me cry, what an amazing man!

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.