Watch: Young Gay Student Defends Teacher At School Board Meeting

14-year-old student Graeme Taylor, who is openly gay, bravely stood up for Ann Arbor teacher, Jay McDowell at a recent school board meeting. McDowell was disciplined on October 20 for removing two students who had made anti-gay remarks in class. During his speech in support of his teacher, Taylor revealed his problems with bullying and even talked about a suicide attempt at the age of nine.

Watch young Taylor's very mature and highly inspiring speech, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. Here's what dictionary.com has to say about 'tank':

    1. a large receptacle, container, or structure for holding...gas.

    –verb (used without object)
    7. Slang. to do poorly or decline rapidly; fail: The movie tanked at the box office.

    —Verb phrase
    8. tank up,
    b. Slang. to drink a great quantity of alcoholic beverage, esp. to intoxication.

    9. go in the tank, Boxing Slang. to go through the motions of a match but deliberately lose because of an illicit prearrangement or fix; throw a fight.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Nov 13, 2010 11:06:01 PM

  2. Tank livens up the conversation. He's like a dead, diseased fly you might find in your martini. It's never appropriate, but it makes you value a real martini all that much more.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Nov 13, 2010 11:16:19 PM

  3. Tank, I'm really curious about whatever happened to you to make you such a terrible person. Bitterness doesn't suit you, Scrooge -- I mean Tank.

    Posted by: Ryan | Nov 13, 2010 11:25:54 PM

  4. Hey Towleroad, could you at least give the brave young man the courtesy of spelling his name correctly? It's my favorite male name, GRAHAM, not Graeme.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Nov 13, 2010 11:42:57 PM

  5. Now who is BKG I shouldn't even comment on
    this ass hole...

    Posted by: terryp | Nov 14, 2010 12:41:37 AM

  6. Wow, I'm ten years older than this kid... and he has a lot more guts than me. It's really impressive.

    Posted by: Nirgal | Nov 14, 2010 1:05:19 AM

  7. This kid is beyond wonderful and inspiring, and his bravery shines a bright hope for our future. At the same time, he says that an estimated six million gay people kill themselves every year, and I would like to know the source of this statement, as that number seems a bit implausible (32,637 total Americans committed suicide in 2005 per suicide.org). I certainly do not negate his entire speech for this, but no matter how well-intentioned the speaker, incorrect facts may adversely affect even the hardiest of credibility, and we must treat our messages with utmost care in order to mitigate the potential for misfortune and keep beautiful and courageous messages like his pure and standing.

    Posted by: SFNative | Nov 14, 2010 1:12:47 AM

  8. Oh, Anastasia, I love you, purely platonically, you understand. Tank seems to be a self-loathing 15-year-old who could learn from Mr Taylor; defend your friends, don't disparage them. Mr Taylor should give us all hope for the future. And BKG, why are you so threatened by a 14-year-old? Skeletons in YOUR closet? Just askin'.

    Posted by: mad1026 | Nov 14, 2010 1:14:45 AM

  9. Amazing young man. I hope they actually heard (and heeded) his message.

    Posted by: Geoff | Nov 14, 2010 1:22:08 AM

  10. Tank is the resident site troll-one with the emotional intelligence of a junior high school girl.

    His disgusting hubris comes from a self-concept that tells him he is young and attractive on the outside.

    However, on the inside he is a scared and angry little boy who exploits Towleroad to vent his sadness and anger on the older and unattractive because he knows he will be joining their ranks very soon.

    Tank might be a bitch...but so is karma...and what goes around comes around...

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 14, 2010 1:27:06 AM

  11. This is stupid and gayness is a mental disorder.

    Posted by: JOSH | Nov 14, 2010 1:28:33 AM

  12. Serious question here. The info about the video says that the boy is sticking up for his teacher, yet on the video he seems to say that he goes to a different school, and that Mr. McDowell is known through his father.


    Posted by: Collin | Nov 14, 2010 1:33:08 AM

  13. This kid is amazing.

    I'm only 7 years older than him and I cannot possibly imagine being out at that age and speaking about our community like this. This is what progress looks like and gives me real hope for the future.

    Posted by: Joe | Nov 14, 2010 1:35:53 AM

  14. Well, this certainly turned into a comments section about me. For that, I apologize. It's not about me, at all. I am very proud of this kid. He shows more balls than men in their fifities--more balls than jim swilley has EVER SHOWN. He's fighting the good fight. I just have a thing for accuracy, and accuracy may not matter to a lot of people...but it will always matter to me.


    •an enclosed armored military vehicle; has a cannon and moves on caterpillar treads.

    an armored, self-propelled combat vehicle, armed with cannon and machine guns and moving on a caterpillar tread.


    That's what's meant by it as everyone who knows me will tell ya, since I've been twelve, which is when I got it. Papa was the first to call me...that. And papa and I don't relate...but he's a military guy...and that's all I have to about that. Of course, it's not what I think of myself; it's what people think of me...for better or worse.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 14, 2010 1:55:58 AM

  15. One suicide (for whatever reason) is too many.

    @Tank, yes it does make you a dick.

    Posted by: Solstar | Nov 14, 2010 4:39:40 AM

  16. Bless him, he'll be a future leader and our country will be greatly blessed by him and his teachers actions.

    Posted by: GaryJ | Nov 14, 2010 4:44:34 AM

  17. I think its likely that in the heat of the moment the kid mis-spoke about the number of people who committed suicide. He spoke of the silent holocaust and I think he simply got the numbers confused with those who died in the Holocaust during WWII. Nothing more complicated than that really. Its a pity that it distracts somewhat from his larger message which is a very valuable one. Such an articulate kid. He seems to have a very bright future ahead of him.


    Posted by: Steve | Nov 14, 2010 4:44:48 AM

  18. @TANK Besides the fact that you are a total, flaming asshole, zooming in on a minor hyperbole in this young man's speech is absurd. After watching the speech and doing a little research, I have no doubt that the young man is correct. He did his homework.

    As for you, since your are so obsessed with accuracy in statistics and, um, "truthiness", here's a suggestion: there's an opening for someone in Iraq to continue the hunt for WMD. I think you'd be perfect for the job.

    Posted by: mike | Nov 14, 2010 4:50:07 AM

  19. :):OWOWOWO.
    My friend recommend me an interesting site
    ===** Sugar-MOMM-adate///.c/ --om **__
    If you have worked hard for your Millionaire status
    and want to meet people of the same class, if you want to
    enjoy a millionaire lifestyle, you may join it.

    Posted by: sky | Nov 14, 2010 5:39:13 AM

  20. @ Posted by: Nic | Nov 13, 2010 11:00:35 PM
    check this: http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=main.doiLanding&uid=1996-00463-014

    Glee was telling the truth!

    Posted by: Aaron | Nov 14, 2010 5:46:51 AM

  21. @Nic and Aaron: I wouldn't bring Glee to this party. You give it too much credit. Praise the kid not some regular tv series.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 14, 2010 5:56:05 AM

  22. @Nic and Aaron: I wouldn't bring Glee to this party, it is just a regular tv series, we've seen many more important ones. Praise the kid, please.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Nov 14, 2010 6:04:39 AM

  23. Heh, the claim that Tank is fake reminds me of that real fake a couple years ago, Jordan, who constantly posted incredibly vapid comments to kick up dust. I finally called him on his inconsistent lies and endless BS and he disappeared. He wasn't a real person in the slightest.

    And whatever happened to Derek from Philadelphia? He won the five Towleroad t-shirts. Anyone know what happened to him? Andy?

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 14, 2010 6:29:55 AM

  24. Is it wrong that I can't tell the difference between 14 year-old gay boys and petite lesbian women?

    The kid's awesome, of course, a ton more courage than anyone who ever picked on him.

    Posted by: rascal | Nov 14, 2010 6:50:19 AM

  25. 'He considers thirty to be the end of the road for gay men. He only measures his self worth in his physical appearance.'


    ...The gay 'community' is pretty brutal in this regards. Anybody who denies this is delusional. Imagine if this young man was fat, had bad acne and a speech impediment?

    ...Just saying.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 14, 2010 7:03:57 AM

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