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Colombian Teen Commits Suicide After Alleged Anti-gay Harassment From Catholic School Administrators

A 16-year-old Colombian boy has committed suicide in August after reportedly anti-gay harassment from his Catholic school administrators, GLAAD reports this week:

SergioSergio Urrego, 16, killed himself after school's administrators first made public his relationship with another young man then accused him of sexual harassment. According to the story, the relationship was uncovered by a teacher who saw a photo on Sergio's phone of he and his boyfriend kissing. The school, Gimnasio Castillo Campestre, a Catholic institution, treated the situation in a deplorable manner, according to Sergio's mother, who said she will not rest until her son's name is cleared. She is filing a complaint, supported by the LGBT group Colombia Diversa

Urrego was called to the school principal, who reportedly belittled Urrego - calling him as an "anarchist" an "atheist" and "a homosexual."

The Advocate adds:

It is unclear what actions, if any will, be taken against the school and those involved in the alleged abuse. El Espectador notes that Urrego and his parents had requested meetings with school and district officials to discuss the antigay harassment Urrego was enduring at the hands of those who were paid to educate and protect him, but school officials claimed Urrego's problems were based at home, with parents who did not accept his sexual orientation.

A vigil is planned tomorrow in front of the school and at the location where Urrego ended his life.

[photo via Facebook]


Georgia Teen Disowned After 'Pray the Gay Away' Intervention Now Helping LGBT Homeless Shelter: VIDEO

Daniel Pierce, the Georgia teen who recorded disturbing video of his family's abhorrent and violent reaction to his sexuality during a "pray the gay away" intervention last month, has stopped taking donations to his GoFundMe page and has now asked that supporters instead contribute to Atlanta's Lost-n-Found Youth, a nonprofit organization that helps transition homeless LGBT young people into a permanent living situation.

PiercePierce's update to his GoFundMe page:

I’ve asked my friends to discontinue donations to the GoFundMe page, but if you would still like to give money and help the LGBTQ youth homeless crisis, please visit the Lost-n-Found Youth website at www.Lost-n-Found.org for more information on how you can make a difference for the many other kids in the world like me.

The GoFundMe page was set up to cover Pierce's living everyday expenses and has raised almost $94,000. Pierce has already donated a good chunk of that money to Lost-n-Found Youth.

GaLost-n-Found Youth is currently in the middle of a campaign with a goal of raising $500,000 to support the renovation of a building that would become the groups new home in 2015. The 100-year-old building in Atlanta would provide 18 homelss youth a place to live for up three months.

Watch a CBS46 news report about Pierce and Lost-n-Found Youth's renovation efforts, AFTER THE JUMP.

Once Pierce's family learned that he had published the video of their confrontation on YouTube, they left him a voicemail message asking him to remove it from the website. Since the video (also AFTER THE JUMP) was posted less than two weeks ago, it has garnered nearly 6 million views.

Continue reading "Georgia Teen Disowned After 'Pray the Gay Away' Intervention Now Helping LGBT Homeless Shelter: VIDEO" »


Right-wing Nut Linda Harvey Warns Gays Are 'Preying on Children' At LGBT Youth Centers: AUDIO

HarveyDoing her best impression of Anita Bryant circa 1977, right wing nutbag Linda Harvey issued a news bulletin on her radio program yesterday about a new MassResistance 'report' detailing the growth of dangerous, indoctrinating LGBT youth centers. 

"Preying on Children - today you will really want to hold on to your seats because what I'm going to talk about is truly disturbing. You will want to steer your younger children elsewhere for a few minutes," the segment ominously begins.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Previously, "Linda Harvey: Labor Day is for Resisting the 'Homosexual Lobby' - LISTEN" [tlrd]

Continue reading "Right-wing Nut Linda Harvey Warns Gays Are 'Preying on Children' At LGBT Youth Centers: AUDIO" »


As College Enrollment Dwindles, Schools Aim To Attract Growing LGBT Student Population

CampusPride

University enrollment is slowly dwindling--perhaps because of exorbitant costs and student loans--but a 2013 study from the Pew Research Center shows that twenty, smack dab in the middle of college, is the average age at which LGBT persons are coming out in America. Many schools are perking up their ears, then, and realizing that as attitudes change about sexual orientation in the United States, LGBT students who feel comfortable expressing themselves will need more support and resources available to them than ever before.

Time reports:

“It’s a competitive advantage,” says Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, one of the nation’s first on-campus support centers for LGBT students. “If you want to attract the best and brightest students, you don’t want competitors to get a leg up.”

A growing number of campuses are launching programs to attract and hold onto LGBT students, including college fairs aimed at LGBT applicants, LGBT student-support offices, special graduation ceremonies, and housing and healthcare for transgender students. Colleges and universities are also putting more resources into LGBT student centers, including by hiring full-time employees to direct them.


With Campus Pride and The Princeton Review tracking the level of LGBT-accessibility and friendliness at campuses around the country, it is easier than ever for students to pick and choose the schools they apply to based on criteria specific to sexual orientation. Over 400 schools have taken Campus Pride's index survey, says executive director Shane Windmeyer.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c6d8d5ca970b-200wi“Campuses today want to be called gay friendly,” Windmeyer says. “They see they’re going to lose students if they’re not, [and] realize the pool of non-LGBT students is dwindling.”

Josh Bergeleen (right), a gay recent graduate of Emory University who found more support from his school's LGBT resources than from his family in Texas, agrees that schools will realize the tide is changing soon enough.

“As there is more awareness of LGBT [people] in the larger community,” he says, “more and more kids are going to want to know what resources and information are available. Schools will catch up.” 

(Photo of Bergeleen via Time.)


Pakistani Author Gets Hate Mail for Beautiful Children's Book About a Boy's Gay Uncle

Chacha

Eiynah Nice Mangos, a Toronto-based blogger and illustrator recently created a post called "My Chacha Is Gay," a story about a little boy in Pakistan and his gay uncle. The post received a great deal of attention and Eiynah began a crowdfunding campaign to turn it into a published book; she met her goal and Pakistan's first pro-gay children's book was born. "My Chacha Is Gay" has now been translated into seven different languages, though it is still unavailable in Pakistan.

Buzzfeed reports:

“The treatment of LGBTQ people in Pakistan is incredibly unjust, as is the treatment of most minorities, or anyone that doesn’t fit the expected mould,” Eiynah told BuzzFeed in an email. “The concept of LGBTQ rights does not exist in any large-scale mainstream way. People are isolated from family, friends and loved ones over things like this. It’s no way to live… Admittedly we are not as extreme as countries like Iran in our homophobia, but that doesn’t mean the situation is not horrendous..."

“I feel there are very few resources for children in our country that are not painted with a religious brush. When I see the state Pakistan’s in, I feel like perhaps we need to start on teaching social acceptance and tolerance at a younger age. I don’t think majority of us see the urgency of doing that. If we did, things might be different,” she said.

Eiynah did not expect the book to go over smoothly in her home country, but she was shocked by the amount of vehement hatred directed at her and the fictional characters she created.

“Of course I knew that Pakistani culture/society was homophobic but since this project the extent of that homophobia has shocked me. The kinds of hate mail I get – calling for the death of Chacha, equating my book with Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”. People have literally told me I am worthy of death because I am an enemy of “god” because of this book.”

Read the simple and beautiful book at Buzzfeed, and order a copy of your own at the book's website.

Photo via nicemangos.blogspot.ca.


Georgia Teen Speaks Out About His Family's Horrific 'Pray the Gay Away' Intervention: VIDEO

Pierce

Yesterday, we posted a disturbing video of Daniel Pierce recording his family's heartbreaking rejection of the Georgia teen because of his sexual orientation. In the three days since the footage has been uploaded to YouTube, the video has amassed over 3 million views and a GoFundMe page set up to support Daniel has raised over $90,000. 

Speaking to Atlanta's 11Alive NBC station, Daniel shared more information about his parents' reaction - revealing that he had actually came out last October and that the video footage was of his father, grandparents, step-mother and her sister staging a "pray the gay away" intervention on his behalf. 

Pierce2"I thought for myself, for my own protection if something were to happen it would be best to have it on video. I just hit record. I just hit camera and hit record. I just know that I did it for my protection and it kind of all went from there, and the video really speaks for itself," Pierce said. [...]

"What I hope people take away from watching that is it still happens. A lot of people don't realize that it happens. They see all the positive videos and the negative video never gets seen so if one family maybe watches it and maybe changes their mind in how they are going to handle it about their son or daughter coming out, one family and I will be happy. I want to education people on the issue because it is something going on," Pierce said.

Pierce said he has had no contact with his parents since that moment caught on video. He says, "the ball is in their court" and he "has so much support from other avenues," he doesn't need it.

"The video was not posted for people to attack them. I wouldn't want it to happen to me. I wouldn't want it to happen to them. They are still my family and they are in my heart but what happened in that video is very hurtful," he said.

Pierce also spoke about the help he's received from LGBT support groups such as Lost-N-Found Youth and his plans to donate a portion of the $90,000 raised to help support gay teens in similar situations.

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

Continue reading "Georgia Teen Speaks Out About His Family's Horrific 'Pray the Gay Away' Intervention: VIDEO" »


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