Category Archives: Youth
How sad is this?
Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, police officers led by Cmdr. Christopher Murdock lowered a ladder into an open sewer in New Kingston, the Jamaican capital’s financial district. The sewer, damp and strewn with trash, flowed out of the business district housing several banks, large hotels, and shopping arcades. And it was home to a group of youths Murdock wanted gone.
Their alleged crime: stealing. Murdock said he had received more than 30 reports of theft and robbery since the group, ranging in age from teens to early twenties, had moved into the sewer several months before, and he was becoming concerned that the stretch of Trafalgar Road that runs over their makeshift home was becoming unsafe for people to walk.
But Murdock’s televised remarks following the Sunday raid left the impression the kids were unwanted for an entirely different reason: “The aim of this operation was to remove men of diverse sexual orientation who continue to plague the New Kingston area.”
FAST FORWARD to today –
Jamaican police tried again last week to evict homeless LGBT youth from the sewers in New Kingston where they have been forced to take refuge.
The police have previously tried to burn the youth out of the gullies on the pretext that they attract criminals.
When the youths were brought before the court on Friday, March 7, the judge fined them for their so-called “calumnious language” but also advised the police that the sewers are a public space. Hence the youngsters have every right to be there. With no other options, the kids have simply returned to living in the sewers.
Dwayne’s House, a Jamaican organization established to feed and clothe the youngsters living in the sewers, paid the small fines for some of the arrested youth. See the Web page of Dwayne’s House for more information or to contribute (in the United States or in Canada).
This movie trailer brought tears to my eyes. Imagine being brought up Mormon, and 13, knowing your church rejects you – and your family might also – thoughts turn to suicide.
Families are Forever which premieres at Frameline 37: the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival on Saturday, June 22, 2013 chronicles the journey of a devout Mormon family living in a conservative community who attended Church every Sunday,
actively served in their ward, went door-to-door to stop same-sex
marriage in support of California’s Prop 8 and whose lives were turned
upside down when their 13-year-old son admitted he was gay.
On the cusp of becoming an Eagle Scout, 13-year-old Jordan hid his
sexual orientation for fear of rejection by his family and Church like
many adolescents from socially and religiously conservative families who
are told they’re “confused” or that “It’s just a phase.” Like other
LGBT Mormon children and adolescents he daily walked past yellow Prop 8
yard signs and internalized painful messages that reinforced feelings of
isolation and despair as he began to realize that his family was
rejecting people like him.
Called “riveting” by the Salt Lake Tribune, Families are Forever is a
powerhouse addition to the Family Acceptance Project’s inspiring family
education video series that is helping prevent suicide, HIV,
homelessness and other serious health risks by increasing family support
for LGBT youth – in the context of family, culture and faith
backgrounds. This new video adds to critical research-based educational
materials the Family Acceptance Project is producing for families with
LGBT children, including the first “Best Practice” resources for suicide
prevention for LGBT youth and young adults and the first for LGBT
Mormons in the Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention.
As with other family education materials and videos from the Family
Acceptance Project – an acclaimed research, education and family
intervention initiative at SF State University that helps diverse
families to support their LGBT children – Families are Forever is part
of a planned series of short documentaries that show the journey of
ethnically and religiously diverse families from struggle to support of
their LGBT children to give LGBT youth and families hope and to show how
diverse families learn to support their LGBT children. A collaboration
between Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker, Vivian Kleiman, and
award-winning clinical social worker, Caitlin Ryan, these documentaries
are changing lives and building healthy futures for LGBT children and
“Many LGBT youth and families have never seen acceptance and support
expressed by parents and caregivers for their LGBT children.” said Dr.
Caitlin Ryan, Director of the Family Acceptance Project. “Our videos
show individual stories of family acceptance that speak to families from
a wide range of backgrounds and help them understand that how they
respond to their LGBT children has a powerful impact on their health,
mental health and survival.”
Mitch Mayne, an openly gay Mormon religious leader in the San Francisco
Bay Ward of the Mormon Church knows this firsthand: “Religiously
conservative families have little access to accurate information and
many believe they have to choose between their child and their faith. A
cornerstone of the Family Acceptance Project’s work is to integrate
research, culture and faith to inspire and educate diverse and very
conservative families on how to love their LGBT children. This video
will literally save lives.”
Families are Forever screens at the Victoria Theatre in a documentary shorts program at 3:30 pm. More information about the film at Frameline is available at:
This is OUTRAGEOUS.
for the manslaughter death of gay UK teen Steven Simpson (left), whom
he doused with tanning oil and lit ablaze after taunting him about his
sexuality at the teen’s 18th birthday party. Simpson, who was autistic,
died from his burns the next day in the hospital.
Sheffield Crown Court heard that Jordan
Sheard, 20, flicked the lighter and Steven went up in flames with Sheard
and others running away instead of helping him. The teenager, who
suffered from Asperger’s syndrome, a speech impairment and epilepsy,
died in hospital from 60 per cent burns the next day.
Judge Roger Keen told him: “What it did
was engulf him in a fire. You tried to briefly assist and then you ran
away. That in my judgment is serious aggravation.”
heard the only person who went to Steven’s aid was neighbor Sean Banner
who burned himself in the process. But when Mr Banner returned to his flat in Pleasant View, Cudworth, near Barnsley, he was initially
arrested on suspicion of murder.
Sarah Wright, prosecuting, said that
earlier in the evening Sheard, who vaguely knew Steven, and two others
joined his birthday party and were let in despite having not been invited.
Simpson was openly gay and had moved in to the flat because he had been bullied at his other address.
The Daily Mail adds:
The court heard that as Mr Simpson became increasingly drunk at his party, he was dared to strip to his boxer shorts.
Defendant Jordan Sheard, 20, who had
gatecrashed the house party, was seen taunting the host, who was openly
gay, and then scrawling obscene and homophobic insults on his bare
stomach, face and forearm. After 2am, a partygoer took the Calypso
tanning oil from Mr Simpson’s bedroom and, as it was poured over him,
others chanted: ‘Light it, light it.’
Miss Wright said: ‘Steven did not object; he seemed to be enjoying the situation.’
(why didn’t anyone stop this at that point???)
the court heard that Sheard then held a cigarette lighter to Mr
Simpson’s groin, and instantly the highly flammable liquid caught alight
and flames engulfed his body. Instead of putting out the fire, Sheard
Sheard received ONLY three and a half years in prison. What is wrong with them?? HE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN LIFE!!!! I am so angered by this.
KEVIN CLASH “the voice of ELMO” in trouble again. But this story really annoys me.
social networking function for actors. Soon after, Stephens says the
two began a sexual relationship that escalated over a period of years. Not just one evening. This was not rape.
claims he was taken to Clash’s New York pad by chauffeured limo. While
there, he alleges Clash smoked crystal meth during their sexual
escapades. He says Clash also gave him poppers to intensify the
claims Clash engaged in sexual activity with them when they were minors,
causing them mental and psychological damage.
The men claim they
only recently became “aware” of the damage that was done — which is
why it took them so long to sue — but Clash says that’s BS. And so do I.
PROOF One Direction is GAY GAY GAY!
BUZZ FEED has put together an AMAZING collection of photos
showing the boys touching each other, kissing each other, even licking each other!
Yes, they *say* they’re just bandmates…
Best friends, even. But “Directioners” — as their emphatic fans so
name themselves — aren’t so easily convinced. The evidence of inter-1D
love and lust, well-documented by fans hungry for the big gay truth, is
hard to refute. Sure, it might just be surging pubescent
hormones. Or innocent displays of European man-on-man affection. Or, I
don’t know, some kind of elaborate, cruel, taunting joke.
CHECK IT OUT NOW ON BUZZ FEED
Can you imagine learning about Harvey Milk in 2nd grade?! I was shocked when I first read “Amelia’s” column on Huntington post last year, that proclaimed, “When Your 7-Year-Old Son Announces, ‘I’m Gay’ !”
Blaine and regularly refers to him as “my boyfriend,” I thought there
was a fair chance that he would someday say, “I’m gay.” But my kid is
only 7 years old. I figured I had a few years before we crossed that
threshold (if we ever did), probably when he was 14 or 15. I never
thought it would happen this soon……” read more.
what my son had to say. They listened and then started asking
questions and expressing their disbelief.
that my son had asked me: Why would people hide being gay? Why did
people think being gay was bad? What were Twinkies? My kid answered all
the questions like a pro.”
First there was GLBT.
Pink Therapy director Dominic Davies and fellow therapist Pamela
Gawler-Wright suggested GSD, or “Gender and Sexual Diversities,” as a
more inclusive community term in a new video posted on the group’s Facebook page.
In the clip, Davies noted that the term LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender) still excluded “a whole batch of people who didn’t feel
able to go to mainstream counseling organizations and also wouldn’t
necessarily be welcome at LGBT counseling organizations,” including
asexual people and those in otherwise non-traditional relationships,
such as swingers.
Added Gawler-Wright: “Now we’re allowing more of a spectrum…people
need wider language, people need better language to have that
conversation … We exist at this time in a different way of thinking
collectively and inclusively.”
Officials on the group’s Facebook page echoed those sentiments. “The
point we’re trying to make is not that our community shouldn’t be called
LGBT, it’ that actually our community is SO much BIGGER than simply
LGBT,” they noted.
HOW CRAZY IS THIS??
The final key consideration is the pope’s potential exposure to legal claims over the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandals.
2010, for example, Benedict was named as a defendant in a law suit
alleging that he failed to take action as a cardinal in 1995 when he was
allegedly told about a priest who had abused boys at a U.S. school for
the deaf decades earlier. The lawyers withdrew the case last year and
the Vatican said it was a major victory that proved the pope could not
be held liable for the actions of abusive priests.
currently not named specifically in any other case. The Vatican does not
expect any more but is not ruling out the possibility.
lived anywhere else) then we might have those crazies who are filing
lawsuits, or some magistrate might arrest him like other (former) heads
of state have been for alleged acts while he was head of state,” one
WOW! Finally! The Boy Scouts are finally caving to pressure, to change their ways!
allow gay Scouts and troop leaders, a spokesman for the group has told
If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting next
week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts’ decades’ old national
policy banning homosexuals.
“The policy change under discussion
would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that
oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue,”
BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement to USA TODAY.
more than a year and garnered more than 1.2 million online signatures
at Chang.org, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against
Defamation (GLAAD), an advocacy group.
and that’s what we need from the Boy Scouts of America,” GLAAD said.
“Until then there will be young people out there who are harmed by
YEA for Brooklyn dad Todd Schweikert!
Schweikert, a 33-year-old Windsor Terrace
resident whose son goes to P.S. 154, researched several alternative
scouting options, including groups like Camp Fire. He settled on the
Baden-Powell Service Association to be the parent organization of his
troop. Like other traditional scouting groups, BPSA teaches “woodcraft,”
or how to survive outdoors. BPSA troops also use what’s called the
“patrol method” to divide scouts into teams that each have a leader
nominated by other scouts.
BPSA troops are open to both boys and
girls, and unlike the Boy Scouts of America, there is less talk of God
and religion in official scouting laws, Schweikert said. The troop
welcomes kids as young as 5 years old, who are known as Otters. At age
8, scouts graduate to Timberwolves.
His 7-year-old son is a charter member of the 5th Brooklyn Scouts,
which accepts boys, girls and all sexual orientations while believing
that prejudice is best snuffed out like an untended campfire.
“The tipping point was the BSA’s approach to gay scouts and the gay
and lesbian parents,” Schweikert wrote in an email to The Huffington
Post. “Any form of discrimination, no matter how small, is never ok and
not something I can endorse and wish to teach to my children.“
Schweikert told HuffPost that he has received a “great response from gay and lesbian parents, as well as straight.”
Schweikert’s troop, to be called the
Fifth Brooklyn Scouts, will meet weekly at the Brooklyn Society for
Ethical Culture on Prospect Park West. The location is well-positioned
for excursions to Prospect Park for “nature observation,” but scouts
will also embark on overnight camping trips and weekend hikes. The troop
will learn classic scouting skills like knot-tying and community
service projects, and they’ll earn badges after they accomplish specific
The Merck Foundation became the latest corporate leader to speak out against the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay scouts and scout leaders.
The BSA’s policy of exclusion based on sexual orientation
directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines. The
Foundation re-evaluated funding for the BSA when the organization
restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual
orientation. Merck Foundation has notified the BSA of this decision.
As part of the broader review of funding decisions in 2013, the
Foundation is currently assessing all current and future funding
commitments to ensure that it is not funding organizations with policies
contrary to its own.
UPS has also PULLED FUNDING! And Verizon is now being asked to stop, as well.
Katy Perry Honored As a Trevor Hero
On December 2, The Trevor Project honored international
super star Katy Perry with the Trevor Hero Award and Audi of America with the
Trevor 2020 Award at “Trevor Live” in Los Angeles, California at the Hollywood Palladium.
This high-profile annual event benefits the life-saving,
life-affirming work of The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention
and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.
“I am so proud to be honored by The Trevor Project as a
Trevor Hero,” said Katy Perry. “I hope all LGBTQ youth know that they are as
valuable as anyone else, that they are amazing and unique, and make the world a
more vibrant place. Trevor’s life-saving, life-affirming work helps youth find
the future they deserve. I want every young person to choose to have a tomorrow
and to dream for the future.”
“And if they don’t get to hear it enough, I hope they know
that they can pick up the phone to call the Trevor Lifeline, or log on and talk
to someone on TrevorChat,” Perry continued. “It’s okay to ask for help. You are
worth it. Make a pledge to yourself to get help if you need it, because we need
you in our lives.”
“The Trevor Project is proud to have honored Katy Perry with
the Trevor Hero Award and Audi with the Trevor 2020 Award,” said Abbe Land,
Executive Director and CEO of The Trevor Project. “Trevor Live is where
entertainment and cultural change align to send a message to young lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth that they deserve a bright
future, and it starts the moment you reach out to The Trevor Project.”
Michael Patrick, Media and Entertainment Communications
manager at Audi I said, “Audi is grateful to be able to help encourage LGBTQ
youth to take pride in themselves and the communities that support them. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, and
being a true leader means being unique and being authentic.”
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization
providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and questioning young people under 24. Every day, The
Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline,
in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy.
Honored by the White House as a Champion of Change, The Trevor Project is a
leader and innovator in suicide prevention.
Learn more at TheTrevorProject.org.
Michigan Teacher suspended for allowing Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ pro-marriage equality song “Same Love.”
South Lyon’s Centennial Middle School in Michigan suspended performing arts teacher Susan Johnson for letting a student play Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ pro-marriage equality song “Same Love.”
THIS IS A LETTER FROM A STUDENT!
(GLAAD), which noted that Coulter’s “joke” added “to the idea that
family rejection of LGBT young people is expected, or even ‘normal.'”
I recognize that this is a joke, and that
she is not really taken seriously in any context anyway, but with this
coming right after National Coming Out Day, at the start of Ally Week
and just days before Spirit Day, I thought this would be a good
opportunity to talk about this idea of hers. There was a time in our
culture’s history when, if thousands of LGBT kids were to come out on
the same day, the next week genuinely would be exactly what Ann
describes, all across the country. Fathers disowning their sons and
kicking them out onto the street. Mothers locking up their daughters or
sending them to charm school. Children forced to undergo electro-shock
or even worse forms of “therapy” to rid themselves of their orientation.
To learn how to not be true to themselves.
And although we’ve come a long way from
those ideas as a cultural collective, I have no doubt that last week,
more than a few American households experienced the tragedy that Ann
joked about. Approximately 50% of LGBT youth experience some degree of
family rejection. There are as many as 100 thousand homeless LGBT youth
on our nation’s streets, and it’s estimated that LGBT youth make up as
much as 40% of our nation’s homeless youth population. LGBT youth who
are completely rejected by their parents are more than 8 times as likely
to have attempted suicide. Pretty funny, right?
Again, I know it’s a joke, but ANYTHING that adds to the idea that
family rejection of LGBT young people is expected, or even “normal”
enough to be casually joked about, causes harm. The kind of harm that
Spirit Day was specifically created to protect against.
So this week we’ll let the rest of America stand up for those young
people. With Spirit Day on Friday, I thought it would be a nice thought
to list some of the corporations and individuals who will be standing up
against Ann Coulter’s idea, and showing their support for LGBT youth
this week by going purple:
Facebook, the NBA, Major League Soccer, Times Square, the New York
Stock Exchange, the hosts of ‘Good Morning America,’ ‘The Talk,’ ‘E!
News,’ ‘Chelsea Lately,’ Dianna Agron, Sir Ian McKellen, Fun.,
Bernadette Peters, the cast of Days of Our Lives, Joel McHale, Cesar
Milan, the Duke Energy Tower, Toyota Financial Services, AMC
Entertainment, NBCUniversal, Nielsen, Omnicom Group, American Apparel,
AT&T, PepsiCo, American Airlines, Thomson Reuters, Warner Bros.
Not to mention the millions of everyday people across North America
who will be participating, and standing up in support of every LGBT
young person, including – and especially – those who came out last week.
Like I said, I’ve never taken Ann Coulter seriously, and I’m certainly
not going to start now. But the idea of family rejection is one that
does deserve serious attention as a society. Go purple on Friday, not
just to show LGBT young people that you support them, but to show Ann
Coulter what you stand for.
In the “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” season finale we were introduced to Honey Boo Boo’s “Uncle Poodle”
Uncle Poodle is Sugar Bear’s younger brother, Lee Thompson, who
happens to be gay. But, Uncle Poodle’s sexuality isn’t an issue because
“Ain’t nothing wrong with being a little gay! Everybody is a little
gay,” Honey Boo Boo shared.
In an interview with the Georgia Voice
last week, Thompson, 29, first explains the origins of “Uncle Poodle,”
telling the paper it all started with Boo Boo’s pageant coach.
“We were at practice one day, getting ready for a pageant. Her coach
was talking about her gay friends, and she said, ‘I love all my
poodles.’ Alana thought she was really talking about dogs. She wanted to
know how many poodles she had, and what were their names,” Thompson
said in his sit-down with Topher Payne. “And I said, ‘No, Alana, she’s
talking about gay people.’ Well, that did it. All gay people are poodles
to her now, and I’m her number one poodle.” Boo Boo would then use the
p-word to describe Anderson Cooper, who was at that point about a month
away from officially coming out.
Thompson later discussed how he
and long-time boyfriend Josh married in August, surrounded by friends
and family, something many may assume would cause a stir in the deep
south. It didn’t. Not in Midgeville, at least, and Thompson says all the
acceptance he has experienced comes from the fact that he accepts
“I’m gay, but I’m as redneck as I can get,” he says. “f
you want people to accept you, you have to show you don’t have a
problem with yourself and just be up front about who you are. If you do,
you earn people’s respect. If everybody would just go on and do that,
ignorant people couldn’t cause so many problems. I know this is how I
was born and I don’t need to explain it to anybody. I live my life for
who I am. That’s why ‘Born This Way’ is gonna be my next tattoo.”
anyone has a problem with him or the other few dozen LGBT people in the
area, he doesn’t know about it: “If there’s people who have a problem
with [homosexuality], they keep it to themselves, just like if I have a
problem with them, I keep it to myself.”
Spirit Day: Go Purple on October 19 for #SpiritDay
Join Spirit Day Ambassador Katy Butler and tell the Presidential
candidates to join millions by wearing purple on #SpiritDay to stand
against bullying and support LGBT youth!
Last year on Spirit Day I was so excited to see Ellen DeGeneres and
Oprah Winfrey wear purple on TV, see photos of Times Square lights in
purple and feel supported by my friends on Facebook who changed their
profile pictures to purple, and of course the students at my school who
wore purple in support.
Last year millions of people told LGBT kids they are not alone – just
by wearing purple. And who better to send that message than the two
candidates trying to be the leader of our country?
From Katy’s new Change.org petition:
If both of these influential men participate by simply wearing purple it
will show LGBT teens like me that there are powerful people who care
about us. I know what it’s like to feel alone, and seeing two of our
country’s political leaders show that they care about our lives could
make a huge difference to. LGBT students, who are 3-5 times more likely
to experience depression and attempt suicide than their counter parts.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney could take a big step towards ending that
feeling of isolation.
THE GAYS DIDN’T’ DO IT!
Thank goodness the Boy Scouts keep the gays out of their group. Because now they can’t blame us, for this!
Sept 16 (Reuters) – The Boy Scouts of America could face a wave of bad
publicity as decades of records of confirmed or alleged child molesters
within the U.S. organization are expected to be released in coming
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported
the organization failed to report allegations of sex abuse of scouts by
adult leaders and volunteers to police in hundreds of cases from 1970
to 1991. In some cases, the Boy Scouts helped the accused “cover their
tracks,” the paper said.
In the wake of revelations about systemic child sex abuse within the
Catholic Church and the recent Penn State sex abuse scandal, the files
threaten to damage the reputation of one of America’s most trusted
The organization is facing more than 50 pending child sexual abuse
cases in 18 states, according to Kelly Clark, another plaintiff
attorney in the Oregon case.
Happy Mother’s Day –
Unless You’re Gay
Mother’s Day has always been a special day for me — a time to
celebrate my mother, grandmothers, but most importantly, my children.
But this Mother’s Day, I won’t be celebrating as usual.
You probably heard that last month, the Boy Scouts of America told me
that I was no longer welcome to serve as scout leader of my 7-year-old
son’s Boy Scouts troop because I’m gay.
Like any mother, my heart was left broken.
So far, over 275,000 people have joined me at Change.org/scouts to tell the BSA that it’s time to end their long history of discrimination against gay scouts and LGBT leaders.
you join me, as well as celebrities including Julianne Moore and Josh
Hutcherson, this Mother’s Day to help tell the Scouts that they should
accept all moms by sharing my story on Facebook and Twitter?
Or, if you haven’t already, sign my petition at Change.org/scouts and join over 275,000 Americans demanding equality from one of our nation’s largest cultural institutions.
Though I won’t be spending Mother’s Day with my troop this year, with your help I can send a message to the Scouts in support of all loving moms.
Wishing you and your family a very happy Mother’s Day.
Former Scout Leader, Cub Scouts, Pack 109