Gay Youth Hub




Student Fired From University Job Last Year After Coming Out Says Things Have Changed: 'Life Is Absolutely Fantastic'

StephenlovegroveLast year, Stephen Lovegrove was fired from his position as a resident assistant at Charleston Southern University after coming out. He had been inspired by Macklemore's performance of "Same Love" at the 2013 VMA's to spread a message of acceptance as someone both gay and Christian; when the school found out about a series of videos he had created about the subject, he was subject to immediate discrimination. 

One year later and Stephen's quality of life is on the mend. 

GLAAD reports:

Earlier this week, Stephen sent GLAAD a one-year update, noting how much his life has changed for the better after leaving Charleston Southern University. He writes:

One year later, I am happy to report that my life is in a very different place. I am at a new university that is truly diverse, and absolutely loving it. Actually, I’m the director of Safe Zones, a program we have to create a more inclusive school for LGBTQ students. I also host a YouTube talk show and have spoken with lots of different guests about issues of sexuality and spirituality. Best of all, I get to volunteer with Human Rights Campaign in a program with a youth center helping homeless LGBTQ youth in my city. And I’m in talks for a new independent reality show portraying characters who are young queer individuals grappling with love and spirituality in their college years.

Life is absolutely fantastic. :D I am still speaking out about employment discrimination and other issues faced by the queer community. My story always gets people attention and helps them understand all the work that still needs to be done. We are all in this movement together.

MTV also did a follow-up interview with Stephen about his life now, the initiatives he feels passionately about, and his initial inspiration, "Same Love."

That song helped me believe that I could love another human being, that my love was good and real and equal to every other human being.

Here's to a bright future!


Poll: Republicans Warming to Gay Candidates, Less Okay With Gay Kids or Same-Sex Marriage

A new poll released Friday shows that while the Republican Party is warming up to the idea of openly gay candidates, members are still strongly opposed to same-sex marriage and most would be upset if one of their children came out as gay. 

The Washington Post reports:

Gopnew poll from McClatchy and Marist College shows that 68 percent of Republicans say they would be no less likely to support a well-qualified gay candidate, and 59 percent say they prefer that states decide same-sex marriage rather than the federal government -- a stance that effectively is allowing such unions to take hold across the country.

At the same time, a strong majority of Republicans still personally oppose same-sex marriage (63 percent), and a similar proportion remains concerned about these issues directly affecting their family. In fact, six in 10 say they would be upset if one of their children were gay. Thirty-seven percent say they would be upset if their child told them that he or she was gay, while 23 percent say they would be "very upset." One-quarter of Republicans say they would not be upset at all.

Three in 10 Democrats and independents said they would be upset. 

The Washington Post adds that a 1985 poll for the Los Angeles Times "showed that 89 percent of Americans said they would be upset -- including 64 percent being "very upset" -- today, 35 percent say they would be upset, and only 12 percent say "very upset." 


Josh Hutcherson Launches New Campaign to Help Rural and Low-Income LGBT Youth

Hutcherson

Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, in partnership with Straight But Not Narrow, The Trevor Project, and human I-T, has launched Power On - a new campaign to provide low-income and rural LGBT youth with refurbished digital devices. 

OUT reports:

From now through October 16’s Spirit Day, the organizations will be working together to encourage teens to donate their old and unused laptops, tablets, and smartphones to be, through the campaign, refurbished and distributed to LGBTQ resource centers across the United States.

According to GLSEN’s “Out Online” study, more than half of LGBTQ youth who were not out in person had used the internet to connect with other queer people and like minded individuals. “...For young LGBTQ people, it may not be easy to find others like them nearby,” said Abbe Land, executive director and CEO of The Trevor Project. 

Said Hutcherson, who donated one of his own computers to the campaign:

“It's awesome to know that it'll be used to help a young person out there who, before this campaign, wasn't able to get access to information and resources that could really help them,"

To help with the campaign, click HERE


Freedom To Marry Wants Young, Pro-Equality Republicans To Run For Delegate Spots At 2016 GOP Convention

FreedomToMarryFreedom to Marry recognizes the shifting tide toward a pro-marriage equality Republican Party, and they aim to capitalize on the demographic most ready to take the plunge. In a series of meetings in Iowa this week, FtM will encourage Republicans under the age of 30 to run for coveted delegate position slots at the 2016 GOP Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Their participation would help the party move on important changes in language, from anti-gay to pro-conversation, which could be key should the Supreme Court not decide on a same-sex marriage case in the coming year.

Politico reports:

“It’s time for the party to modernize on this issue,” said Margaret Hoover, a Republican strategist, CNN commentator and native Iowan who is part of the Freedom to Marry delegation making the trip to the key early presidential state...

“We want for the presidential process in 2016 [that gay marriage will] be an issue nationally that Republicans are debating,” said Tyler Deaton, the campaign manager for the Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry effort.

He added, “Our intention is to bring a record number of young delegates to the convention … and make some history.”

Cleveland2016The Republican Party has consistently received flack for its exclusivity, particularly against young people, women, and the LGBT community. Freedom to Marry hopes to achieve a more even-keeled approach by shifting the party's platform.

“We recognize that there are diverse and sincerely held views on civil marriage within the Party, and that support for allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry has grown substantially in our own Party,” reads some of the proposed language.

“Given this journey that so many Americans, including Republicans, are on, we encourage and welcome a thoughtful conversation among Republicans about the meaning and importance of marriage, and commit our Party to respect for all families and fairness and freedom for all Americans.”

Those hoping for a younger, more-center-leaning GOP in 2016 have their work cut out for them.


Study: LGBT Youth Report Online Harassment Three Times More Often Than Heterosexual Peers

  Same difference

A recent study by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network shows that nearly three times the amount of LGBT youth respondents reported bullying and harassment online as compared to their non-LGBT peers, reports The Advocate.

Additionally, the report demonstrates that LGBT youth were twice as likely to report being harassed via text message.

Based on a national survey of 5,680 students in middle and high school, effects of bullying reported included lowered self-esteem, higher likelihood of depression, and lowered grade point averages.

However, noting that respondents reported increased peer support, access to health information, and opportunities for civic engagement, Michelle Ybarra, the president and research director of the Center for Innovative Health Research said that the Internet “does not serve to simply reinforce the negative dynamics found offline regarding bullying” but “also offers LGBT youth critical tools for coping with these negative experiences."

The study found LGBT youth nearly twice as likely to research medical information online, with transgender youth proving particularly proactive in that area.

In April, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed an anti-bullying bill into law strengthening protections for LGBT students and students with disabilities.

Previously, 'Same Difference': Documentary Film Looks at LGBT Youth - VIDEO


Review: Exuberant Coming-Of-Age Dramedy ‘The Way He Looks’ Charts Blind Teen’s First Love

WayHeLooks1

BY JOSEPH EHRMAN-DUPRE

Buoyant, clever, sensitive; words can do very little to express the exuberance and authenticity of Daniel Ribeiro’s near-perfect debut feature, The Way He Looks, based on his 2010 short film with the same cast and premise. The film screened this week at NYC's NewFest. A coming-of-age dramedy with a highly original narrative, the movie’s title is provocative for calling into question the ways we “see” the ones we love and just how narrow our worldview may be.

WayHeLooks2At the center of a sun-dappled, pastel-colored Sao Paulo, Brazil is Leonardo (Ghilherme Lobo, right), a teenager who was born blind and bears the brunt of several surly bullies' wrath at his suburban high school. He longs for independence from his overbearing parents “like every teenager” director Ribeiro was quick to point out at the film’s talkback. His only real friend is Giovana (Tess Amorim, below left), a neighbor and classmate; they adore each other and spend every day together. Their routine is interrupted by the arrival of a cute new student, Gabriel (Fabio Audi, below right), who becomes fast friends with the pair. When Gabriel and Leonardo pair up for a school project, though, Giovana quickly becomes jealous, and the two boys grow even closer. 

It’d be a shame to give away too much more, but suffice to say that the film takes unexpected romantic turns while retaining a bubbly and heart-warming sheen. It won the Audience Award at NewFest for good reason. The applause following its screening was deafening.

WayHeLooks3Perhaps the most engaging element of the film is the way it film negotiates Leo’s blindness. We are constantly reminded that Leo cannot see the world around him, or even the people he is closest to in his life. One spooky dream sequence finds him interacting with shadowy black-and-white figures of his classmates, but otherwise the film plays with the idea that sound is Leo’s most prominent sense, and that the people around him are privileged to be able to see. When he and Gabriel go to the movies, the camera lingers on their mouths as he describes what is happening on screen, and the sounds of the cheesy sci-fi film are heightened; at another point, Gabriel and Leo sneak out to “watch” a lunar eclipse, a concept which Gabriel struggles to explain to someone who has never seen one.  Leo’s blindness is, therefore, a prominent plot point, one which heightens the tension surrounding he and Gabriel’s relationship with Giovana and each other.

At the film’s talkback, Ribeiro discussed the different vision of love that he hoped the film could present, one based not on the pretense of physical attraction and visual memory, or on fixed notions of sexual orientation. The Way He Looks is not a coming out film in any sense; the word “gay” is never used, Ribeiro stated proudly. Instead he sees it is a natural experience of romantic interest, that someone should fall in love with a person without the confines of a specific label. In this sense, Ribeiro recognized that his film is an ideal vision, though that does not mean the characters exit the narrative unscathed.

WayHeLooks4The Way He Looks deals frankly with jealousy, bullying, parent-child conflicts, and confusing sexual desires. There are tough scenes, and despite the sunny lensing and cheery outlook, every character has faults. Still, rarely have I left a theater feeling as fulfilled, or as happy to have gotten to know the characters on screen. Perhaps because the film’s love story, constrained by lost sight, is the most original, sensitive, and touching one to come along in quite some time.

Watch the film's trailer as well as the original short film (which *spoiler alert* gives away the whole movie), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Review: Exuberant Coming-Of-Age Dramedy ‘The Way He Looks’ Charts Blind Teen’s First Love" »


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