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Tough Kid Gives His Gay Eighth Grade Teacher a Moment He'll Never Forget: VIDEO

Sometimes kids will surprise you, as they did an eighth grade teacher in Ontario. And it's why Macklemore's "Same Love" should be considered one of the greatest gay rights anthems of all time.

The teacher writes this on Reddit:

Context: I teach Grade 8 (13-14 years old) in Ontario, Canada. I am gay, and my students have known this for about a month or so. I am in my first year of teaching, and I teach the class that is considered the “tough” class – they don’t get along well with some of their other teachers, and they can be rowdy. Not so much for me, though.

SameloveIn particular, I have one group of boys that can be a bit of a pain in the neck. Never keep their hands to themselves, always talk out of turn, have gotten in fights, etc. There is one boy in this group (he will be known here as Harry) who is a little quieter than the others, but very popular. He’s a bit tough to get close to, and seems like the type to be resistant to new ideas and different people. He hangs out with another tough kid (let’s call him Mark), who is loud and boisterous and often rude.

Now that it’s so close to the end of the year, I do a “YouTube of the Day” with them every morning. Kids can send in a short YouTube video for me to show to the class, I preview it, and if it’s appropriate, I play it. So this morning, Harry comes up to me and says, “I have a video I want to play.”

Now, I preview things for a reason. There are enough horror stories out there of teachers accidentally showing their kids porn for me to be very careful what I show my class. So I tell him to send it to me because, y’know, them’s the rules. “I really want to show it,” he says back. “You’ll like it, I promise. It’s a music video.”

Given what Harry listens to, I’m wary. He listens to a lot of rap and hip-hop, and that’s fine, but I’ve heard some non-school-appropriate language come out of the music he listens to. So I ask him if it’s appropriate for school; he tells me yes. This kid is many things, but he has never lied to me. Not once. So… I take a deep breath and tell him okay. What the heck.

So he goes on over and pulls it on up, and on comes a song I have never heard before. The artist is rapping about growing up gay, about the struggles of being gay, and about standing up in the face of hatred and homophobia. “Same Love,” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The video (linked) was beautiful.

2sameloveAnd there’s Harry, proudly watching along with the rest of the class as the artist stands up for those gay kids who struggle, and the video shows a difficult, lonely life culminating in a fabulous wedding. Harry. My “tough kid.”

The video finishes, the kids applaud, and I thank him, and he says to me, “I told you you’d like it.”

And then his loud, rude friend Mark says: “That was for you, Mr. K.”

The whole class applauded again – for me this time – and then I cried. I cried the proudest tears I have ever shed.

Harry and Mark… they might tick off every teacher they ever have, but today they gave this teacher a moment he’ll never forget.

tl;dr: Tough kid in my class showed a music video whose message is to stand up against homophobia, and the class cheered.

(via buzzfeed)

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  1. Great story. Brought tears to my eyes. It represents hope.

    Posted by: Alex | Jun 19, 2013 2:03:04 PM

  2. Tears. All of the tears.

    That song still gives me goosebumps.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jun 19, 2013 2:10:31 PM

  3. Too much. The video and the song are great. And a lot for a 13 or 14- year-old to digest, but they got it—I am so touched by this teacher's story, well, maybe there is real hope for real change in attitude as future generations arrive. The sooner the better.

    Gotta go sob quietly in a corner now.

    Posted by: tinkerbelle | Jun 19, 2013 2:15:25 PM

  4. Yeah, I'm sitting up here with tears also. The teachers story was just a powerful as the music video.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 19, 2013 2:15:41 PM

  5. There is hope for the future!

    Posted by: Zlick | Jun 19, 2013 2:18:21 PM

  6. Wow. That was really touching. I hope those kids can really understand what a broad reaching thing they did.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 19, 2013 2:20:04 PM

  7. Awww, that was a great story!

    (Total aside, I like Macklemore, Gold, Castle, Thrift Shop, Bombom, Jeremy Irving are all really fantastic songs but Same Love is the most boring and pedantic song I can find on that album, MAYBE being tied with the boring shoes song. I really, REALLY wish I liked that song, I get why people love it, I just cant stand it.)

    Posted by: Fenrox | Jun 19, 2013 2:23:34 PM

  8. so neat! you are very lucky. i spent my entire life with kids & i had a special place in my soul for the ones you talk about.

    one of the things i discovered over the years is the ones who gave me the hardest time were ALWAYS the ones who came back to see me & say 'Thank You.' you are in for some very special times. cherish each and every one. i do every day...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jun 19, 2013 2:27:15 PM

  9. I can't!! I'm dying!! There's hope indeed!

    Posted by: SHABAKA | Jun 19, 2013 2:27:29 PM


    amazing story

    Posted by: Oscar | Jun 19, 2013 2:30:06 PM

  11. I just cannot get into rap one little tiny bit.

    Posted by: Monrocsol | Jun 19, 2013 2:33:26 PM

  12. Monrocsol If this doesn't do it, nothing will.

    Posted by: Shaun | Jun 19, 2013 2:58:03 PM

  13. Monrocsol, this my be hard for you to understand, but this ISN'T ABOUT YOU. (And it isn't about rap.) Let go, baby. It's a sweet story.

    Posted by: Robert | Jun 19, 2013 2:58:17 PM

  14. Touching! Beautiful story and the gay teacher must be someone these tough guys really respect and admire a lot and have a deep connection with to do something like this. He's a great teacher and person. Macklemore's song made the issue of LGBT rights and discrimination real to so many youth who may have not understood or supported but didn't really care, before watching his music video. It humanized our cause in the eyes of many youth, made them aware of the issues. Macklemore is someone we all should be very grateful to have on our side.

    I wonder if something like this is possible in the States, something like this happening.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 19, 2013 3:03:05 PM

  15. Wow! An After School Special on Towleroad!

    Three dumb rookie mistakes by this queen:

    1) Playing Youtube videos in the classroom
    2) Not enforcing the preview rules
    3) Bawling like butt-fukked newborn in front of your class

    Tears are for queers. She'll be out of teaching in two years, tops.

    Posted by: MateoM | Jun 19, 2013 3:09:03 PM

  16. I'm really surprised at how well Same love is doing in the charts.
    I expected the song to sell well, Macklemore is very popular right now and this come after two number 1 songs on billboard (and Same love was selling better than Can't hold us before CHU became a single).
    But the reaction of radio is more surprising. Same love entered first in Alternative when it's top 20 (Thrift shop was top 20 too in that format), and right now is top 20 on Rythmic and top 30 on pop. Probably it won't peak so high as their previous songs (both were number 1 on both formats) but for a song wich is clearly political (and without the catchy hook of TS or CHU) and radio is quite conservative in the USA, so this becoming a hit is amazing

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jun 19, 2013 3:21:22 PM

  17. yup, someone stuck there head out from the rock to piss on other people's joy and hope. situation normal...

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 19, 2013 3:28:28 PM

  18. You're right, Bandanajack. But just so you know that's not MateoM commenting. It's someone whose posting name begins with an "R".

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 19, 2013 3:34:27 PM

  19. Wrong again, my little Ebony Prancer. But so fun to watch you shadow boxing with ghosts.

    Posted by: Bootays 'n Weenays | Jun 19, 2013 3:44:34 PM

  20. Basically all of Macklemore's songs are very popular, radio friendly, and he has a huge following that cuts across many different groups and backgrounds. And he's doing that all while remaining independent and basically doing things on his own with Ryan Lewis. His songs all have a point to them, they're all relevant to political/mainstream/etc. culture.

    He's a breath of fresh air in the music industry and he is HUGE with teens so the fact he's so outspoken for equality is something that helps our cause a lot.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 19, 2013 3:58:59 PM

  21. Fake! This is a young teacher in his 20s, openly gay, but he has never heard of Macklemore and had never heard Same Love even though the song came out a year ago?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 19, 2013 4:12:16 PM

  22. Yes, a great gay anthem, Andy, and truly appeals to the young generation who are generally unburdened with the hang-ups and the fear and the discrimination and shame all of which accompanied my own rite of passage.

    Yeah Macklemore (aka Haggarty)knows well the stereotypes !
    And I love his "Irish Celebration" too.
    Pride pride pride.
    See you 15th Sept, in Dublin.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jun 19, 2013 4:14:56 PM

  23. "Bootays 'n Weenays"

    Neither of which you've ever had enough of.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 19, 2013 4:21:59 PM

  24. yeah - first negative comment that I ever put on here but this is over the top.
    He lives in Ontario, Canada. why would he be surprised? school boards in Ontario are very pro-acceptance and a young teacher never heard the song before???
    Teachers should teach - not show youtube videos. you should not look at your students as friends or for acceptance. You should be their leader and command respect... crying in front of your class? Yikes

    Posted by: kevin | Jun 19, 2013 4:26:35 PM

  25. Little Kiwi; the song came months ago, but it only started to be played on radios recently, so at least you follow hip hop or hear about the song in some webpages (like this) it's quite easy to not know the song at all.
    In fact it's not rare people not knowing the biggest successes in styles that they don't follow.

    And frankly the obsession with men crying of some posters is quite pathetic. People cries in a lot of occassions, get over it

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jun 19, 2013 4:52:46 PM

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