An amazing and positive incident took place recently in Michigan. From New York Magazine:
Jay McDowell, a teacher in Howell, Michigan, was temporarily suspended without pay earlier this month after telling a student wearing a Confederate flag and a student making anti-gay remarks to get out of his class.
At a school board meeting on Friday, openly-gay fourteen year-old high school student Graeme Taylor came to McDowell's defense, thanking the teacher for doing "an amazing thing" in a town home to the KKK, and urging the school board to give McDowell his pay and reverse the disciplinary actions.
Some may debate about McDowell's original actions but the significance of this video cannot be ignored.
When I was 14, I can't remember anyone of my age standing up boldly and declaring that they are gay or lesbian. Nor do I remember a teacher being put into a situation where he or she had to be defended for standing up for an LGBT student.
And I have to ask the simple question: Does this child look indoctrinated to you?
Does he bear the hazy glaze of someone who has been brainwashed and manipulated?
Does he sound coerced?
Certainly if we are to believe the words of the religious right when they spin the lies of how LGBTs supposedly "market our lifestyle" to children, he should be.
But he doesn't. Taylor is an intelligent child who speaks in a clear and concise manner that is neither forced or coached.
Recently, we have had the misfortunate to bear witness to what happens when LGBT youth do not get the love and support they need in order to accept themselves and their God-given sexual orientation.
And we keep talking and talking, continuing to press the issue that if our LGBT youth aren't supported then they are bound for a sadness and possibly an unfortunate end.
In this young man, we see something that we should take note.
Graeme Taylor's words, his confidence, and his bravery to stand up is a perfect example of what happens when LGBT youth are supported, when they are told they have nothing to be ashamed about, and when they are told that it is okay for them to accept themselves.
This young man is the single thing that religious right groups fear the most -- public proof that all of their stories and fear tactics about LGBTs and children (that especially means you, Candi Cushman and Focus on the Family) blow up in smoke due to a simple thing called truth.
I would like to see more of this truth because quite simply, we can never have enough of it.
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