September 30, 2010
Hate is killing young men and woman every day. Just this month alone the media reported 4 suicides because of anti-gay bullying.
* Seth Walsh, the Bakersfield, CA 13-year-old who hanged himself from a tree in his back yard after years of being bullied, died Tuesday afternoon after nine days on life support. Police investigators interviewed some of the young people who taunted Seth the day he hanged himself. "Several of the kids that we talked to broke down into tears," Police Chief Jeff Kermode said. "They had never expected an outcome such as this."* Asher Brown, 13, an eighth-grader killed himself last week. He shot himself in the head after enduring what his mother and stepfather say was constant harassment from four other students at Hamilton Middle School in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston Texas. Brown, his family said, was "bullied to death" -- picked on for his small size, his religion and because he did not wear designer clothes and shoes. Kids also accused him of being gay, some of them performing mock gay acts on him in his physical education class, his mother and stepfather said.* Billy (William) Lucas, 15, a student at Greensburg Community High School in Greensburg, IN, was found dead in a barn at his grandmother's home Thursday evening -- he had hanged himself. Friends say that he had been tormented for years. "He was threatened to get beat up every day," friend and classmate Nick Hughes said. "Sometimes in classes, kids would act like they were going to punch him and stuff and push him. Some people at school called him names," Hughes said, saying most of those names questioned Lucas' sexual orientation.
On Wednesday Tyler Clementi took his life after his college roommate secretly broadcast webcam footage of Tyler making out with another young man without his knowledge. Tyler jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York. He was an accomplished violinist, a son, and a young man with his entire life ahead of him.
What kind of society have we created that our children and teenagers think it is OK to torment their gay and lesbian peers to death? It is easy to point blame. From churches who preach that being gay is a sin, to a government that treats gays and lesbians and transgender people as second class citizens, to families who push their gay youth to the streets, to schools who refuse to stop bullying -- the list goes on as the list of the young dead grows longer.
I am tormented as I write this post because I know how deeply depressing it can be at that age. I was so afraid and sad and closeted that the simplest form of bullying could have sent me over the edge. I'm certainly grateful I survived. I have the love of my life sitting next to me now. I have a fulfilling career, supporting parents, and a network of friends that build me up. I would never want to give up my life as a gay man today. When I was a teenager, I could never have said that, but as Dan Savage and thousands of his fans have said on YouTube, "It Gets Better."
Sadly this message of hope did not reach them in time. I think of all the amazing gay, lesbian, and transgender people I know. Their lives are valuable and beautiful. Their contributions to humanity will last well beyond their natural lives. I could not imagine a world without them. What a loss that would be.
We have to save our youth now, so their light can burn on. Hate kills, but it doesn't have to if we were just brave enough as a society to end hate once and for all.
But to reach an ideal that lofty we have to start somewhere. S. 3739, the Safe Schools Improvement Act is designed to end bullying in schools. It must pass now.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts there is help.The Trevor Project is there for you. Call 1-866-4-U-TREVOR
When New York Post editor Fred Dicker challenged New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino that Andrew Cuomo cheated on his then-wife — which is funny because Paladino himself has a daughter whom was not born to his wife — the above melee went down. I love New York politics!
Poop-aficionado Paladino, who promises to be a prick to New York's gays and blacks, and who says Dicker is just a propaganda machine for Cuomo, explains why he became a screaming queen:
The New York Post sent a photographer to the Buffalo home where Carl Paladino's 10-year-old daughter lives with her mother. This photographer attempted to take photos of the child through the windows and subsequently attempted to follow the girl to a playground.We believe this conduct puts Carl Paladino's daughter in harm’s way, susceptible to kidnapping or sexual predators. This behavior by The New York Post and their senior political editor Fred Dicker is unacceptable. Endangering the safety of a 10-year-old child is repugnant.Carl Paladino is passionate about the need to clean up the mess in Albany. The only thing he is more passionate about is his family. Carl is deeply concerned about the privacy of his children and grandchildren. His concern is well founded: in April his corporate and campaign office was threatened with a bomb by a serial felon – this
man is being prosecuted today.
His concern might be well founded. But it's also ripe for laughs! Here's Rachel Maddow, stealing our theory about Michigan Asst. AG Andrew Shrivell.
While the nasty exit of assistant Taylor became a major plot point on Rachel Zoe's reality sitcom, we're told the splitting of ways between Zoe and Brad Goreski, her cute sidekick, was filled with daffodils and smiles. Not so!, according to professional pot stir-er Rob Shuter, who insists the turning point came at New York Fashion Week, where Rachel grew furious over everyone lauding over her No. 2.
Rumors that the fashion power pair were in trouble started circulating a few weeks during New York fashion week where Brad seemed to be welcomed more than Rachel. "Fashion week was definitely the turning point," a friend of Rachel's tells me. "Brad was sitting on the front row of every show and getting invited to as may events as his boss. However the final straw was when Brad appeared on the cover of The New York Timesstyle section. Rachel hit the roof and reminded him he was her assistant and it was called 'The Rachel Zoe' show not the Brad Goreski show. That was the moment that the two of them were over."
Oh, that Styles section piece? The one that explained the difference between a "look" and a "lewk"? It was penned by Ben Widdicombe, one of New York's gossip gays, which means one of our own is to blame for Brad's professional divorce! Horrors!
This is something that unfortunately seems to be a daily event. Yet another young member of the LGBT community has reportedly committed suicide, this time after a couple of his classmates secretly filmed him having sex and streamed it live online.
The New Jersey “Star-Ledger” is reporting that Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old Rutgers student has been presumed dead after police found his car, cell phone and computer on the George Washington Bridge last week and have yet to discover a body.
Dharan Ravi, Clementi’s college roommate reportedly hid a video camera in their dorm room on September 19th and video recorded Clementi having sex with another man, and posted a live feed to the footage on the internet, directing traffic to the encounter using Twitter.
Ravi allegedly had an accomplice, a childhood friend by the name of Molly Wei. Both Ravi and Wei have been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy. Ravi has been released on $25,000 bail and Wei was released on her own recognizance. Both face up to five years in prison for distributing sexual images without consent.
You can read more on this sad and unfortunate story at: NJ.com
As an update however, a body has been pulled from the river and the police are in the process of identifying the person who they believe to be Clementi. We have spoken to the owners ofJustUsBoys.com who believe a user who went by the name of cit2mo was actually Clementi. The dates and thread of the forum post match this tragic event and it would appear that cit2mo was seeking out advice from other JUB users as to what action, if any he should take any. Also JUB informs us that the IP address of cit2mo would indicate this user was indeed from Rutgers.
According to the forum thread:
And the last post by cit2mo in that thread (referring to the fact he had spoken to his RA about the chain of events):
I recently had the honor and pleasure of speaking with one of the LGBT community’s hottest and most talented artist, Darryl Stephens. I have to say right up front, this was by far one my favorite interviews…ever! I found him to be extremely grounded, open and candid. He also displayed a very real sense of humility and graciousness that it far too rare these days. I can honestly say that speaking with Darryl Stephens is an experience I will cherish for a lifetime and his demeanor is one that has made me re-evaluate myself and ask myself, how can I become a better person.
Although Stephens is best known for his leading role as Noah in the LOGO TV series “Noah’s Arc“, which ran for two seasons ending in 2006 and was followed up with a full length featured film entitled “Jumping the Broom” (2008), his acting career has given him the opportunity to play a wide variety of roles in both movies and made for TV shows, including, but not limited to, “Two and a Half Men“, “Ugly Betty“, “Boy Culture” and “Another Gay Movie“.
In fact, if you tune in to ABC’s “Private Practice” tonight (10/9C) you’ll get to see him in a role that we’ve yet to see Darryl play and one he shared exclusively with gayagenda.com. (But you’ll have to read the entire post to find out!)
Acting isn’t the only thing that Stephens has been up to as of late. Aside from making appearances at gay pride events across that country and in Canada, he recently released his debut as a recording artist and yes, the man can sing! But when I asked this triple threat (he can dance his ass off too) about the direction of where he’s headed with his music career, he very humbly explained, “I don’t really have a music career, I’m not in the music industry. Rather this is just something that I’m doing to fill the void between acting” assignments. Stephens explained to me, “My music is something that’s very personal to me. I don’t have, and I’m not seeking a contract with a record label. I’m really just doing this for me.” Personally however, I would love to see Darryl bust out in the music industry. There’s something very soulful and fresh about his voice and lyrics that leaves you wanting more. I did remind him that Justin Beiber got his start from his mom posting a video of him on YouTube, which is where you can find Darrly’s musical debut (posted below) so not to be surprised if he is offered a contract. I for one wouldn’t mind taking what I could get from Stephens…musically of course!
When I asked him what the main motivator behind his work is, he answered, “The love for what I do. I’m not rich by any means monetarily speaking. But I’m extremely fortunate and wealthy in the sense that I’m blessed with being able to follow my passion and do what I love. Again, I don’t do what I do for money, I would have a regular job if that was the case, I do it because it’s my passion.”
When I asked him if this is would be the advice he has for aspiring LGBT youth who find passion in artistry, he replied, “Absolutely! You have to follow your passions in life. It’s the most important thing you can do for yourself.”
I rather hesitated to ask too much about Noah’s Arc, as I’m sure most people, including myself would rather focus on the future than reflect on the past, but I did ask if he thought there would ever be a follow up or sequel to “Jumping the Broom” to which he replied, “I don’t think it’s completely unlikely that could happen. While the show was airing, there wasn’t really anyway to monitor the viewership, but since the show ended, there’s been a continued stream of DVD sales of the series and of the movie as well, which has provided the producers with a gauge of how popular the show actually was and is.” He added, “There was a lot of speculation as to why the show ended. It didn’t have anything to do with it being too Black or some of the other rumors, it simply was a budgetary issue. Production cost were extremely high, and that holds true with the movie as well even though it was filmed in Nova Scotia in 21 days.”
Being me, I had to ask Stephen’s about his view of the current political landscape in America as it pertains to the LGBT community and I was quite surprised, impressed and pleased with his answer. Darryl stated, “We don’t win by fighting for only what we need. Yes marriage is an important issue but we need to look at the larger picture and gain a wider perspective. There are so many issues that affect not only the LGBT community but so many outside of it as well, such as health care and immigration. We really need to include those types of issues into our own and build a larger coalition supporting the greater good for all people. TV show’s like Noah’s Arch and Will & Grace have put us [the LGBT community] in the public eye and has demonstrated that we’re not anything beyond ordinary people. We now need to show that we are concerned with more than our own needs and wants. There’s so much more to be gained by generosity than there is negativity and selfishness. It’s true that you get based on what you give”.
I also asked Stephens a few questions hoping he would share a bit about his personal life and he was quick and sure with his responses, which lead me to believe that he’s very secure in who he is and what he has to offer. I started by asking what he considered to be his greatest attribute to which he simply replied, “My artistry.” Moving to the opposite side of that spectrum I followed by asking what he felt his greatest weakness was, which he answered, “I love too much,” which isn’t difficult to believe as I completely picked up that vibe from our conversation. But wanting to give Darryl the stage for my last question, I asked; If you could deliver one message for the entire world to hear, what would that be? To which he responded, “Love all ways”.
So check out the YouTube clip of Darryl Stephens new music release “Envious Moon” below and again make sure you tune in tonight to “Private Practice” tonight on ABC, where you’ll get to see Stephens take on a role he’s never portrayed before….one of a transgender woman. When it comes to playing the role, Stephens said, “This is a character I really resonated with. As members of the LGBT community, we really need to open our hearts and minds to the daily struggles that transgender people face. They are an important part of our community and including them in the community is just as important for us as it is for them.”
September 30, 2010
Every once in a while the LGBT community finds support from those we may not expect it from, which makes that support all the more powerful.
Perez Hilton has posted a letter he received from the lead singer of Jane’s Addiction, Dave Navarro who is obviously shocked by the amount of LGBT youth who turn to suicide to stop the pain they’re experiencing as they spend months and years of their lives tormented and bullied about their sexuality.
According to the letter:
“Ok everybody, here is the deal. I cannot imagine what it’s like growing up in a close minded environment and being gay, bi or tans-gender. I don’t think any of us who aren’t can possibly imagine. The strength and character it must take to stay true to yourself in such an unforgiving microcosm are qualities that a major portion of the world lacks… Sad, but true. It’s just how it is at the moment. However, it’s that very strength and character that gives the world hope for a new way of thinking and acceptance in the future and when one of our children gives in and gives up, it is not only a tragedy but a victory for those who fear diversity. DO NOT LET THEM WIN!
September 29, 2010
Over 250,000 people have signed an online pledge to boycott The Home Depot for its "sponsorship and participation in homosexual events," according to the American Family Association (AFA).
In July of 2010, the AFA announced it was launching a nationwide boycott of The Home Depot.
The AFA is a non-profit organization that advocates traditional family values and the reform of American culture "to reflect Biblical truth on which it was founded."
With nearly 200 radio stations and over two million online supporters, the organization prides itself as the largest and most effective pro-family group in the United States.
"The Home Depot, through any number of its affiliates, has given its money and its name to gay pride parades and festivals," said AFA president Tim Wildmon. "We've appealed to them to stay neutral in the culture wars, but they are determined to keep using their influence to push the normalization of homosexual behavior. Everyone of these pride events pushes the recognition of homosexual marriage, so The Home Depot has clearly chosen sides on that issue."
By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
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