Gay Youth Hub




20-Year-Old Georgian Disowned After 'Pray the Gay Away' Intervention Joins Board of Homeless LGBT Youth Org

Pierce

Daniel Pierce, the 20-year-old Georgian whose video of his family's verbally and physically abusive "pray the gay away" intervention back in August went viral, has been named to the Board of Directors of Lost-n-Found Youth, GLAAD reports:

Lost-n-Found Youth is a non-profit organization providing temporary housing, job search assistance, counseling, and other services to homeless LGBT youth. Pierce is the first former client of Lost-n-Found Youth to join the organization's Board of Directors. His appointment is part of a larger effort to bring broad perspectives and skills to the organization's leadership. 

GLAAD adds Pierce is using a portion of the nearly $100,000 he raised in the wake of the video's release to help Lost-n-Found build a new shelter for LGBT homeless youth that will reportedly triple the capacity of the organization's current shelter. 

Said Pierce:

"Lost-n-Found was there for support from the earliest moments and they stepped in before I ever got to the first critical 48 hours of homelessness," said Pierce. "Their quick response is proof that there is a safe place in Atlanta for youth like me to turn to for support. Even though my personal story was extreme, I hope my experiences can continue the dialogue about GLBTQ youth homelessness and get people off the street by engaging the community."

More info on Lost-n-Found can be found here


Jenny McCarthy Says She Feels Transgender, 'Would Be So Excited' If Her Son Were Gay

JennyMcCarthy

Former Playboy bunny and The View host Jenny McCarthy opened up in an interview with Pride Source recently, and the results were unexpected to say the least. The model-actress, who has a 12-year-old son and recently married Donnie Wahlberg, was first asked about her acting career. As Us Weekly reports, one early role may have been particularly important for McCarthy to play.

It all started when the blonde was asked about playing a transgender woman in '90s sitcom Just Shoot Me! "I feel like that inside. I always felt like one of the guys wearing, like, a Playboy bunny outfit," [McCarthy] admitted. "I was David Spade’s buddy to begin with, so I was a natural fit, and I always felt like his brother. To play kind of the dude, was almost too scary natural," she added of starring alongside Spade in the series.

One wonders if McCarthy considers herself a tomboy or truly does feel akin to a transgender person, as a male gendered person who has been assigned a female sex. It is, of course, no one's place to judge.

It may be easier, however, to roll your eyes at the somewhat dated and stereotypical answer she gave later on in the interview:

The former Playboy model was also asked how she'd feel if her 12-year-old son Evan came out as gay. "Oh my god, I would be so excited," she exclaimed. "We can shop! Do my hair!"

Right, because that's what every gay boy likes to do! But at least McCarthy thinks that everyone might be a little bit gay:

"I really do feel like, with sexuality being more open and people coming out, there might be a little bi in everybody; it’s just a matter of who acts on it."


Russian Exchange Student 'Afraid to Go Home' Over Fears of Russia's Persecution of Gays

Flex

The lawyer for the Russian gay teenager at the center of Russia's decision to end its student exchange program with the U.S. says her client is seeking political asylum in America due to fears of Russia's crackdown on its LGBT community, Radio Free Europe reports:

“Our client is afraid of returning to Russia because Russia persecutes gay people. That’s what this is about,” Susan Reed, an attorney with the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, told RFE/RL on October 7.

The boy lived with an American family and attended a U.S. high school in 2012-13 as part of the decades-old Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX).

But he did not return to his home country at the conclusion of the exchange as required by the program. His decision to remain in the United States emerged last week when Russia cited the case in its decision to suspend its participation in FLEX.

AstakhovAnnouncing the end of the country’s participation in FLEX, Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov [pictured right] said the student was "seduced" to stay in the U.S. by a Michigan gay couple. 

Reed told RFE/RL that the statements and reports from Russian officials seem to suggest “that there’s some person or some people whose sexual orientation is relevant. And that’s just not the case.”

“There’s no adoption, there’s no untoward behavior,” she said. “He met many caring adults, both gay and straight in the U.S., and he decided to stay here because he was afraid to go home.”


Ohio Gay Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen

Cooper robar

A high school in Lakewood, Ohio, has crowned a gay male student as homecoming queen, reports Cleveland.com.

Last September, a transgender student in Huntington Beach, California, was crowned homecoming queen. In August 2013, two out gay students in Illinois were named homecoming king and queen.

Instead of naming a traditional king and queen, Lakewood High School decided to crown three people after Cooper Robar won the race for homecoming queen. Also named as members of “royalty” were Tess Jones, who received the most votes among girls, and Xavier Pedro, who was elected king.

Cooper’s mother Wendy explained that what started out as a joke turned into a statement on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community:

"It was him being a goofball and saying wouldn't it be fun if he could be queen. I was pretty shocked [that we won]. I was surprised by the roaring of applause and the yelling for Cooper….We are very proud of him being able to stand up for himself and tell the world he is who he is and have no misgivings about it.”

She added that although Cooper is popular at school, she was surprised he didn't encounter any serious backlash from critics.

Lakewood Principal Keith Ahearn said there was nothing in the rules preventing a boy from running as queen and deciding to name three members of royalty was the fairest way to handle the situation.


Lesbian Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen of Texas High School: VIDEO

Swartz-larson

Here's a sweet story straight out of northern Texas. On Friday night, April Swartz-Larson became the first open lesbian student to campaign for (and win!) McKinney High School's homecoming queen title.

Perhaps more notable than her sexuality was her choice to rock her own style for the award. Though she donned the obligatory tiara (above), she wore a tuxedo for the ceremony. Said Swartz-Larson:

Swartz-larson2It would have been funny to see me out there in a dress. [...] I'm not the typical choice for homecoming queen at all. I'm gay, first of all, and I'm gay living in McKinney.

Said the newly-crowned queen's father, Darrin Larson "First I was nervous, like I was afraid someone was playing a joke on her, but then when I found out it was serious I was just so happy for her." The friend who nominated Swartz-Larson said that her friend was "perfect" for this award, because she is the "kindest person I know."

A camera captured the moment at a Friday football game when the crowd went wild for Swartz-Larson. Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Lesbian Teen Crowned Homecoming Queen of Texas High School: VIDEO" »


Russia Ends U.S. Student Exchange Program, Blames Elderly Michigan Gay Couple

Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov

Russia has canceled a foreign exchange program with the U.S., alleging that a gay couple persuaded a man to stay with them and apply for asylum, reports The Guardian.

FlexSince 1992, the state department-financed Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) has brought 23,000 students aged 15 to 17 from Russia and former Soviet countries to study in U.S. schools and live with local families for one academic year.

Human rights organisations have accused the Russian government of promoting discrimination following the introduction of a "gay propaganda" law last year.

Announcing the end of the country’s participation in FLEX, Russia’s children’s rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov [pictured above] said the couple became the legal guardians of the Russian student, after the student left his host family and stayed in the U.S. when the school year ended in May.

According to Russian state news agency Itar-Tass, the student met the couple - elderly veterans who had previously adopted two American boys - in church and the men offered to become his immigration sponsors and pay for him to study at Harvard University.

Astakhov explained on Twitter that the cancellation came about because of a “gross violation by the host country, the United States, of the obligation to unconditionally return students from Russia who travel there to study.”

In an interview with the official government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, he added that the student moved in with the two men in Michigan, “and they gradually developed – how can I say this carefully – close friendly relations.”

Anton Meshkov, a former FLEX student, said the fact that 15 young people are thought to have stayed in the U.S. after the program ended was not a “serious reason to take away the chance to travel from hundreds of kids”.

“It’s absurd to suppose that the program could facilitate the seduction of young Russians. As a participant in this program myself, I know what a serious selection process host families go through.”

Last year, Astakhov vowed he would do everything possible to ensure that Russian orphans were only adopted by heterosexual couples. 


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