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)

Comments

  1. tinkerbelle says

    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.

  2. says

    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.)

  3. mike/ says

    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…

  4. Robert says

    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.

  5. Francis #1 says

    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.

  6. MateoM says

    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.

  7. jjose712 says

    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

  8. Derrick from Philly says

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

  9. Francis #1 says

    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.

  10. says

    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.

  11. kevin says

    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

  12. jjose712 says

    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

  13. Caliban says

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but it’s a great story IF it’s true. Just because some one said it on Reddit (poetry!) doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact it reads like creative fiction designed to become a viral hit.

    However, my skepticism about the factual basis of this account shouldn’t be taken as criticism of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who I like very much.

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    LOL @”To Sir, with love.”

    I didn’t even think about that, Bill. Maybe they ought to do a new version with a Gay student as the major protagonist. Who’d be the teacher- who’d play Sidney Poitier’s part? WHY, JAMES FRANCO, of course.

    Now, I’m crying again….singing Lulu’s famous hit song.

    “To, siii’ir, with love…bum…bum…bum, bum, bum,”

    Child, we are old.

  15. says

    That’s an awesome story! Especially awesome that this came from the student side, you know.

    Let’s take this song to No. 1. So hope Macklemore & Ryan Lewis get asked to perform at the VMAs this summer or at next year’s Grammys and include a little bit of this.

  16. Two Dads says

    ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LGBT STORIES!

    And this song is an anthem for ALL humanity!

    Write, facebook and tweet all your local radio stations to play it as it’s finally getting some good air time and is an amazing song

  17. emjayay says

    Well of course everything on the internet can be fiction, or not. But there’s no necessity for a young gay teacher to be familiar with hip hop.

    Thanks for bringing this video to our attention and from commenters more info, including the Murs video. Here’s Murs on a really annoying radio show talking about the song and video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwTSPcNSi40&feature=youtu.be

    And what’s up with this totally excellent blog and trolls anyway? And thanks, Alejandro and the real MateoM.

    Maybe a voting system like some sites use that would delete comments after a certain down vote would help. And a way to reply directly to comments like some other sites have would be nice also.

  18. Darrell says

    Why it makes being a Canadian so great that after 10 years of legal/acceptable/NORMAL/ordinary…. Gay marriage to our newer generations here in my country regard it as NON ISSUE!

    Thank you for posting this about us!

  19. jamal49 says

    No pollen allergies today. These tears are the real deal, moved to the core of my soul by this beautiful video and the lead-in story to it. The world changes, attitudes change, slowly, but they change. Today, I feel hopeful.

  20. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “Little Kiwi,” WHY DO Y-O-U ASSUME THIS TEACHER IS OBLIGATED TO KNOW ABOUT gay anthems?

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  21. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    “kevin” [19 JUNE; 4:26:35 PM],

    YOUR COMMENTARY IMPLIES American Towleroaders KNOW ABOUT HOMOSEXUAL LIFE IN ONTARIO, CANADA. IF MOST OF THESE young Towleroaders LIKE THIS STORY, WHY ARE YOU BEING DIVISIVE ON SUCH AN INSIGNIFICANT ISSUE?

    NOW, YES, I AGREE – A TEACHER SHOULD NOT CRY IN THE PRESENCE OF STUDENTS; BUT, OBVIOUSLY, HE HAS NO FEAR OF GETTING FIRED. SO, WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  22. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTONSTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    I JUST WATCHED THIS “Same Love” music video. Andy Towle IS FROM MONTANA AND MANY OF YOU Towleroaders MUST BE FROM THE NORTH IF THIS SONG RECEIVES AIR-PLAY. DO ANY SOUTHERNERS READ Towleroad? THIS SONG WOULD NOT GET AIR-PLAY DOWN HERE. REGULAR AIR-PLAY MEANS ALL PEOPLE HAVE HEARD IT – INCLUDING, HETEROSEXUALS.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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