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Eagle Scout Launches Petition To End Discriminatory BSA Policy Targeting His Gay Identical Twin: VIDEO

Liam Easton-Calabria

In support of his gay identical twin brother, August Easton-Calabriaand has launched a Change.org petition asking the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to end a policy preventing openly gay people participating in the organization once they turn eighteen, reports The Advocate.

August and his brother Liam (above) grew up as part of the BSA. Both reached the rank of Eagle Scout last year.

Bsa-logoThe petition reads in part:

“I am straight. Liam is gay. In the eyes of the BSA, I am worthy to share Scouting with my children, but he is not. This heartbreaking consequence for Liam, me, and our parents goes against all I learned in Scouting.

“In the face of the National Council’s continuing prejudice against gay and lesbian parents and volunteers, it is up to individuals and local Councils to demonstrate support for dropping the anti-gay ban. That is why I am calling on my local Council to follow the lead of other Councils across the country and speak out for change.”

The petition is now close to receiving 25,000 signatures.

Watch the short documentary Clipped Wings which tells Liam's story and follows Geoff McGrath, a scoutmaster who was ejected from scouting because of his sexuality, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Eagle Scout Launches Petition To End Discriminatory BSA Policy Targeting His Gay Identical Twin: VIDEO" »


Texas School Bars Lesbian Student From Making Adorable 'Promposal' To Another Girl: VIDEO

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 12.52

A lesbian teenager in Texas says her high school refused to allow her to make a "promposal" to another girl.

Promposals, apparently a tradition at Timber Creek High School in Keller, near Fort Worth, are dramatic, public invitations to prom between students. 

BoxCasey Akers (above), 16, planned to jump out of a box with flowers on it (right) holding cookies and a sign that said, "Out of all these cookies, you're my favorite one. Prom?" The name of the girl Akers planned to invite to the prom is Cookie. 

Akers said she got approval for the promposal from school administrators — until they found out she was inviting another girl. NBCDFW.com reports: 

"I gave them all the details before. They say it’s fine. They find out who I am asking, then say it’s not fine," Akers said.

Akers sent a direct message about what happened to a friend on Twitter. Akers' friend who tweeted a screenshot of the message — with Casey’s permission — and it didn’t take long for the hash-tag campaign #LetCaseyPromposal to take off. 

“People are tweeting me from all over the U.S.," Akers said. "I had someone tweet from Toronto, Canada. This is spreading like crazy, and all I want to do is get the word out.”

TextsIn the message to her friend, Akers said she was walking into lunch when administrators pulled her aside and said her promposal was not appropriate. When she asked why, they said, "You know why. It's just not appropriate." 

Akers still plans to attend the prom with Cookie. 

"This is spreading like crazy and all I want to do is get the word out," she told NBCDFW.com. "I just want equality for everyone." 

The Keller Independent School District later issued a statement alleging that all promposals are prohibited, not just same-sex ones: 

"In response to recent social media posts regarding “promposals” at our high school campuses, Keller ISD does not grant permission for any student, regardless of gender, to conduct public prom invitations, or promposals, on campus during the school day. Any previous promposals that have occurred have done so without District approval. Promposals, and other similar public displays, may create a disruption to the academic setting, therefore they are not allowed for any student."

The district's statement may reflect a realization that under Title IX, administrators cannot discriminate based on sex. Therefore, the school could be in violation of federal law if they allowed straight promposals but not gay ones.

Watch NBCDFW.com's report, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading "Texas School Bars Lesbian Student From Making Adorable 'Promposal' To Another Girl: VIDEO" »


WATCH: Deaf Gay Man's Powerful Story of Coming Out to His Family and Overcoming Isolation

I'm From Driftwood

In a powerful coming out story for I'm From Driftwood, Richard Mesich explains the isolation he felt thinking he was the only deaf gay man in the world.

Richard shares what it was like coming out to his mother and how his gay uncles brought him to a gay bar for the first time on his 21st birthday.

Watch Richard's story, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "WATCH: Deaf Gay Man's Powerful Story of Coming Out to His Family and Overcoming Isolation" »


Amazing 13-Year-Old Tom Sosnik Comes Out As Trans In Powerful Speech: VIDEO

TOM Sonsink

Citing the suicide of trans teen Leelah Alcorn, 13-year-old Tom Sosnik has come out as trans in a powerful speech, reports Pink News.

With amazing clarity and insight well beyond his years, Tom tells his audience:

“For a while, I dismissed the fact that I hated my body. I pretended to be content with what I was assigned until, at a certain point, I broke.

“For some of you this may come as a shock, and for others, well, you knew or you thought that I was transgender.

“Well here’s your reassurance: I am no longer Mia. I never really was. And now I finally stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity, as Tom. I stand before you as a 13-year-old boy."

Tom goes on to tell his audience that his announcement should not be treated as gossip but tells friends and family to feel free to ask him questions because “I know the most about my transition.”

Watch Tom’s powerful speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Amazing 13-Year-Old Tom Sosnik Comes Out As Trans In Powerful Speech: VIDEO" »


Iowa Senate OKs Ban On Gay Conversion Therapy — 'The Worst Kind Of Child Abuse'

Iowa

In a straight (no pun intended) party-line vote, the Iowa Senate on Tuesday approved a proposal to ban gay conversion therapy for minors. 

Twenty six Democrats voted in favor of the measure, while 24 Republicans voted against it. 

The bill would prohibit licensed mental health professionals from attempting to change the sexual orientation of anyone under 18. Only California, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., have passed similar laws. 

The Des Moines Register reports: 

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, urged support for the bill, saying lawmakers were seeking to prohibit a discredited practice.

"I am heterosexual, and I would hate to go to a therapist who would try to convert me to be gay," said Bolkcom, adding that the legislation would send the message to Iowans that "being gay is OK." ... 

Sen. Julian Garrett, R-Indianola, spoke against the bill, saying the most important issue is one of choice.

"There may be parents and minors who desire this kind of counseling, and should we deprive them of that choice, particularly if they want to go to a licensed professional?" Garrett said. "I believe we ought to leave this choice up to the parent and the minors involved. If they do want it, it should be their right."

Matthew_McCoy_-_Official_Portrait_-_84th_GAOpenly gay Iowa Sen. Matt McCoy (right) called conversion therapy "the worst kind of child abuse" and urged his colleagues to "stand on the right side of history." Unfortunately, the bill isn't likely to pass the Republican-controlled House, due to opposition from Christian conservatives. 

It's interesting that these so-called Christians couch arguments against conversion therapy bans in terms of freedom, yet they do not support the freedom to marry. 

Also, it's notable that unlike other proposed conversion therapy bans around the country, the Iowa bill — which you can read here — doesn't include gender identity. 

This is a curious exclusion, especially in the wake of the highly publicized suicide of trans teen Leelah Alcorn.

Most state and national LGBT organizations have long had a policy of not supporting legislation that isn't fully trans-inclusive. So it's unclear to us why this standard isn't being applied to conversion therapy bans. 

CORRECTION: Gender identity and expression are included in the Iowa bill under the definition of "sexual orientation change efforts." 


Canadian Gay Teen's Father Describes Son's Coming Out As 'Worse Than Death'

Tyler Vancouver Canada

A Canadian gay teenager has received an outpouring of support online after he posted screenshots in which his father allegedly described the news of his son’s coming out as “worse than death,” reports The Independent.

The screenshots of messages, which 15-year-old Tyler says his father sent via Facebook, say the teen had brought “shame and embarrassment” on his family and should “stay away.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.00.57The messages continued:

"You embarrass me from all the people I knew. I'm going to puke. Whatever you do it reflects on me. People will ridicule me, insult me, and I might turn out to be a criminal. I have enough of all this b******t.

"You are trying to ruin me. This is worse than death.

"You f**k!!!

"We took care of you since you were a baby. We loved you, took care of you when you’re sick. Lost many days and nights in all your fifteen years. Now this is what we get in return, shame and embarrassment.

"'If only you didn't reject God and His teachings in your life you could have been strong enough to stay from evil and scum that surrounds you.

"Stay away."

Of his father’s unbelievable reaction, Tyler wrote:

"My dad’s reaction to me coming out. Can’t even say it to my face.

"This is terrible please find someone in your life who cares, they’re there I promise.

"This physically hurts to read wow."

However, Tyler has received support from people on social media who have shared and commented on his story.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.01.17Although Tyler’s mother and sisters have been supportive, he has not spoken to his father since the homophobic tirade.

"I haven't heard from my father at all. I moved out to my aunts' house a few weeks after he sent the messages.

"He sent them a week after I came out during December, and I haven't spoken to him since then. The rest of my family were kind of blown away by how much attention [the screenshots] have drawn.

"I initially just posted them in anger and disappointment to my Tumblr blog because that is usually where I vent and rant about stuff. I never thought that it was going to [escalate] like this."


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