Monthly Archives: August 2012

Teacher, John Rosi of Peninsula School District, encourages Bullying in his classroom

The video footage is six months old, captured from multiple angles by teens with mobile phones in a Kopachuck Middle School classroom.

In the images, more than a dozen students drag a smaller boy around the room, holding him like a hammock, peeling off his socks, writing on his feet, stuffing a sock in his mouth, holding a pillow over his face and covering him with chairs.

The spectacle goes on for 15 minutes, watched by a teacher, John Rosi, who joins in and smiles. At one point, he mugs for the phone cameras.

Rosi pokes the boy in the stomach, pretends to sit on him, points his rear toward the boy’s face and says, “I’m feeling kind of gassy.” Eventually, he tells the students to go back to their lessons. Only a few minutes of class time remain.

It wasn’t a P.E. class or a group activity. The Feb. 2 incident took place during “Kopatime,” a half-hour class intended for reading and math preparation.

Rosi, a 14-year veteran of the Peninsula School District, was suspended for 10 days and shifted out of Kopachuck classrooms last spring, according to the terms of an agreement signed in April of this year. He now works in a different school. His base salary as of 2010 was $64,174, with approximately $10,000 more for coaching duties.

The “last chance agreement” Rosi signed notes he accepted the suspension in lieu of termination.

Parents of the boy say that’s not good enough. They have requested a criminal investigation into the incident involving their son, then an 8th-grader. The parents say Peninsula School District officials handled the matter poorly, withheld information and downplayed the seriousness of the incident, characterizing it as roughhousing and poor classroom management by Rosi instead of extended bullying.

“(Rosi) is completely ignorant of the fact that he’s got a whole classroom hazing one kid,” said the boy’s father, interviewed Monday by The News Tribune. “They classified it as roughhousing. But it’s not 14 kids wrestling each other. It’s a dozen kids using my son to demonstrate their dominance over him.”

The News Tribune is not naming the boy or his parents, who obtained records of the school district’s investigation (including the videos) via public disclosure and shared them with the newspaper.

Rosi could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He did not respond to a voicemail message or a visit to his home. However, his statements about the incident appear in records of the school district’s investigation, conducted by an outside lawyer.

“I was aware the student reactions were being video recorded,” Rosi wrote in a Feb. 10 letter to district investigators. “I can honestly say that at the time I did not believe that any of the children were at risk of harm during their interactions. Nor did I view the incident as anything more than harmless childhood horse play and a chance for the kids to take a break from the daily grind.”

Rosi’s statement mentions his years as a wrestling coach and his ability to recognize potential harm. He calls the boy “a great kid,” and adds that the boy had been physical with him in the past, grabbing his leg or trying to tackle him in a playful way.

His statement concludes by saying he understands the classroom was not an appropriate place for horseplay. He states that he will view the incident as a “learning experience.”

The boy’s parents say that they learned of the incident Feb. 3, a day after it occurred, though they knew few details. Text messages and calls from fellow students flooded the boy’s phone, questioning what he’d done to Rosi, who had already been removed from the classroom. The messages blamed the boy for blowing the whistle, but the boy hadn’t complained to anyone – district officials learned of the incident when they saw other students looking at videos on their phones and laughing.

The boy’s mother recalls asking to meet with the school principal the next morning. The boy did not want to go to school that day, his mother said. When they arrived at Kopachuck he was sent to Rosi’s class while his mother met with the principal.

“He came out five minutes later crying, and saying he just wanted to end his life,” the boy’s father said.

The parents have since enrolled the boy in a private school at their own expense, following advice from a therapist. They say school officials offered little help in the aftermath of the incident, apart from occasional home tutoring.

“We take student safety very seriously,” said acting Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto, who answered questions about the incident during a Tuesday interview. “We investigated it. We took disciplinary and remedial action. We feel like we appropriately dealt with it. And we’ve been working closely with the parents ever since.”

The boy’s parents disagree. They say district kept them in the dark at first and declined to provide any details of the incident.

“I don’t think that they’ve addressed the dangers to the students,” the father said. “They’ve never regarded this as a bullying incident or a psychologically traumatizing incident for our son.”

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the complaint and seeking records of the school district’s investigation, said detective Lynelle Anderson, spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives have not interviewed Rosi yet, Anderson said. They are trying to find out whether school officials – mandatory reporters of abuse under state law – relayed the incident to law enforcement or state child protection agents at the time.

“We’ll have to look at what the report says, but that could be an issue,” Anderson said. “Could be a big one.”

Cuzzetto, the acting superintendent, said he thought school officials did report the incident to Child Protective Services, but he said he would have to consult school records to be certain.

To watch the video click on the link below.  WARNING: It is disturbing.
Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags:

After Gay Son’s Suicide, Mother Finds Blame in Herself and in Her Church


New York Times feature

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — When Tyler Clementi told his parents he was gay, two days before he left for Rutgers University in the fall of 2010, he said he had known since middle school.

Richard Perry/The New York Times

After Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student, died, his parents left their church, because staying there would suggest that they supported its teachings against homosexuality.

Richard Perry/The New York Times

A concert photo of Tyler Clementi hangs in his parents’ home.

“So he did have a side that he didn’t open up to us, obviously,” his mother, Jane Clementi, said, sitting in her kitchen here nearly two years later. “That was one of the things that hurt me the most, that he was hiding something so much. Because I thought we had a pretty open relationship.”

In her surprise, she had peppered him with questions: “How do you know? Who are you going to talk to? Who are you going to tell?” Tyler told a friend that the conversation had not gone well. His father had been “very accepting,” he wrote in a text message. “Mom has basically completely rejected me.”

Three weeks later, he jumped off the George Washington Bridge after discovering that his roommate had used a webcam to spy on him having sex and that he had sent out Twitter messages encouraging others to watch.

An international spotlight turned the episode into a cautionary coming-out story, of a young man struggling with his sexuality and the damage inflicted by bullying. His roommate, Dharun Ravi, was tried and convicted of intimidation and invasion of privacy; he served a short jail sentence. But the trial never directly addressed the question at the heart of the story — what prompted a promising college freshman to kill himself?

It is that question that lingers over the household here on a tidy street in this prosperous suburb.

The Clementis continue to blame the bad luck of a roommate lottery and the cowardice of students who failed to step up and say that the spying was wrong.

But their son’s suicide has also forced changes, and new honesty, upon them. They have left the church that made Ms. Clementi so resistant to her son’s declaration. Their middle son, James, acknowledged what the family had long suspected and said that he, too, was gay. The family is devoting itself to a foundation promoting acceptance with the hope of preventing the suicides of gay teenagers.

Most of all, Ms. Clementi has had to grapple with her own role in Tyler’s death.

“People talk about coming out of the closet — it’s parents coming out of the closet, too,” she said. “I wasn’t really ready for that.”

At the time Tyler sat down to tell his parents he was gay, she believed that homosexuality was a sin, as her evangelical church taught. She said she was not ready to tell friends, protecting her son — and herself — from what would surely be the harsh judgments of others.

“It did not change the fact that I loved my son,” she said. “I did need to think about how that would fit into my thoughts on homosexuality.”

Yet it did not occur to her that Tyler would think she did not accept him. She had long talked with him about how his brother James was gay — though at the time James had not said he was. “Tyler knew we weren’t going to reject him or stop paying for college for him or not let him come home, because James had done all those things and we had a good relationship,” she said.

Tyler’s father, Joe Clementi, characterized the last month in his son’s life as a “rough spot.” But Ms. Clementi said she believed he was “confident, comfortable” in his decision. He left for Rutgers telling his parents about plans to attend events for gay students. He reported having gone to New York with new friends to see plays; his parents took this to mean he was adjusting well.

During a phone call one afternoon he sounded different. “A little sad,” Ms. Clementi said. “I thought maybe it was adjusting to being away. I told him how much I missed him, he got a little teary and told me he’d missed me, too. I thought he’d been away too much.”

That evening, Joe Clementi was awakened by a call from the Port Authority police, saying they had Tyler’s wallet and phone, that he’d been seen — then not seen — on the bridge.

In the months after Tyler’s death, some of Ms. Clementi’s friends confided that they, too, had gay children. She blames religion for the shame surrounding it — in the conversation about coming out, Tyler told his mother he did not think he could be Christian and gay.


“I think some people think that sexual orientation can be changed or prayed over,” she said now, in her kitchen. “But I know sexual orientation is not up for negotiation. I don’t think my children need to be changed. I think that what needed changing is attitudes, or myself, or maybe some other people I know.”

She decided she could no longer attend her church, because doing so would suggest she supported its teachings against homosexuality. And she took strength from reading the Bible as she reconsidered her views.

“At this point I think Jesus is more about reconciliation and love,” she said. “He spoke more about divorce than homosexuality, but you can be divorced and join a church more than you can be gay and join churches.”

What has troubled her most is the thought that Tyler believed she had rejected him.

Joe Clementi argues that his son was speaking with classic teenage exaggeration to a friend, that the remark was taken out of context by people who did not know the family, or the facts. “Just to be clear: Tyler had two parents, and I didn’t have any problem with it,” he said. “He had support.”

But Ms. Clementi can’t dismiss it that easily. “Obviously he felt that way, he needed to tell his friend that.”

Sitting in the courtroom every day during Mr. Ravi’s trial this winter, the Clementis often looked brittle, and rarely spoke. But here in their home, next to the elementary school that all three of their boys attended, they spoke openly. They have also been speaking to school and corporate groups about their experience. And though she supports the prosecution’s appeal of the 30-day sentence Mr. Ravi received on the ground that that it was too short, Ms. Clementi said, “It won’t change my life one way or another.”

It is a relief to have come out of the closet, she said. “It is not something I would have done on my own.”

She thinks often about her last phone call with Tyler, hours before he went to the bridge.

“I was sitting right over there,” she said, pointing to a corner of the kitchen. They had what seemed like an innocuous discussion about whether his parents should take Tyler’s bike to Rutgers for him. It was expensive and beloved, and he had not wanted it stolen.

“He got very teary and wistful — ‘Oh, my bike, I forgot about my bike,’ ” she recalled. “After the fact I think about it in different terms, but at the time, I didn’t. He said, ‘No, keep it at home.’ ”

She cannot recall how they said goodbye.

“It was probably the way we said goodbye all the time,” she said. “ ‘Goodbye, I love you,’ ‘I love you more.’ That was the way we usually ended it. I’m sure that’s how we ended it that time, too.”


Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags: , , ,

It’s 10 pm, where are your kids being bullied today? (Answer: Facebook)

It’s 10 pm, where are your kids being bullied today? (Answer: Facebook)

August 22, 2012 10:32 AM 

Passing notes is passé. Teens supplement books and backpacks with smartphones and social networks and while we’re sure your kid is the good kid, a reported one in four teens are being bullied online, and 50 percent of teens are using the Internet to cheat.

Bullying exists almost everywhere. When you’re a teen, it’s in a high-school’s hallways, gym class, or lunch time. But today the traditional freshmen swirly is replaced by a tagged picture of your daughter as a humpback whale with the caption, “Feed me!” at the bottom.McAfee completed its 2012 Teen Internet Behavior Study, and found the following had the highest amount of bullying:

  • 92 percent of teens are bullied on Facebook
  • 24 percent of teens are bullied on Twitter
  • 18 percent of teens are bullied on Myspace (still?!)
  • 15 percent of teens are bullied on instant messaging

Facebook knows bullying happens on its social network. The company makes a significant effort to combat bullying and has whole teams dedicated to sorting out reported contentsuch as rude comments, photo tags, and posts. It even has a department called the Hate and Harassment team that deals with reported content that suggests violent or dangerous behavior, such as threats of suicide. In those cases, Facebook will rope in law enforcement, otherwise it will ask the offender to take down the aggressive content and stop bullying via a formal message.

According to McAfee’s study, children often take matters into their own hands, as opposed to using channels like the reporting tools Facebook provides. A huge 65.8 percent of teams say they responded to the bully directly. As we all know, however, online bullying rarely stays online. Of that 65.8 percent, 35 percent responded in person, and 4.5 percent of teens report physically fighting the bully.

And poor online behavior doesn’t stop with bullying. Fifty percent of teens will cheat and look up test and homework answers online. Fifteen percent specifically said they cheated on a test using their mobile phone. Only three percent of parents believed it. Indeed over 77 percent of parents weren’t worried about online cheating at all.

There’s only a week left until September. It’s time to get your head out of the sand.

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dan Savage And Brian Brown Debate on Same Sex Marriage

Dan Savage And Brian Brown: LGBT Rights Advocate Meets NOM President For Dinner Debate

Hour Long Video

It’s too bad that in 2012 this kind of a discussion still needs to happen.  Shows you how slow man has progressed over the centuries.  They haven’t.

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , , ,

Auto shop helps fix gay kid’s car after bullies deface it

Jordan Addison was used to his car being defaced with gay slurs — it happened four times in 3 months. The bullied college student in Roanoke, Va., would try to get rid of them to no avail. At one point, someone (probably not a strong speller) keyed the word “dye” into the side. Addison couldn’t afford the $2,500 bill and had basically resigned himself to driving the damaged vehicle when a local body shop stepped in. Quality Auto Paint and Body rallied 10 local businesses and, along with their own donation, was able to fix the car and add $10,000 in extra features. Who’s laughing now?

Watch Video:

Elizabeth Harrington

A college student has a “new” car. It’s all thanks to a Roanoke auto shop.

Jordan Addison is a student at Radford University. Between March and May of this year his car was vandalized four times.  Once at his home and three times on-campus.

“The first time there were some homophobic slurs keyed into the side of it,” says Addison, “Then the second time I had dye keyed into it.”

Addison believes he was targeted because he’s gay.  The homophobic slur was written across one side of this car and he tried to everything to cover it but nothing worked.

“The lowest estimate I got just to fix the damage to the doors was like $2,500 and for a college student that’s a lot of money,” says Addison.

Richard Henegar, Jr. heard what happened to Addison.

“Once I saw the vandalism that was done to it I said that’s uncalled for we’re gonna fix your car that’s the least we can do,” says Henegar.

He’s the manager at Quality Auto Paint and Body in Roanoke and the shop decided to help Addison out for free.

Henegar estimates they spent 100 hours in the last two weeks working on the car.  There are new tires, a new paint job, tinted windows, new security system, and new stereo. The total cost was well over $10,000.

The new and improved car was unveiled to Addison on Monday.  He was speechless.

“It looks great,” says Addison, “It hasn’t looked that great the entire time I’ve had it.”

“We were glad to see he was pleased with it,” says Henegar.

Henegar says 10 other businesses helped out.

“We can’t afford to do this ourselves,” says Henegar, “We might have all the good intentions in the world but I can’t finance something like this ourselves.”

Those businesses include Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon’s Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val’s Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ’s Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa.


Don’t know if someone shown this but the owner posted the names of other places in another blog, I think they should be mentioned too:

“Thanks again to everybody for their support! But again, this would not have been possible w/out the support of our vendors. Below is a list of the vendors and how they contributed.

-Advance Auto Parts – $250 Donation
-Aj’s Landscaping – Body work
-Moon’s Auto Body – Paint
-James T. Davis – Supplied the paint
-Press Press Merch – Donated/printed our Bully Project T-Shirts!
-Rice Toyota – $200 Donation
-The Rod Shop – Window Tint, Alarm and Stereo system instal
-Anchor Sales – Vent Visors
-Sun Solutions – All “Quality” related decals/stickers
-B&C Exterminating – $220 Donation
-Twists & Turns – Powder Coated the wheels
-Sunnybrook Auto Spa – Full detail
-Twisted Image Pin-striping – Hand Painted the human rights campaign symbol.
-Parts Unlimited – CD Player
-White Tire/GCR – Tire/mount Balance & Alighment
-Mike Newcomb – Suspension Install
-Chad Thomas – Reassembly
-Adom Lyon – Reassembly and comedic relief
-Jamie Horst – Reassembly & Electrical
-Gavin Macbrien – Interior
-Valley Automotive Excellence – Reassembly
-Val’s Automotive – Offered to do all mechanical work and give it a tune up but we never had time to get it to her 😦
-East Coast Auto Salvage – Donated a master window switch
-John Cassady – My right hand man in all my mischievous endeavors 😉
-Richard Henegar SR – Helped with the finishing touches and allowed me to take on this project in HIS shop.

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Young Adult | Tags: , , , , , ,

Show your support for the gay community

Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha & Moses preached this. It’s in every holy book.

“Love thy neighbor as thy self.”

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

Male Couples Face Pressure to Fill Cradles


Fabrizio Costantini for The New York Times
John Corvino, right, and his partner, Mark Lock, with Mr. Lock’s niece. Neither wants children.

WASHINGTON — When the jubilant couple were wed in June, they exchanged personalized vows and titanium rings, cheered the heartfelt toasts and danced themselves breathless. Then, as the evening was winding down, unexpected questions started popping up.

One after another, their guests began asking: Are you going to have kids? When are you going to have kids?

Tom Lotito and Matt Hay, both 26, could not help but feel moved. They never imagined as teenagers that they would ever get married, much less that friends and family members would pester them about having children.

“It’s another way that I feel like what we have is valid in the eyes of other people,” said Mr. Hay, who married Mr. Lotito in June before 133 guests.

As lawmakers and courts expand the legal definition of the American family, same-sex couples are beginning to feel the same what-about-children pressure that heterosexual twosomes have long felt.

For some couples, it is another welcome sign of their increasing inclusion in the American mainstream. But for others, who hear the persistent questions at the office, dinner parties and family get-togethers, the matter can be far more complicated.

Many gay men had resigned themselves to the idea that they would never be accepted by society as loving parents and assumed they would never have children. They grieved that loss and moved on, even as other gay men and lesbians fully embraced childless lives. So the questions can unearth bittersweet feelings and cause deep divisions within a couple over whether to have children at all, now that parenting among same-sex couples is becoming more common.

The process can be also daunting logistically and financially, as would-be parents wrestle with whether to adopt or use a surrogate. And once they have children, many same-sex couples still endure the inevitable criticism — spoken or unspoken — from those who remain uncomfortable with the notion of their being parents.

But support for same-sex parents is growing steadily among Americans. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in July and released last week found for the first time that a majority of people surveyed — 52 percent — said that gay men and lesbians should be allowed to adopt children, up from 46 percent in 2008 and 38 percent in 1999.

The shift in public opinion and the simple question — Are you having children? — is nothing short of a marvel to some gay men, perhaps even more so than to lesbians, for whom giving birth has always been an option.

Greg Moore, 62, a retired corporate manager in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., shakes his head with wonder when he sees young male couples chattering about their toddlers. That possibility seemed hopelessly out of reach when he and his 74-year-old husband, who have been together for 44 years and married in 2008, dreamed of having children. “Gay people didn’t have kids,” he said wistfully. “Straight people had kids.”

Popular culture is helping rewrite that script. Gay men who have children, or are considering having children, are becoming increasingly visible on network television. In “Modern Family,” the nation’s most popular television show, the couple Mitchell and Cameron considered adopting a second child this past season. In “Scandal,” a new ABC series, a middle-aged White House staff member groused about his partner’s desire to adopt a baby from Ethiopia. And this fall, a new NBC sitcom called “The New Normal” will feature a gay couple and their surrogate.

The shift is also reflected in census data. Between 2000 and 2010, among same-sex couples raising children, the percentage of couples with adopted children increased to 20 percent from 9 percent, according to an analysis by Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles. (Most same-sex couples with adopted children are lesbians, but gay men make up a growing share, accounting for nearly a third of such couples in 2010, up from a fifth in 2000.)

“The definition of family is unquestionably evolving,” Dr. Gates said.

But he also noted that many Americans remain deeply opposed to gay parents raising children. Same-sex couples are explicitly prohibited from adopting in two states — Utah and Mississippi — and they face significant legal hurdles in about half of all other states, particularly because they cannot legally marry in those states. And some religious leaders have refused to provide adoption services to gay couples.

Roman Catholic bishops in Washington, D.C., Illinois and Massachusetts have shuttered adoption services rather than comply with requirements that they consider same-sex couples as adoptive parents.

As a result, even in Democratic strongholds like Washington, some gay men keep their dreams of having children mostly to themselves.

But for Jeff Krehely, 35, who has been married for six years, there is no escaping the question in his social circles. His friends ask. His colleagues ask. His parents are so eager that they have taken to sending birthday cards to his two cats (they call them the “grandkitties”).

On the Fourth of July, when Mr. Krehely and his husband sipped iced coffee with several other gay couples, he knew it was only a matter of time before the subject came up. Three of the five couples said they were seriously considering adopting.

“Everyone’s asking: What’s your timetable? What’s your plan?” said Mr. Krehely, a policy analyst, who is still weighing whether to take the plunge.

But some gay men who have no plans to have children view the shift as something of a mixed blessing. On one hand, they welcome the sense of inclusion that comes with always being asked about children. On the other hand, they are always being asked about children.

Rudolph Chandler, 57, and George Walker, 43, who married in 2010, thought long and hard before they decided against having children. They say they greatly admire their friends who are parents. But these days, they are asked so often about their child-rearing plans that they roll their eyes oh-so-subtly when it comes up. “It’s irritating, tiring,” said Mr. Chandler, a health economist.

John Corvino, 43, chairman of the philosophy department at Wayne State University in Detroit, has even come up with a standard response that he leavens with a dash of humor when asked if he wants children: “To shovel the snow and mow the lawn, sure,” he says. “Beyond that, no.”

As for Mr. Lotito and Mr. Hay, the couple who married in June, in North Bethesda, Md., they said they were taken aback by the inquiries about children on their big night. “I was kind of like, ‘The wedding’s still going on, guys,’ ” Mr. Lotito said. “It’s flattering, but that’s really not on my radar.”

Mr. Lotito, who handles contracts for a federal agency, said he has never really wanted children. Mr. Hay is an elementary school music teacher. “He has like 800 children a week,” Mr. Lotito said. “It’s nice not to have them when he comes home.”

That has not deterred friends and relatives from continuing to ask. Mr. Lotito’s mother, Lisa Sanno, who dreams of grandchildren and asked about them (yet again) at the wedding, has been thinking about all the options.

At the moment, she is enamored with the idea of a surrogate who might give her son and son-in-law each a biological child. “They’re young,” said Ms. Sanno, ever the optimist. “Maybe they’ll change their minds.”


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Father disowns gay son and writes him a letter that goes viral

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult

A video shot by a teenager at the “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” last week in San Marcos has gotten lots of attention on YouTube.

SAN MARCOS, Calif. – A video shot by a teenager at the “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” last week in San Marcos has gotten lots of attention on YouTube.

Anzy McWha, the 16-year-old daughter of Jane Stimmel of San Marcos, named her video “Chick Fil A” and as of Tuesday morning it has been seen by 62,641 people on YouTube. The video has been given 589 likes and 153 dislikes.

Stimmel, who identifies as a lesbian and a single parent, alerted San Diego Gay & Lesbian News to the video and said she was very proud of her daughter.

The family, which includes 14-year-old daughter Maddix, decided to go to Chick-fil-A to check out the turnout for the event held on Aug. 1.

“I wanted to just go and see if there would be a lot of people attending, and I think it is important for my daughters to see these types of events,” Stimmel said. “When we got there, we were all in shock at how many people were there.”

Anzy had been at yearbook camp all day so she had with her a video camera, plus she had just taken a course on interviewing.

“She lept out of the car and on the fly came up with questions and just jumped in there to record the events,” Stimmel said, who can be seen in the video as the women in a car at the beginning of the tape.

Those questioned gave some stunning responses to Anzy’s questions, and the teen has heard back from folks on both sides of the issue.

“She has gotten A LOT of feedback,” Stimmel said. “She goes to a very conservative school and most of them do not understand that she was not making fun of them exercising their free speech … it was the fact that they were so dogmatic without understanding the issues or the facts.

“She has had many comments on YouTube … She has removed, as much as she can, the hate speech but left any criticism of the video. One of the biggest criticisms was over her saying ‘redneck convention’ and calling them ‘stupid.’ But she is 16 and she was feeling very protective of me when she heard all the derogatory remarks and just reacted … plus she was trying to make it funny.”

For her part, Anzy via YouTube responded to accusations that she used derogatory language to describe the Chick-fil-A supporters.

“In terms of the name calling, this video was not intended as hard-hitting journalism. It was just something funny for my friends, I never expected so many people to see it. I think the video would have been more effective had I allowed them to speak for themselves,” Anzy wrote, adding a smiley face.

Ever the proud mother, Stimmel shared Anzy’s video with her girlfriend and their friends, then a professor friend from Pace University shared it … and suddenly the video was developing an audience online.

“The video just seems to sum up the problem and people can relate to how unguarded the people are, maybe because of Anzy’s age, so they share it. She talked to a lot of people her age because she is very interested in how uninformed people her age are,” Stimmel said.



Categories: Gay Teens | Tags: , , , , ,

Opinion: America Is Fat. Apparently, It’s Anti-Gay & Binges On Chikin, Too.


Chick-Fil-A’s COO is not God.

Fast food will make you fat.

Bullying is bad.

This week, I’ve debated with friends, prayed (alone) and talked with young gay men about the Chick-Fil-A debacle.

Yes, an American has the right to express his/her opinions. Yes, Chick-Fil-A’s sweet tea is pretty darn good. But, no, a company in the public eye that serves, and employs, so many young people should not discriminate — especially during a gay teen suicide epidemic.
Unitarian Minister Debra Haffner says that we have known for more than 30 years that at least one third of all suicides to teens are to gay youth. This means, according to’s Ciara Thomas, that “gay teens are 300% more likely to kill themselves than heterosexual youth.”

So, why add additional stress to their lives?

When Chick-Fil-A’s CEO made his statement, he might not have realized, but he was promoting a form of bullying.

What if either a Twitter or Facebook exec had made these statements? All hell would have broken loose. Why? Because companies in the public eye that serve young people have a responsibility to look out for our youth and our families. No exec should make statements about a group of people based on gender, religion, race or sexual preference – because it leads to hate in communities, and, in some cases, families. Chick-Fil-A is no different.

I’ve received several notes, DMs and tweets from youngsters:

  • One young gay man is from a family in the south. His dad, mom and siblings have been running around, talking about how great it is that Chick-Fil-A has taken a stand against gays — and stood in line for sandwiches. That kid cannot speak out. If he does, he might get kicked out of his home.
  • Another teen was sent to his room for saying he doesn’t like Chick-Fil-A because it is hurting his LGBT friends.
  • A girl that works at Chick-Fil-A also wrote to us. She isn’t sure if she is gay, but thinks she might be a lesbian. She is now extremely stressed about the situation at work, but needs the money.
  • Another teen-aged boy said his friends that work at Chick-Fil-A are being treated badly by their peers — because their friends disagree with the company’s stance. But, they need the money and cannot quit.

chickfila2012-08-02It’s really strange to me how some conservative Christians in America have been so quick to almost idolize a chain of restaurants for taking a public stand against gay marriage, but have been so slow to realize they are supporting something that hurts people — possibly even their own children.

If you are a true Christian, do you want to hurt people? COO Dan Cathy is not God.

On the flip side, I also thought it was strange that the liberals among us are protesting the stance with signage and chants outside Chick-Fil-A restaurants. Why waste your valuable energy?

I personally think we should let them eat their chikin until they’re so full of grease that they have to hit the Pepto. Then, maybe they’ll have some time on their porcelain goddesses to think about the big picture.

Pastor Mike Patz of Gainesville, Fla., who wrote about the Chick-Fil-A disaster a bit more eloquently and Christian-like than I, writes:

“I am so sorry today for all the hatred that Christians have dished out toward gays. I am so sorry for all of the homophobic sarcasm that has come from the pulpits of Christian ministers. I am so sorry for the way we pick and choose which sins to condemn. I am so sorry that we have claimed to follow Jesus while we neglected widows and orphans, and then engaged in gossip and gluttony. I am so sorry that we have provided such a bad example for the rest of society to follow. I’m embarrassed, I’m ashamed, and I repent. I’m serious. I repent.”

On my Facebook page, I (a self-professed health nut) poked fun at the sad sight of people that were waiting in line to get chicken sandwiches — because so many of them were just plain fat.

Most of America is fat. It’s an awful truth. The “Classic” Chick-Fil-A sandwich has 440 calories and 16 grams of fat, and a medium order of “Waffle Fries” contains 390 calories and 20 grams of fat.Just ask Michelle Obama how much clogging that’s doing to America’s arteries.

Even sadder, however, is the fact that it is usually pretty hard to get people in the USA to stand up for their rights (or what they believe is their right).

But, in this case, since there was food involved, Americans came out in droves to gorge — and to support bullying.


About the author: Kelly Ann Collins is the founder of Glittarazzi. The opinions expressed in this article are her own. She is also very annoyed that she will now have to boycott Chick-Fil-A’s yummy sweet tea — for life. Have a comment? Leave it below, or tweet Kelly Ann @kellyanncollins.

Categories: Bullying, Gay Teens, Teen Suicide, Young Adult

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