Arizona | Bullying | Caleb Laieski | News | Phoenix

Bullied Gay Teen Now Working in Phoenix Mayor's Office: VIDEO


Caleb Laieski, a 17-year-old teen who made headlines more than a year ago for being bullied, is now the youngest advocate on loan in the Phoenix Mayor’s Office and should get huge props for turning his situation into a positive one for himself and many others.

The City of Phoenix writes: Laieski

Laieski, 17, as a youth and diversity liaison, will work to raise awareness about bullying and diversity and serve as a point of contact for youth issues.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work for one of the largest cities in our nation, and I look forward to continue making Phoenix a safer place for our entire community,” Laieski said. “Being a youth myself, I feel that this opportunity will allow me to bring a young person’s perspective to the administration. During my time in this office, I will strive to see the dropout rate lower, intervention by school administrations steadily increase and the suicide rate rapidly decline.”

Laieski, a former high school student, said he endured anti-gay bullying on a daily basis, which included being followed home by other students and threatened for being gay. Laieski said felt he had no other choice but to leave his school and pursue his GED.

Among Laieski's accomplishments are founding the organization Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination; Successfully petitioning his former high school district to add sexual orientation to their list of protections; Testifying his support for the Arizona Safe Schools Act and SB 1462, an anti-bullying bill; Meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden to ask them to appoint an adviser on LGBT Youth Issues; Being named Echo magazine’s Man of the Year in 2011..

Said Mayor Stanton: “I’m excited to have someone as talented as Caleb working in my office  because I know he truly cares about our community, our city and our youth. I want Phoenix youth to have a voice in my office. I also want our students to be able to concentrate on their education for future success, not be bullied. All our kids deserve to live their lives, no matter who they are, because diversity is a strength in Phoenix.”

Watch an interview from June 2010 when Laieski was taking action against his high school in Arizona, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Bravo!

    Posted by: TJ Parker | Mar 23, 2012 8:02:04 AM

  2. Go boy! Such a fine young man he is. Strong, tenacious and courageous to stand tall in a narrow minded society that demands we all act, talk, be the same.
    Best of luck to him in his succesful future!

    Posted by: USC Trojan Fan | Mar 23, 2012 8:07:31 AM

  3. The best thing about this story is how much of a positive impact it will have on bullied gay youth. Can you imagine a more inspiring story for those who are gay and bullied and at the end of their rope, to see first hand that it DOES get better. So much better, and there's a whole world of opportunities waiting for them!

    To any LGBT kid struggling who comes across this video (and we know you all visit this site) let this be a reminder to your greatness and realizing you have the very exact potential this guy has.

    Posted by: Malone | Mar 23, 2012 8:09:50 AM

  4. THIS put a smile on my face. Caleb, you're an inspiring soul. I hope this inspires you to even do more to be a role model for our gay youth who need visible role models today more than ever before. I also salute the mayor and the mayor's office for understanding the need for this and the message it sends out.

    Posted by: IonMovies | Mar 23, 2012 8:11:45 AM

  5. That's whats up! clips like this get exposed to a bullied gay kid and he feels more empowered, and stronger. we each as gay adults gotta have a responsibility to the gay kids out there who don't have a voice. things like this give them that voice.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Mar 23, 2012 8:14:24 AM

  6. Wow, this young man is a bright shining light not just for students near his school but students across the entire state of AZ and beyond.

    Kudos to Caleb!

    Posted by: Fred | Mar 23, 2012 8:44:17 AM

  7. That is one fantastic young man! Good on you Caleb! This just makes my day!

    Posted by: Bobby | Mar 23, 2012 9:23:17 AM

  8. Let's not forget to thank the Mayor of Phoenix for giving him this wonderful opportunity.

    Posted by: Jack | Mar 23, 2012 9:30:07 AM

  9. I had the pleasure of meeting him last year in Tucson at a coming out panel discussion, sponsored by Wingspan and Tucson Pride. What an amazing individual! This guy is going to be a congressman by the time he's 30! He and his mother are both the most wonderful people you could ever meet. Very articulate, both of them.

    Posted by: Craig | Mar 23, 2012 9:50:11 AM

  10. Also, he's cute. Although i feel a bit wrong saying that cus he's 17 (he looks about 22 to me)

    Posted by: DanSwon | Mar 23, 2012 10:59:11 AM

  11. Seems to me they need to have a punishment for teachers who don't intervene. Say maybe 1st time suspention without pay 2nd time fired.

    Posted by: Erica | Mar 24, 2012 2:22:28 PM

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