Posts Tagged With: current-events

N.Y. Teen Blinded After Being Assaulted by Anti-Gay Bullies

Kardin Ulysse (middle)

Kardin Ulysse (middle)  

A teen from Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs of New York City, is blind in one eye after he was physically assaulted by bullies who hurled homophobic slurs at him in a school cafeteria, New York Daily News reported.

Kardin Ulysse, 14, who was beaten on June 5 at Roy H. Mann Junior High School, has undergone two eye surgeries. The Daily News says it is unclear if Ulysse went blind from the bullies’ multiple punches to the face or from the shards of lens from his eyeglasses that damaged his cornea.

“My son is very upset. He says, ’Daddy, am I ever going to be able to see again?’ ” Pierre Ulysse, Kardin’s father, said.

“The doctor says he needs a transplant,” he said. “For me to send him to school with two eyes and come back with one eye is really absurd. I want the world to know about this,” he said.

According to a report by the New York City Department of Education the eight-grader says two seventh-graders attacked him and called him a “fucking faggot,” a “transvestite,” “gay” and other anti-gay slurs. One of the bullies held Kardin down while the other brutally punched his face, head and neck. The teen managed to break away but the fight continued until school officials finally stopped the assault.

The Ulysse family is planning to sue the city for $16 million for “failing to properly supervise the students,” the publication says.

The family’s lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, requested that authorities look into the attack to find out if it was a hate crime so he can upgrade the criminal charges to felonies. Since the attackers are under the age of 18 they were charged with misdemeanors in Family Court.

When the media asked Kardin why the bullies used anti-gay slurs the teen said, “I think he said that to hurt me and because he’s a bad person.”

Kardin says he has been a victim of bullying for a while and claims that in October a bully assaulted him and tried to take his lunch money. Parents of a 13-year-old student filed a lawsuit against the school last year for bullying, the article notes.

The spokesman for the Department of Education said Kardin’s incident is being taken “very seriously” by the school’s principle who contacted the authorities at the time of fight.

A survey from the department showed that 63% of the students at Roy H. Mann said they were harassed or threatened by a classmate at least once last year based on their race, religion, ethnicity, citizenship status, sexual orientation or gender.

The survey also said that 40% of the students didn’t feel safe in the building and 44% said that students threaten or bully other students “most of the time” or “all of the time.”

It’s no surprise that bullying in schools has become a major issue in the past few years as it has gained massive media attention. Bullying impacts LGBT students as well as straight students.

Earlier this month a family from New Jersey filed a federal lawsuit against a school for not doing enough to protect their son from being constantly bullied because classmates thought he was gay. After parents spoke with school officials, the administration told them that their son should “make new friends,” “enroll in sports” or move to a new school district.

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

Caiden Cowger spews hatred against certain people on the radio then cries about it later

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An Upshur County teen who earned Internet infamy last week for making anti-gay comments has vowed to stand his ground.

Caiden Cowger, 14, a self-proclaimed “conservative Internet radio talk show host,” bashed gays in a recent video, labeling the practice “perverted” and “disgusting.”

“It’s getting worse where I’m at,” Cowger said in the video, which was reposted by after he claims his YouTube account was hacked and deleted Wednesday. “I see younger people that is turning out to be homosexuals …  all of them are starting to turn to homosexuals. …  And it is sickening. It sickens me.”

Cowger argued that homosexuality is a belief, not a decision, and that gay people are “not born that way, no matter what Lady GaGa says.”

He’s of course 100% dead wrong, but anyone who has any level of a brain knows that.

Cowger attacked President Barack Obama, alleging he is encouraging homosexuality.

“(Obama) is saying ‘Homosexuals, you can get married, and it’s all right, it’s all right to be gay, we’ll make it better for you,'” Cowger said in his video.

That’s fed to him by those around him as Obama has done no such thing.

“I’m going to tell you this, guys. President Obama, Vice President Biden, is making kids gay!” he shouted. “They are encouraging kids to think, ‘You know what, they’re talking about being a homosexual, and they’re saying that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, so you know what? I think I might try that out for a little bit.'”

Cowger’s previous shows, which were hosted on audio hosting website, were removed from the site Friday due to “offensive contents.”

“While we not only support free speech, we help it find its way to more people faster and easier with our service that is the audio equivalent of YouTube, but like them, we cannot and will not condone hate speech,” said Spreaker CEO Francesco Baschieri in a statement released Saturday.

“Consequently, we have pulled down audio content from Caiden Cowgar (sic), whose recent gay-bashing clearly crosses the line from free — to hate — speech.”

Cowger created a new YouTube account shortly after his previous account was deleted. In a video uploaded to his new account on Thursday, he defended his prior statements and vowed to stay on the air, citing his First Amendment rights.

He has that right to bash, just like we all have the right to bash and fight back!

“I have every right to voice my opinion. I have every right to express my views. And who are you to try to stop me? You’re trying to shut me down because of what I have to say,” Cowger said. “You’re not going to silence me. I have every right to voice my opinion and I plan on doing this for a long time. So good luck, you’re going to have to put up with me.”

He’s also going to have to put up with us for a very long time too!

In his May 30 show, Cowger specifically called out Fairness West Virginia, a civil rights advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. He said because of the organization, which he called “stupid,” a young boy in his church felt bullied when a girl told him she prayed for him.

Dr. Coy Flowers, M.D., president of the board of directors of Fairness West Virginia, said it is unfortunate that government policies allow hate speech to flourish.

“The environment needs to change,” Flowers said, saying that Cowger is a product of his environment. “We need to change governmental policies to send a message to everybody that everybody is equal under the law.”

Flowers added he doesn’t want national or in-state media to believe behavior like Cowger’s is the norm among West Virginia’s youth.

“He’s 14. I don’t think anyone should be incredibly hard on him personally,” Flowers said. “This is an isolated 14-year-old who is unwise in the things he chose to say. I hope the media chooses to focus on the vast majority of West Virginians who have respect and dignity for their peers.”

Caiden Cowger is a perfect example of someone who does not think for themselves.    The drivel he cites is all hate speech that has been fed to him by his parents, relatives and his church.  He simply doesn’t know any better.

On Wednesday, Cowger’s controversial clip landed on the homepages of popular news sites such as Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and TMZ. The postings provoked a flood of mostly negative comments toward Cowger.

On his website, he says that June is no longer one of his favorite months because Obama named it Gay Pride Month.

Cowger, a Pentecostal Christian who has interviewed former West Virginia Senate candidate John Raese and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain on his show, started “The Caiden Cowger Program” on Dec. 5, 2010. On the show’s Facebook page, he lists Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as his “personal interests,” and writes that the 2004 presidential election spurred his interest in politics when he was 8 years old.

Cowger’s show airs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays on his website,

Cowger could not be reached for comment Thursday or Sunday (naturally). An email and multiple Facebook messages to Cowger went unanswered (surprise, surprise).

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

Debbie Piscitella gets kudos for allegedly choking a 14-year old boy to protect her daughter from being cyber-bullied on Facebook.

Debbie Piscitella allegedly choked a 14-year old boy to protect her daughter from being cyber-bullied on Facebook.  Before you fling your hands up in an uproar.  The boy had it coming.

Debbie Piscitella took the act of protecting her daughter too far when she allegedly choked the girl’s bully during an encounter in a local mall, according to the Huffington Post. The bully, whose name has not been released, allegedly made fun of the girl’s weight on facebook, and said she “didn’t deserve to live,” among other cruel things, according to ABC.

During a segment on Good Morning America, Piscitella, who was arrested for child abuse after allegedly attacking the 14-year old boy, stated that she “lost it” and does regret her actions.

It’s unfortunate she was arrested, but I still stand by her.  If the boy’s parents aren’t going to do anything about it and neither is anyone else, then sometimes we take matters into our own hands.  However, in all fairness to the boy’s parents, they apparently didn’t know he was harassing this poor girl.  Next time as much as you want to kick the boys ass, just go to the boys parents and let them take care of that.

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

Caiden Cowger, Conservative Teen Radio Host delivers anti-gay rhetoric speech

Caiden Cowger

Meet your enemy! A West Virginia-based teen radio host is making waves after proclaiming that President Obama “is making kids gay” in a recent episode.

Fourteen-year-old Caiden Cowgirl, I mean Caiden Cowger, who hosts the twice-weekly “Caiden Cowger Show,” made his anti-gay proclamations in a recent broadcast, video of which was uploaded to his YouTube channel on May 26. “Homosexuality is a belief,” Cowger, who has previously interviewed former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, declares. “The person is not born that way, no matter what Lady Gaga says…it is a decision.”

Homosexuality is of course not a belief.  No one chooses to be gay.  No one chooses a life that would permanently ostracize them by dweebs like Caiden Cowger.

After confessing that he was once friends with some kids who have since come out as gay, he notes, “They were not homosexuals [then]…they just decided all of a sudden, ‘I think I’m going to be gay,'” before he eventually concludes, “I’m going to tell you this, guys: President Obama…Vice President Biden…is making kids gay!”

Cowger, who is identified by The New Civil Rights Movement as a Pentecostal Christian, slams homosexuality as “a perverted belief, it’s immoral and not natural” before noting, “I’m not for bullying homosexuals, I believe that it’s wrong. But when you’re trying to teach them the word of God and they consider that bullying…I find that a big problem, not being allowed to convert other people to my religion.”

On his Facebook page, Cowger cites Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as his influences, but professes, “I make up my own mind. People don’t do that for me. I can make deside [sic] my own beliefs.”  That’s also not the case.  Caiden Cowger does not think for himself.  He spews out hateful rhetoric that is spit out by those around him.  He’s a follower, not a leader.

This isn’t the first time Cowger has slammed the Obama administration. Noting that June is “no longer one of [his] favorite months” on his website, he adds, “I want STRAIGHT PRIDE MONTH! I mean, fair is fair here!”  He’s also an idiot because there is no need for Straight Pride Month.  Straight people are not bothered and condemned the way Gays are.  The tables need to be turned so we can start harassing and bothering people like Caiden Cowger, then he can have his little straight pride month.

Conservative Blogger, Dana Loesch, goes on a rampage against others for not defending this teen that delivered hate speech towards an entire group.  The reason she goes on a rampage is because she sides with him.  If the teen had attacked her and her ways or her Tea Party then she’d have a field day with that.  All people are asking is for a little respect.  The reason they attacked the kid, deservedly so, is because he’s spewing hate.

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

Why would “anti-bullying” youth convention speaker Dan Savage mock the Bible, Christian teens?

The objective and at times opposing view, but with a good point since I was not a fan of Dan Savage’s rant.  Whether he was right or not, that’s not the way to win people over by demanding it.

The report is difficult to believe:  A paid “anti-bullying” expert is caught on video ranting at a national convention of high schoolers and is recorded bullying the Christian kids who were offended by his obscenities. They quietly follow his advice to homosexual youth in his “It Gets Better Project”– to passively walk away from bullies, but instead of praising them, he mocks them.

Dan Savage speaking to national high school convention

It seems that at the National High School Journalism Convention, author and sexual advice radio host Dan Savage was offended when a bunch of teenagers got up and walked out of his speech as he berated the Bible, repeatedly calling it a street obscenity for bovine excrement. When one by one, a number of kids silently stood and left the auditorium, he then called them another offensive street obscenity.

The ironies are incredible. Confronted with the video – which has gone viral on the Internet – the anti-bullying role model refused to recant, apologizing only for the obscenity he called the kids who walked out of his address.

The controversy raised by Savage’s tirade has raised so many questions on so many levels. Has the national anti-bullying initiative been hijacked by activists who have only one message – U.S. teens must be tolerant of homosexuality? That anybody who disagrees with that message must be bullied by peer pressure into compliance? That the tyranny of political correctness must be wielded against any teen who dares to dissent — particularly on moral or faith-based grounds?

Christian kids have grown used to nobody worrying about their rights in academia – where it is perfectly kosher to attack biblical teachings, church history and personal beliefs, but “unconstitutional” to pray, evangelize or defend the faith.

However, this time, incredibly defenders of the kids who walked out on Savage have come from across the spectrum – prominent rabbis, Southern Baptist theologians, Mormon commentators, Catholic academics and even gay rights activists.

A student walking out during Savage’s speech

“As an Orthodox rabbi with a gay Orthodox Jewish brother, I have endeavored mightily to reconcile the dictates of my faith with the most human, loving and respectful approach to homosexuality,” writes the Huffington Post’s Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. “I have counseled hundreds of gay men and women of faith who seek to find their place in G-d’s love amid a gay lifestyle.

“But such efforts at reconciliation are undone by the gratuitous hate-filled bigotry of people like Dan Savage whose response to prejudice against gays is to offer insulting and degrading prejudices against religion. Just what Savage felt he was accomplishing by irresponsibly using obscenities about the Bible at a journalism conference for high school students is beyond me.”

Under a headline “Dan Savage Was Right” on the website “On the Square,” Joshua Gonnerman writes: “He rejected the Bible as ‘bullshit’ in a keynote address to high-school journalists, and then described students who chose to walk away as ‘pansy-assed.’

“His hypocrisy is painfully evident.”

“Sadly, far too many voices telling people to quit judging, be more tolerant, and love more are the voices of individuals who judge the most, are the most intolerant, and full of hate,” noted Mormon writer Ryan Jenkins.  “It is very troubling, especially given what he is supposed to be speaking about. He should think some personal things through before his next public speaking opportunity.

“I think one lesson we can learn from this incident is the importance to read the scriptures and liken them to ourselves for our own profit and learning. Scripture is given ‘for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (see 2 Timothy 3:16). As is evident from this public incident some people see the Bible as a threat to their lifestyle rather than spiritual guidance in mortality.”

Gay rights proponent Andrew Kirrel adds:

“As a proudly heterosexual libertarian committed to advancing gay rights, I think Savage does a lot of good. His ‘It Gets Better’ campaign is an inspiringly non-aggressive response to the anti-gay prejudices of bullies and politicians alike. We need more hopeful messages like that.

A convention delegate walks out during Savage’s tirade

“But when Savage behaves this way, he does more to hold back the equality movement. I understand he has no interest in converting Bible-thumpers to see the world his way, but when gay rights activists stoop to the same level as gay-bashers, and become religious-people-bashers, they polarize the debate even further. The word ‘tolerance’ should always be Savage’s greatest weapon.

“All of this only makes the gay rights movement look hateful in the eyes of our opponents.

“And in America, It does seem like Bible-bashing is met with significantly more an outrage than are generic homophobic remarks. But those ‘Bible guys in the hall’ didn’t beat you up, Dan. They are just Christian students who feel unwelcome during your speech’s aggressive Bible-bashing. You really didn’t need to insult them after they had already left. Besides, you can’t fault the students for doing exactly what you would tell bullied homosexuals to do when they felt bullied: walk away.”

Jake Naman, an 18-year-old Christian from Redlands, California, was in the crowd before Savage’s words turned ugly. In an interview with FOX News, he described what Billy Hallowell at The Blaze called “the lewd and inappropriate commentary Savage presented to the students.”

More students leave in the middle of Savage’s speech

“But while Naman was becoming more and more uncomfortable throughout the speech,” noted Hallowell, “there was a specific point at which he knew that the rhetoric would come flowing — when Savage mentioned ‘the Bible.’

“The very second he said the Bible and paused, I knew it was going to get ugly,” Naman told Fox News. “It was about to be a bashing.”

In a show of courage, Naman, who says he felt bullied — ironic, considering the catalyst’s ‘It Gets Better’ efforts — stood up and walked out of the event, reported Hallowell.

“I felt like in my heart I couldn’t just stay there at all. It was a really weird feeling I just had to get out,” Naman said. “I didn’t want to cause a scene but I really could not stand to be in that room anymore.”

“If Dan Savage had gotten up there and said ‘God hates homosexuals and they’re all going to hell,’ there would have been huge outrage from that crowd,” Naman said. But on the other hand, “When our faith is attacked like that — we are ridiculed for taking a stand against it.”

Although Naman thought he was alone in walking out of the event, when he got to the lobby, he realized that others had joined him. Among them was 17-year-old Haley Mulder.

“I never felt more hurt, felt persecuted,” Mulder told Hallowell. “For me, my faith is what I want to be defined by. For someone to say it was B.S. is really hurtful. I felt put down and bullied.”

Why Savage would be chosen as the keynote speaker is questionable. On the one hand, his anti-bullying program’s website declares: “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that ‘It Gets Better.’”

However, this is the same Dan Savage who in 2000 gained notoriety by posing as a supporter of conservative Republican presidential hopeful Gary Bauer during his primary campaign and bragged to the news media of trying to give Bauer a cold by sneezing and licking items which Bauer might come in contact with.

Savage promoting his anti-Santorum website

Currently Savage maintains an attack website deceptively called in which he defines Santorum in the filthy, shock language and posts sophomoric graphics that depict the former presidential candidate as bodily waste. Such a lack of judgment would seem sufficient to disqualify him from being put in front of a convention of high schoolers – and prompts concern about the wisdom of the sponsors of National High School Journalism Convention.

“They used to arrest middle-aged perverts who get their jollies from talking dirty to children,” writes Matt Barber. “Today, they get a television show, a nationally syndicated column, a lecture circuit and multiple visits to the Obama White House.

“The irony is palpable.”

Read more:

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

Obama joins George Clooney in support of gays

I was never an Obama fan. I did not vote for him or support him. I think he’s a great guy, but he spends too much money. I didn’t care for John McCain either. He didn’t seem to be all that into it. My vote went to Hilary Clinton for many reasons, one not being that she was the candidate to be in support of Equality for all.

I never understood listening to everyone’s rants about Obama the last four years and how he doesn’t support Marriage Equality. I wanted to say, “Were you not paying attention to the pre-election? He was never in support of it. Never. Ever.”

That’s changed this week. For the first time in Obama’s presidency he made a move that stunned me and the world alike. He came out vocally in support of Marriage Equality. This is not only the first time in history that a President of the United States has made this declaration, but its the first time that I’ve ever liked Obama. He did this just in time before his re-election. He WILL be re-elected and this I’ve known for a couple of years now due to the messages relayed to me from the guides in Heaven.

These were the same team guides that told me that Obama would be President of the United States back in early 2008. I was disappointed when they told me this, because Hilary Clinton was in the running. They told me it would not be her, but that she was the only one who was a descendant of the Four Fathers. I said, “What about McCain?” They said it wouldn’t be him as the negative cycle would just be continued and would delay God’s plan. They added it would be Obama as he is going to be the one that will push it all forward into the light. Of course at the time I had no idea what they meant. Now I know and they’ve told me this is what they meant and its only the beginning as we leave the last Dark Age and into a lighter one.

Like myself, both Barack Obama and George Clooney were born in the Chinese Year of the Ox. Oxen were born to lead, ferociously independent and strong and a force to be reckoned with.

Obama was in Los Angeles at a fundraiser held by one of my former colleagues, George Clooney. He addressed the headlines he made this week by stating he supports Marriage Equality:

“And obviously yesterday we made some news. [Big applause] But the truth is it was a logical extension of what America is supposed to be. It grew directly out of this difference in visions. Are we a country that includes everybody and gives everybody a shot and treats everybody fairly and is that going to make us stronger? Are we welcoming to immigrants? Are we welcoming to people who aren’t like us? Does that make us stronger? I believe it does. So that’s what’s at stake.”

He said exactly what I had been thinking all along to those that attempt to stop gays from obtaining basic civil rights.  Those that attempt to stop it are no better people than anyone else.  Just because you’re straight doesn’t make you special.  You’re special when you operate from a place of love and compassion.  They have a lynch mobbed mentality and there is no love or understanding in that sector.  This is also why their numbers have been diminishing greatly over the years.  Humanity is stepping up to the plate and saying, “No, their behavior is unacceptable and we support two people who love each other and want to get married.”

In the eyes of God and Heaven they are in support too.  After all Gays were made by God.  He would not have made so many born that way if it were not so.  Don’t pay any attention to skeptics or naysayers or people like Bristol Meyers, I mean Bristol Palin and Fox News scare, “President declares war on Marriage”.  No.  The President embraces marriage and all people.  The guides are telling me that people will stomp their feet and have tantrums, but to pay no attention to any of that and don’t get sucked into it, because all is set in motion the way it’s been divinely planned.  This is God’s plan.

click to read what God says about homosexuality

Contrary to myth, Christianity’s concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual. Read here

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

Unwed teen single mom Bristol Palin is mad at Glee and the President of the United States for supporting marriage equality

Unwed teen single mom Bristol Palin is mad at the show Glee and the President of the United States for supporting marriage equality. That’s her dilemma to wrestle with and lose sleep at night over.

The President of the United States actually came out and said publicly that he supports Marriage Equality. This was something he did not support nearly four years ago.  He basically said that he accepts a part of America that religious conservatives do not like.   The President basically invited the gays to the party and said, you are part of this country too and you have relationships that mean something to you.  You’re no less than anyone else.  These others who are against it have no more right to continually harass and attack other people living in this country simply because they don’t agree of that lifestyle.   And what lifestyle?  What exactly is that “lifestyle”?  They want to marry someone they love just like anybody else.  Just because you were born attracted to the opposite sex doesn’t make you any more special than anybody else.

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

Obama comes out in support of Same Sex Marriage

It’s about time.  I’m so over listening to people ramble there reasons for not supporting it.  It’s a list of reasons you’d find from someone with zero brain capacity.  They’re the most irrelevant people on the planet.  They shouldn’t be allowed a forum or a voice considering that there also against the media.  The media that they so love to freely use at their disposal.

I was never an Obama fan as he spends too much money, but he gets my applause for this one.  It’s not going to hurt or affect him this election.  For one, whether or not he makes the statement, those that hate the man regardless will not vote for him anyway.  You can’t win them over, but may as well win the millions of other people that originally voted for him.  And he’s made history in the process.  One hundred years from now he’ll be in history books as the first President to actually say something about it.  Marriage equality will exist in every state in this country at that point.  This country that belongs to EVERYONE not just hate-filled bullies who use the not thought out point of view as their reasoning.  They base their decisions on a passage in a book that was added by man, NOT by God.  The only passage they ever pay attention to because their social circles do.  They’re led like cattle and don’t think for themselves.  They also are without heart and insignificant vile creatures.

Watch the Video

Obama announces support for Marriage Equality

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

Straight Teen of Gay Parents, Zach Wahls, talks about his new memoir “My Two Moms”

Once just a typical student at the University of Iowa, 20-year-old Zach Wahls became activist hero almost instantly in January 2011 when a viral video of him speaking before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee about being the son of a lesbian couple became the most watched political video on YouTube.

Now the straight ally par excellence has written My Two Moms, a poignant memoir about growing up with his two mothers, Jackie and Terry, as well as the surprise of sudden fame  and how he’s incorporated the values of the Boy Scouts into his life. (Each chapter of Moms is named after one of the Scouts’ 12 values—Obedient, Trusthworthy, Thrifty, Brave, etc).

At 6’6″, Wahls towers over his moms and sister, Zebby. But he’s an incredibly warm, respectful and well-spoken young man with a true calling: He’s taken time off from school to tour the nation and discuss the realities and myths surrounding gay families. When he returns to school, he’ll continue his studies in environmental engineering. (He hasn’t ruled out a career in politics, though.)

Queerty’s Evan Mulvihill chatted with Wahls about who My Two Moms is written for, whether we can count on President Obama to fight for LGBTs, and how to prevent more bullying of gay teens.

Queerty: Who is My Two Moms aimed at?

It’s a dual mandate. First, I want to give a voice to the other kids with LGBT parents. Kids like me answer the questions that I mention in the book all of the time. We get told so often by so many talking heads and political figures that there’s some huge flaw or some huge problem having gay parents. Even though we know that on a very fundamental level that’s not true, it’s still important to repeat.

Secondly, when it comes to talking to somebody who’s on the fence about gay families, I think the book does a good job of laying out the values behind me, behind my family. If you look at those values they’re very much not just in the political but the clutural mainstream of America. The book is structured around the 12 values of Boy Scout law, each chapter is titled “Be Prepared,” Obedient, Trustworthy, Kind, and so on. I hope it acts as a bridge for some people who are still on the fence.

More than 50% of Americans have said they support gay marriage in national polls for some time now. Do you think the next 20% or 30% will be hard to crack?

If you look back at the trendline, 12 years ago in 2000, support for same-sex marriage was at about 35%. Two years ago it was 44%. Today it’s at 53%. We’re on this accelerated pathway. I don’t want to use derivatives to make a point, but if you look at the slope of the trendline, it’s extraordinarily clear where the country is headed on this issue—toward a place of more inclusion, more diversity, and more acceptance.

You’re showing your engineering background! After we get marriage equality, what’s next for LGBT rights?

While we’re moving forward quickly when it comes to lesbians, gays and bisexuals, but when it comes to [trans] people, there’s still a lot of work to do. Trans people are an important part of this movement, and we need a gender-identity-inclusive ENDA. In Texas, for example, the state recently tried to annul a marriage between two transgender people. We can’t just secure marriage equality, think our work is done and pack up and go home.

Has becoming a speaker, author and public figure taken over your life, or are you going to still pursue engineering?

It’s such an important time for LGBT rights, with the momentum we’ve picked up over the last two years. The Obama administration’s decision to consider DOMA unconstitutional is also a huge step, and I don’t think the community always understands the importance of it. I thought this was an important time to take time off from school. This is really something that, while I enjoy doing, I’m not interested in as a career. My expectation is that in 2013 or 2014, I’m going to return to my studies full-time to finish my degree in environmental engineering.

So we’re not going to see you run for office?

That’s something I’m considering. There are a lot of conversations that need to happen, both internally with my friends and family, and also with the community. I think talk of political office before I have a college degree is premature at best, so it’s definitely a conversation I will rethink once I have my degree.

You talked about including the “T” in the LGBT rights. Why do you think there’s been some friction between trans people and the greater gay community?

I think why there’s a disparity between “LGB” people and “T” people is because somebody who has a sexual orientation that is not heterosexual, they have to do some soul-searching and figure out what that means in a heteronormative society. But they don’t have to think about their gender identity. A trans person has to think about their gender identity, and the result that will have on their sexual orientation. You have to fight against heteronormativity twice as a trans person.

Do you think President Obama is just waiting for a better political climate to endorse gay marriage?

I can’t tell you what President Obama’s private reflections on marriage equality are. I know he’s been a Christian for his whole life, so I know there might be some religious beliefs to reconcile. However, when you look at what he did with the Defense of Marriage Act. By declaring it unconstitutional, he removed an incredible amount of legal standing in the court.

Queerty wrote recently about Kathryn Lehman, who helped draft the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Since then, though, she’s come out as a lesbian and is fighting to get DOMA repealed. That feels like a prime example of the cultural change we’ve seen over the past 20 years.

That actually speaks in a very real way to the central message of my book: that the sexual orientation of my parents have zero effect on the content of my character. That’s just to simply observe that a person’s sexual orientation, or race, or class, or education or what have you is a very poor indicator of what that person is like. Being told a person is gay doesn’t tell you a lot about that person’s character.

What I think we’re observing in [Lehman’s] case is… a woman who was involved in some level of self-loathing. Did that mean her sexual orientation was giving her strength or not? No, of course not, it was the content of her character. Those are two separate things.

How would you convince a conservative talking head like Bill O’Reilly to support gay rights?

When we have these conversations, we have to meet people where they are. We need to understand them before they can understand us. I think it’s incredibly important to understand why Bill reacts to gay people the way he does. Even though that sounds assimilationist, I think at the end of the day it comes down to whether or not you are so self-important that you simply stand for what you stand for, consequences be damned. If you want to make the world a better place you’re going to have to compromise. You’re going to have to do some things that you don’t want to do.

Have you had an experience where you’ve told someone your parents are lesbians and they’ve had a change of heart about gay parenting?

I’ve never had it happen in the middle of a conversation, like a light bulb going off. But I have had people come up to me after I’ve given a lecture at a college and tell me, “I came in here not knowing how I felt about the issue, and was split both ways, but walking away I just really agree with your side of the argument.” That’s always an incredible thing, and makes giving these talks worth it.

Recently, 14-year-old teen Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide in your home state of Iowa, a marriage-equality state. How can we can protect gay teens more effectively? It does get better, but sometimes not in the high-school environment.

Sometimes not even college is better. The Sioux City Journal, which the biggest paper in the northwest part of Iowa where this happened, published a full-page editorial on their Sunday edition—the entire first page—with a call to action against bullying because of Kenneth’s suicide. It was totally unprecedented in the history of this newspaper. People are slowly starting to realize that we have a responsibility as human beings to say that bullying is not a rite of passage. It’s not a simple trial that everybody has to go through. It’s not how people get stronger. There’s that great Friedrich Nietzsche quote, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” But that’s not always true. Sometimes bullying will destroy you. And teachers, when they step into that classroom, have a responsibility to protect their students, no matter their sexuality, race, or creed.

How about straight allies like yourself—how can they protect gay teens?

Dumbledore once observed that it takes a lot of courage to stand up to your enemies, but it takes even more courage to stand up to your friends. Even though it seems a little awkward to quote Harry Potter here, it’s so true. It’s going to be the courage of young straight people who don’t necessarily have a gay brother or sister or gay parent, it’s going to be those young people calling out straight people who make a big difference.

While gay activists are obviously important for LGBT rights, straight allies are so crucial in moving things forward.

We still live in country where there’s an idea that homosexuality is a choice. This is an obvious departure from the women’s and black rights women, because nobody doubts that you’re [born] a woman or a black person. It’s something you can see. When it comes to something like attraction, you can’t see it. There’s a disconnect. It’s a civil-rights issue where allies are unusually important, because of the nature of heteronormative status. The fact of the matter, though, is that gay people have an incredibly important role to play, and nobody doubts that. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be who I am without my moms.

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

Man shoots 4 year old for ‘gay behavior’. CNN & Nancy Grace don’t bother to cover this.

You won’t read about the fate of 4 year old Jadon Higganbothan on the front page of CNN today.

It’s unlikely that Nancy Grace will rage about him on her show. ABC and Fox probably won’t give his death wall to wall coverage.

Because Jadon Higganbothan was not blond, or a girl – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t lament what happened to him, or why.

In Durham, North Carolina this week Peter Lucas Moses, 27, stood trail facing two counts of first-degree murder.

Moses was the leader of a religious cult who shot the 4 year old boy dead for what he called his ‘gay behavior.’  Moses also shot and killed Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28, because she wanted to leave the cult.

‘In the religious belief of that organization, homosexuality was frowned on,’ Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline told WRAL.COM.

‘Sometime in October 2010, Smith told Moses that Jadon had hit another child’s bottom, and Moses became angry and started walking around the house with a gun that belonged to Jadon’s mother, Vania Rae Sisk, prosecutors said.

‘He starts screaming, ‘I told you to get rid of him!’ and told Sisk,’How am I going to do this?’ Cline recalled the witness’ account.

‘Moses ordered two of the women to set up computers and speakers in the garage, prosecutors said they were told by the witness. They said he started playing music with the Lord’s Prayer in Hebrew, took Jadon in the garage and shut the door, and the women then heard a gunshot.’

Four years old. Jadon died with the Lord’s Prayer ringing in his ears and hearing himself condemned in the Bible.

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