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Celebrities Combat Anti-Gay Bullying On 'Larry King'

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Larry King dedicated his entire CNN show to homophobic bullying last night, and invited gay celebrities like Lance Bass, Chely Wright, Tim Gunn and Nate Berkus to share their stories.

Bass admitted that he used laugh along while his friends taunted gay classmates. "When you're 13, 14, you just go along with what the other people are doing. You just want to fit in. You want to make sure that your friends like you," the singer confessed. "You're going to crack jokes, you're going to laugh along with it. And when you're a teenager, you're not really thinking, oh, I'm being a bully by laughing along with it... But you know, you're also a bully by condoning the behavior and making the jokes along with them."

Meanwhile, Berkus verbalized the isolation of living in the closet, unsure of what "gay" even means: "You are trying to hide a fundamental part of yourself, what happens is that you cannot focus on anything else. Please understand, too, there was no Youtube. There were no -- there was no Internet, nothing like that, when I was growing up."

Wanda Sykes also made an appearance, and tied the rise of anti-gay bullying to homophobic legislation, like Don't Ask, Don't Tell. "I believe that it is assisting," she said. "I'm not going to say that that's... the crux of it, because this has been going on for decades. But I think maybe what's making people a little more vocal... is because of issues that -- like Don't Ask, Don't Tell and Prop 8. They're so much in the forefront right now of politics that maybe that's, you know, causing people to do more harm."
 
At the end of it all, gay favorite Kathy Griffin reminded viewers that they're not alone, and that our collective efforts can put an end to bullying: "If you're watching this at home and you feel enraged but helpless, you can help. All right, come see me at the Gibson Theater. Make a monetary donation. Come get a pamphlet. Sign up for the Trevor Project. Sign up for Give a Damn. Go talk to somebody."

I've included the entire episode AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Yes by all means combat anti-gay bullying...and while at it also combat, within "the community" itself, GAY BULLIES....let's not forget how we often times, unfortunately, bully one another....PLEASE, let's not leave this out of the conversation....

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Oct 5, 2010 11:41:36 AM


  2. Sorry but Lance Bass is just a professional homosexual at this point.... disgusting and fake as his re sculpted face.

    He is everything wrong with the gay community.
    Has to be forced out - then acts like a leader.

    BULLSHIT

    Posted by: rjp3 | Oct 5, 2010 11:54:44 AM


  3. Whereas I appreciate Larry King for what he's trying to do, he is the WORST interviewer. He's got his list of questions and he just runs down it, leaving the celebrities to piece together an important message.

    Posted by: Mona | Oct 5, 2010 11:57:13 AM


  4. You know I appreciate the professional gays for getting out there and talking about this, but I was significantly disappointed about the lack of statistics and figures they were all able to cite. The speculation of why this is suddenly a national issue was ridiculous.

    Gay teen suicide has been an ongoing problem for years, with the data to prove it. Just because the media suddenly latches on to it for the ratings of the week obscures the lack of notice it should have received all along. It will be forgotten the moment it ceases to be a ratings grabber.

    I can only hope it prompts specific long-term action. For example, it would be great if it prompted a new wave of funding for the Ali Forney center (http://www.aliforneycenter.org/) which provides safe spaces and housing for LGBT homeless youth who have been turned out by their own families. It's estimated that 20-40% of all homeless youth in the US are LGBT. Since 1989 we've known that LGBT youth are 3-4 times more likely to commit suicide.

    And let's not forget violence against gay adults as well. Yes "it gets better" but it's not perfect by any means. Let's make sure that society is made to know its responsibility as whole for encouraging an environment where persecuting gay youth and adults is commonplace.

    Posted by: countervail | Oct 5, 2010 12:15:47 PM


  5. Yes I was bullied at school gorwing up...But I have wonderful friends now...they are my family...I mostly hear negative comments from str8 people (thugs or losers mostly) so im not scared to stand up for myself.

    Yes they LGBt community has some of those "STR8" acting types that add more shit to this issue....it says that if you don't act like the straight people YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH...That's BULLSHIT.
    STOP THE SELF HATRED.

    Posted by: Bosie | Oct 5, 2010 12:21:55 PM


  6. This may not be the appropriate time for this, but

    I'd like to bully Nate Berkus into letting me give him a day-long rimjob. Damn he's freakin' sexy!


    Ok. Sorry.

    Posted by: pauley | Oct 5, 2010 12:37:59 PM


  7. @Bosie
    I have to take issue with your use of "'STR8' acting." What do you mean by that anyway?

    Do gays have to act effeminate and are not allowed to be masculine?
    Frankly I think being yourself is the best policy (whether you are naturally feminine, masculine, or a combination). Not all gays are feminine and not all straights are masculine.

    Do you mean those who are in the closet?
    Sometimes it is necessary for one's own wellbeing to hide that you are gay.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Oct 5, 2010 1:09:54 PM


  8. @rjp3

    Sheesh, so much bitterness and hate. Why all the hate when he is doing something good? Aren't we trying to "Stop the H8" and get rid of bullying?

    Posted by: ravewulf | Oct 5, 2010 1:16:06 PM


  9. Nate Berkus was cowering in the closet long after he was grown, long after the internet and well into a long term relationship.

    Even when his partner was killed in the tsunami in Phuket he tried to hide the fact that he was there with anyone until the full story started making the internet rounds. He finally broke down and said that he was there with a close friend who was killed.

    Seeing grown men so afraid to be themselves certainly doesn't do anything to help kids feel that it gets better after high school.

    Posted by: Jaker | Oct 5, 2010 1:47:17 PM


  10. @Ravewulf:

    My *guess* is that Bosie was targeting people who describe themselves as straight-acting, not those of us who happen to be more masculine.

    If Bosie is implying that masculine gay men are somehow in denial and putting on an act, on the other hand, I agree with you.

    That said, there is a definite unfortunate tendency in the gay community to put down more effeminate gay men, and I'm guessing that's where Bosie is coming from.

    Posted by: Dan E | Oct 5, 2010 2:30:41 PM


  11. Thank you for this. I live in Paris and would otherwise not been able to see this. I thought everyone was great. It's an issue that needs our focus. Our youth are so important.

    Posted by: Todd Merrell | Oct 5, 2010 3:32:11 PM


  12. You guys here bitching about it? Shut the fuck up.

    What are you doing? What are YOU doing? Are you volunteering with the Trevor Project or donating money or attending public rallies?

    If not, then just shut the holy fuck up and stop criticizing the people who are because you have some personal issue with them. I doubt any of you are shining exemplars of what gay people should be either. I don't understand this idea that anyone who stands up for gay people needs to be fucking perfect and infallible. They need to be humans so we can be seen as humans.

    Posted by: Jeremy | Oct 5, 2010 3:57:25 PM


  13. I agree that Larry King isn't very good interviewer. (Maybe he used to be - but not here.) Some of the questions is just WTF.

    I think they could also get some more interesting speakers too... not just celebrities.

    (I wish Rachel Maddow would do a week long segment on this subject, rather than getting into this sarcastic grudge match with other personalities.)

    Posted by: Dan | Oct 5, 2010 6:16:47 PM


  14. I hope Anderson Cooper does his part, too.

    By being officially in the closet he's modeling shame.

    Now would be a particularly good time for him to come out.

    Posted by: tell | Oct 5, 2010 10:48:55 PM


  15. Truly an unparalleled panel of a-list celebrity superstars. A paen to greatness. What was the laugh shack booked or something?

    Larry the lizard is one hell of an interviewer. The man knows how to ask so many scripted, though excessively predictable questions, and is always there to fill dead air with his trademark defibrillator, "so when did you realize that your husband was cheating on you with your sister?" He's not afraid to ask the hard questions, like if mrs. beasley prefers wet or dry dog food. And when he's not fluffing his subjects, he can be found getting to the very essence of the matter, e.g., the exact number of emmys or grammys or awards in general of which MJ was the recipient. And he will be the first to tell you that his greatest achievement in life is a tie between not getting killed by the mafia in miami due to his exorbitant unpaid gambling debts, and that he is, in fact, not barbara walters.

    Seriously though, it's good that this is getting "mainstream" attention.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 5, 2010 11:52:19 PM


  16. hate crime charges for Ravi and Wei

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRfHlU4Ci88

    Posted by: pauls | Oct 6, 2010 3:34:19 AM


  17. I was bullied big time at school. I was bullied for being heterosexual. Wonder when Larry will do THAT show?

    Posted by: Tommy | Oct 7, 2010 12:21:39 AM


  18. There's this violin I'm barely hearing, tommy... It's not because it's the wold's smallest--it's because you're a brain tumor....lmao!

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 7, 2010 12:37:45 AM


  19. Lance bass is so ugly I can hardly watch this. what happened to his face?

    Posted by: Rick | Oct 29, 2010 5:24:56 PM


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