Consequences for Anti-Gay People We Hate: Michigan Asst AG Takes “Leave of Absence,” Etc

In news that takes a baby step towards restoring our faith in the logic of the universe after this week’s total f*cking shit show of bad news, the Michigan Assistant Attorney General who has been openly stalking and harassing the openly gay student body president of U of Michigan, has taken a “voluntary leave of absence” from his job as a salaried state official. Technically, this is just Shirvell choosing to take some time off for undisclosed reasons. Possibly because having a full-time job doesn’t allow him enough time to follow every friend and family member of Chris Armstrong on Facebook and Myspace and OKCupid, as well as updating his twitter account, which really if you haven’t read is pretty fucking special. Ok fine this isn’t actually him, but still, pretty perfect, no?


Access to his insane Chris Armstrong stalker blog has been password-protected, and Chris Armstrong is seeking a restraining order against Shervill. School officials have already banned Shervill from campus property. When he does return to work, he will face hearings for possible disciplinary action. Although Cox initially defended his assistant and still pretty much is, apparently “more issues regarding Mr. Shirvell’s conduct had come to light in recent days.” Maybe things like his showing up at Armstrong’s house at 1:30 AM? When he doesn’t even live in Ann Arbor? (@jezebel)(@nytimes)

In other but also heartening news, Jene Newsome, the lesbian Air Force veteran who was outed to her employer by vindictive and racist police officers, is suing. As we mentioned when we first covered this story earlier this year, Newsome did not tell the military about being gay, a completely uninvolved third party did. And furthermore, that third party had to go to pretty considerable lengths to even find this out (coincidentally catching a glimpse of her marriage license, which was inside her house, which they did not have a warrant to enter). They then notified the Air Force because that’s their “standard practice” even though their case did not in fact involve Newsome at all but her wife. In the face of this outrageous indignity and perversion of actual policy, Newsome is suing the Rapid City police department for monetary damages and lost income. While suing the police for injustice/racism hasn’t had a real high success rate in the past, we’re hoping real hard for this one. (@queerty)

It’s sad commentary that our “good news” is mostly optimism about possible partial redress of previous “very bad news”, but we’re not looking gift karma in the mouth. Not this week. Possibly the days to come will bring actual positive events! Here’s to hoping!

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 1072 articles for us.

12 Comments

      • That was my favorite tweet. If his account had been more extensive, there would have been serious potential for a drinking game wherein you drink for every Freudian slip and instance of defensive closet-case-angst (“My GIRLFRIEND and I…”)

        On a more serious note, thank fuck something is being done about him.

  1. so, long time reader, first time poster…

    is anyone else surprised by how personally guilty they feel about this string of gay suicides? i know its totally irrational, but I can’t help but feeling a pang of I’m-not-out-enough every time I hear about a gay kid taking their life. and I keep thinking the next one is gonna be some queer kid I’ve never even noticed at my own high school. I don’t know, these are the first really publicized gay suicides since I came out, so maybe thats it? Ah so many feelings.

    • I feel like I should light candles and tell everyone at school. Then start ranting about how the little things they say, no matter how little they think they are, can still have an impact.

      “I can’t help but feeling a pang of I’m-not-out-enough every time I hear about a gay kid taking their life.”

      I’m not out at all/enough; that doesn’t feels right. Maybe it’s a martyr complex or something?

    • I know the feeling.

      I actually went off on some anti-gay bullying-type shit that was going down on my 13-year-old cousin’s Facebook page yesterday. I was feeling strangely bad about it, but then 10 minutes later one of his similarly-aged friends clicked “like” on my comment and I felt vindicated.

  2. There has been so much support at UofM for Chris. It’s amazing. It has really brought the community together, and I really believe that it helped take Andrew Shirvell out of his position. Not only has the gay community been strong, but the entire university has banded together to support Chris.

    I remember my friend showing me the blog about a month ago, and it was sort of horrifying, and a bit hilarious, because it was absolutely ridiculous. It was all about “tainting freshman” and “gay orgies” in his dorm room or something. Just bullshit, really.

  3. Just came across this blog while reading up on the insanity that is this Andrew Shervill guy. Thanks for helping shed some light on just how batshit crazy this guy really is.
    How has he not been arrested for criminal harassment and stalking yet? This boggles my mind.
    Mr. Armstrong, more power to you and keep fighting the good fight. There is no room in society for this kind of bigotry.

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