Bullying | Fort Worth | Joel Burns | News

Watch: Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns' Amazing Tearful Statement to Bullied Gay Teens


Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns broke down at last night's City Council meeting during an emotional personal statement about his own taunting by anti-gay bullies as a teen.

"I was cornered after school by some older kids who roughed me up. They said that I was a fag, and that I should die and go to Hell where I belonged."

Burns went on to discuss meeting his partner, getting elected, and developing a bond with his dad, promising teens, "It gets better."

Don't miss this.


Writes The Victory Fund: "Burns became the first openly gay candidate elected to public office in Tarrant County, Texas, when he won a special election for a seat on the Fort Worth City Council in 2007.  He was reelected in 2009."

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. This man is wonderful.

    Posted by: ronnykmarshall | Oct 13, 2010 12:02:01 PM

  2. he's so adorable and love the accent. i can't help it - i'm focusing on the physical!

    Posted by: jgm22 | Oct 13, 2010 12:02:07 PM

  3. Finally, a real political leader.

    Posted by: LD | Oct 13, 2010 12:06:50 PM

  4. wept.
    evidence that more gay men & women should enter politics.

    Posted by: shanesoho | Oct 13, 2010 12:11:00 PM

  5. wow- how moving! he had me in tears!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Oct 13, 2010 12:17:07 PM

  6. I think what Fort Worth, TX, City Council Member Joel Burns did was very brave and heartfelt, and I want to thank him for being so candid.However, most adolescents become impatient waiting for their summer vacation, which to an average teen seems like a lifetime away (when it's the beginning of a new school-year). To ask these bullied LGBT kids to wait another 10-20 years for things to get better,(especially if they're being teased & tormented day in and day out) just isn't practical advice for a young teen. I would like to have seen Council Member Burns ask his fellow council members and the audience to call their state representative and literally DEMAND that Congress pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act A.S.A.P. This at least would prod schools and school districts to intervene when these horrific bullying situations are occuring.Otherwise, they will be held accountable for allowing the bullying to continue.

    Posted by: Frederick | Oct 13, 2010 12:20:47 PM

  7. I welled up several times but by the standing ovation at the end I bawled.

    Posted by: Andy | Oct 13, 2010 12:25:00 PM

  8. I am Proud to call Joel and his partner JD freinds. Joel, Paul and I love you guys and thanks for all you are doing.

    Posted by: Mikey | Oct 13, 2010 12:27:42 PM

  9. I hear ya Andy.

    Posted by: ronnykmarshall | Oct 13, 2010 12:28:48 PM

  10. It's becoming clearer every day how destructive Radical Religious Extremists are having on the youth of America. These are the home grown terrorists. It is good to see that so many Gay Americans are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice; living and fighting for equality for all. Brave citizens come out. This council member is such a brave citizen willing to make the ultimate sacrifice; living and fighting for equality.

    This was a tad weepy but bravery and courage do that.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Oct 13, 2010 12:29:13 PM

  11. One of the most moving statements I have seen. No wonder his parents and husband are so proud of him. How many other politicians would have the heart and the guts to give out their personal phone number in order to potentially save a life!

    Posted by: John | Oct 13, 2010 12:32:31 PM

  12. He's my council member and neighbor. And now my hero.

    Posted by: Mitchblair | Oct 13, 2010 12:42:26 PM

  13. Really powerful. I just emailed it to several people. Its beautiful and inspiring things like this that I wish would go viral.

    Posted by: Joseph | Oct 13, 2010 12:46:32 PM

  14. I never *could* stand crying MEN.....

    Posted by: SSCHIEFRSHA | Oct 13, 2010 12:47:23 PM

  15. I think it says something about the direction that our country is headed when the city council in Ft. Worth gives a standing ovation to a message like this. We're winning, slowly... very slowly... and the christian/straight supremacists are beggining to realize it and freak out.

    Keep up the good work, Joel. :)

    Posted by: The Milkman | Oct 13, 2010 1:00:08 PM


    While your comment is so insanely stupid as to not warrant response, I still feel compelled:

    Real men are secure enough with themselves to cry. Sorry that you are emotionally retarded.

    How dare you make a snide comment about a guy crying when he is spilling his guts and revealing some of the most painful personal experiences that one could go through?

    Crawl back in your hole. Don't come back.

    Posted by: Jack | Oct 13, 2010 1:07:43 PM

  17. @JGM22

    "i can't help it - i'm focusing on the physical!"

    Of course you can dear. You can help the fact that you are a pathetic, self-loathing queen.

    Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | Oct 13, 2010 1:18:53 PM

  18. SSCHIEFRSHA- I cannot understand why you would make such a heartless and stupid remark. It is attitudes like that that further the idea of what is "appropriate" behavior for men or women, what is "normal" or expected behavior based on gender, that fuels bullying and hate. Shame on you.

    Posted by: jon cortez | Oct 13, 2010 1:20:56 PM

  19. Here's a note I sent to Joel. I encourage others to let him know how courageous he is and what his words mean. And, send this video to your local councils and churches.


    Let me add my voice to the thousands you will hear from re your courageous City Council meeting speech.
    I have not been this moved since I marched down Market Street in San Francisco the night after the murders of Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone at the age of 18 after fleeing a brutal childhood filled with beatings both at home and at school everyday.
    This past week has been very painful as it has brought up all the memories of that horrible time.
    Your courage and bravery is an example to every leader, political and/or religious - they need to speak out as you have done.
    You have a bright future! THANK YOU.



    P.S. And, judging from those who applauded and who remained seated, you now know "who's with ya and who's agin ya" if you didn't already.

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 13, 2010 1:23:06 PM

  20. Truly inspiring.

    Posted by: michael | Oct 13, 2010 1:23:47 PM

  21. It's amazing that only a scattered few in the crowd did not stand and applaud - a ray of real hope. Thanks for posting this reminder of what an individual can do to change hearts and minds.

    Posted by: Jim | Oct 13, 2010 1:25:49 PM

  22. Jubal... Name calling make you no better, sweetheart...

    Posted by: jon cortez | Oct 13, 2010 1:28:31 PM

  23. Hard to watch a man cry. It makes me uncomfortable--though just about any show of emotion does, man or woman. This was a powerful statement, and coming from ft worth, useful.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 13, 2010 1:34:27 PM

  24. Unbelievably heartfelt and beautiful. I pray that he will be able to help many many kids. Thank you Joel. You are an angel.

    Posted by: javo | Oct 13, 2010 1:44:18 PM

  25. Thanks, Andy. No one (save the most extreme sadist) likes watching anyone cry, but this was worth it.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 13, 2010 1:45:28 PM

  26. 1 2 3 »

Post a comment


« «Gavin Rossdale Says He Experimented with Gay Sex, Calls it 'Part of Growing Up'« «