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Gay Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies Comprise Over 10% Of Popular 'Sugar Dating' Site's Membership

SeekingArrangement

The worsening student-debt crisis reportedly is fueling a surge in the number of college students seeking "sugar daddies" to help them pay their way through school. 

The Atlantic reported last month on the latest numbers from SeekingArrangement.com, which bills itself as "the world's largest sugar dating dating site":  

What might have been little more than a nuisance in the past has turned into an outright hindrance to many students’ financial security: It takes about 14 years on average to pay off the debt. As a result, young women across the country are turning to sugar daddies in droves. ... More than 1.4 million students have signed up as members, including nearly 1 million in the U.S., according to the company. The website claims that 42 percent of its members are students, many of whom are incentivized by SeekingArrangement to join; people who sign up with a .edu email address or show proof of enrollment, for example, receive "premium memberships" for free.

SugarBabyYou wouldn't necessarily know it from the many news stories about the trend — or even from the promotional images at SeekingArrangement.com, most of which feature younger women and older men — but many of the site's sugar babies, sugar daddies and sugar mommies are in fact LGBT. 

Back in 2008, SeekingArrangement.com reported that it had reached 250,000 gay members, announced an LGBT landing page (above) and released a promotional video from a gay sugar baby (right):  

Unlike normal gay dating sites that feel more like meat markets than places to find “true love”, SeekingArrangement has a professional, warm, sincere feel to it. Here older and wealthy gay Daddies or Mommas are looking for more than intimacy. They are actually interested in helping grow young men and women into successful adults.

Gay Sugar Daddies don’t necessarily fit your average gay stereotype, as many married heterosexual men are experimenting here for their first time as well. Here on SeekingArrangement, about half of the gay Sugar Daddies are bisexual or closeted men in heterosexual relationships.

In 2010, SeekingArrangement.com released its Top 10 Cities For Gay Sugar Daddies, led by New York City.  

So, in the wake of recent news reports about the site's growth, Towleroad reached out to SeekingArrangement.com for the latest numbers on LGBT members. Spokeswoman Angela Bermudo responded by providing this breakdown:  

• 280,000 Gay Sugar Baby Males
• 60,000 Gay Sugar Daddies 
• 8,400 Lesbian Sugar Mommies
• 40,000 Lesbian Sugar Babies 
• 75 Trans Sugar Babies 

All told, that means 388,475 of the site's 3.6 million members worldwide are LGBT — or about 11 percent. 

SeekingArrangement.com recently released figures on the fastest-growing schools for sugar babies — with the University of Texas leading the way — but Bermudo declined to provide those breakdowns for LGBT members, citing privacy concerns because numbers are small at some schools.  

Some have accused SeekingArrangement.com of promoting prostitution. But the site says it conducts background checks, and for some LGBT sugar babies, sugar daddies and sugar mommies, it may provide a viable alternative to hookup apps. 

Watch the site's promotional video fearing a gay sugar baby, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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Gay Teen Vlogger Austin Wallis Tells Houston TV Stations How He Was Threatened With Expulsion: VIDEO

Wallis.Austintv

Gay teen vlogger Austin Wallis — who was forced to leave his high school because he's gay — may not have any legal recourse given that it's a private, religious institution. 

However, it's safe to say the school — Houston's Lutheran High North — has now gotten its share of bad PR. And at the very least, other parents of LGBT children — or even those who want their kids to learn in a diverse, real-world environment that's accepting of all people — may be reluctant to enroll them at Lutheran High North. 

Five days after posting the heartbreaking YouTube video recounting how he was threatened with expulsion for being gay, the 17-year-old Wallis went in front of Houston TV news cameras on Friday to discuss the ordeal. 

Wallis didn't identify his former school in the YouTube video, which was first reported by Towleroad and has been viewed almost 200,000 times. However, The Texas Observer revealed this week that it was Lutheran High North, prompting TV reporters to descend upon the school and Wallis, who still seems a little overwhelmed. 

Wallis asked the TV stations not to use his last name, and for the most part he simply reiterated what he said in the video — that the school's principal told him if he didn't delete his YouTube channel, which he maintains with his boyfriend, he needed to find another school. 

Although there's not a lot of new information in the three TV news reports, we do learn that Wallis' mom is supportive, with both her and her son saying they didn't realize the school handbook had a "morals code" prohibiting homosexuality. 

"They had a right to offer this ultimatum and I would stress to all parents read your handbooks," Cheryl Wallis told KHOU-TV. 

Not surprisingly, Lutheran High North officials opted not to go on camera to explain their bigotry. But on a side note, head of school Dallas Lusk contacted yours truly on Friday morning — the day after my report in The Texas Observer — and asked whether the magazine is affiliated with the hacker group Anonymous. Lusk said that since the story's publication, other students were getting "attacked" with lewd images sent to them over social media. I assured Lusk there was no connection and pressed him more information, saying I'd be interested in reporting on the alleged attacks, but he declined and hung up. 

The local TV stations attempted to speak with other students at Lutheran High North, but only one was successful in getting a comment.  

"It's a Lutheran school. What do you expect?" the student said.   

Gee, I don't know, perhaps some Christian love?   

Watch reports from KHOU-TV, KPRC-TV and KTRK-TV, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Texas High School Responds To Gay Vlogger's Viral Video Saying He Was Threatened With Expulsion for Being Out

Wallis.Austin

Earlier this week, Towleroad's Kyler Geoffroy broke the story about gay teen vlogger Austin Wallis, who posted an emotional video recounting how he was forced to leave his high school because of his sexual orientation. 

Since then, Wallis' video has been viewed more than 170,000 times. Today, we learn that the school that threatened Wallis with expulsion if he didn't go back in the closet is Houston's Lutheran High North, a small, private, religious school with 162 students.  

The Texas Observer reports: 

Dallas Lusk, head of school at LHN, sent the Observer a statement from Wayne Kramer, executive director of the Lutheran Education Association of Houston. The association covers three schools, including LHN, which has an enrollment of 162.

“Lutheran High North welcomes all students and their families to the LHN community,” Kramer said in the statement. “We profess and proclaim our Christian beliefs with the foundations and authority taught in the Bible, all within the teachings of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. We respectfully require students to adhere to these accepted values and moral beliefs. Sometimes, as in this case, students have to make choices and decide whether their beliefs align with our community and we respect their choices. We also respect student privacy and do not comment on any individual student or their actions.”

The Observer reports that Lutheran High North also has a Morals Clause in its student handbook which states: 

“Lutheran High North reserves the right, within its sole discretion, to refuse admission of an applicant and/or to discontinue enrollment of a current student participating in, promoting, supporting or condoning: pornography, sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bisexual activity; or displaying an inability or resistance to support the qualities and characteristics required of a Biblically based and Christ-like lifestyle,” the clause states.

In addition, the Observer reports that the school is part of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, which takes this position on homosexuality: 

“The Missouri Synod believes the Bible teaches homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s Word and will, and the LCMS seeks to minister to those who are struggling with homosexual inclinations,” the denomination’s website states.

Ken Upton, senior counsel at Lambda Legal, told the Observer that although he believes the school's actions qualify as abuse, Wallis has little recourse:

“The short answer is that if it’s not a government school, if it’s a strictly private school, the First Amendment doesn’t apply to them,” Upton said. “If they’re a private school, then I think it’s game over. They’re entitled to discriminate.”

Watch Wallis' video if you haven't already, AFTER THE JUMP ...  

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This Vlogger's High School Threatened to Expel Him for Being Gay and It's Infuriating: VIDEO

Wallis

Austin Wallis, a 17-year-old YouTuber, has posted an emotional video online telling the story of how he was essentially kicked out of his private high school for being openly gay.

Austin, joined on camera by his boyfriend Nicolay, recounts being pulled into the principal's office after the administration found out he was gay. The school also notified Austin's parents and called his mother into the meeting.

"He basically told me...I had to go back in the closet, which means I had to delete all my social media including YouTube. I had to erase my digital impact on the world. And he said I would have to do that to stay at the school and I could never be involved in another video or do anything for that matter..."

After two days, Austin decided to leave the school rather than stay in an environment that wasn't welcoming.

He continues:

"I don't want people to think that I left just because of the social media. It was because I can't stay somewhere where I feel like I'm being forced into something that I'm not, or I feel like I'm not wanted by my own principal...I'm not a bad student. I really want to try and change this. I think it's ridiculous that in this day and age you can be excluded from your own school for being gay. When I came out I knew I was going to have bullies and I knew people were not going to be okay with it. But i never expected it to be from the peole who were supposed to protect you from the bullies. Who were supposed to try to stop that. And then they themselves are the bullies."

Austin says that the principal told him his YouTube channel was having a "bad impact" on the school. Austin, however, has made the decision not to reveal the school's name because he says there are faculty members who support him and doesn't want the video to reflect badly on them. He adds that he hopes the video can raise awareness for situations like his and will be a call to action for change.

The message I'm trying to do this for and I'm trying to tell y'all is because I think its ridiculous that people are allowed to exclude children and teens for what they are...I want to make a change and I've always wanted to with this YouTube channel. I want to change the world for the better. I want to change the world in a way where this can't happen - where a student can't feel excluded by his own faculty and we be basically forced to leave "by choice"...If you feel like this is outrageous and awful and if you feel like this isn't what you want our country to be considered please help in my fight to make a difference. I want you to share this everywhere. Let people know. I hope that my story will help make a difference in someone else's life. And maybe I can change things so this won't ever happen again. 

We've reached out to Austin and will update the post with any response we receive. 

Hear Austin's story, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Dublin Catholic School Cancels Anti-Homophobia Workshop Over Parental Concerns

Colaiste eoin

High school students in Dublin, Ireland are planning a protest after the all-boys school Coláiste Eoin cancelled a workshop on homophobic bullying, reports The Journal.

On Tuesday, voluntary organization ShoutOut turned up at Coláiste Eoin to hold the workshop but were told it would not be going ahead because the board of management had decided that “both sides of the argument should be represented”.

There'll always be parents who object 2 their kids learning to respect minorities. Are we really going to give them a veto? #ColaisteEoin Co

— Izzy Kamikaze (@IzzyKamikaze) January 28, 2015

Shout outThe workshop, which has been given in schools all over Ireland and in Coláiste Eoin in 2012 and 2013, focuses on encouraging students not to discriminate against gay people.

In a statement this week, the school said "on this particular occasion however the Board of Management have received written communications from a number of parents outlining their concerns regarding the workshop. In this context it was incumbent on the Board to address all issues and to seek the advice available from Catholic management representative bodies available to secondary schools."

The school has also “proposed” that the ShoutOut workshops would be held “at a future date”.

Nuff said.... #ColaisteEoin pic.twitter.com/DwE9GkSUyF

— James Aherne (@jaherne94) January 28, 2015

Students began organizing a protest yesterday to make it known that the decision does not represent their views.

@mitchellnicola @BocktheRobber I'm sure the 2 sets of #ColaisteEoin parents who complained want to ensure #PureInHeart get equal opportunity

— John (@AnGobanSaor) January 28, 2015

Commentators including Bock The Robber have queried if parents will now be consulted before Catholic activist groups including Pure In Heart are allowed to present at the school.

Very important to ensure that #PureInHeart don't get at our children in schools without parents being asked. #ColaisteEoin

— Bock the Robber (@BocktheRobber) January 28, 2015

Speaking on Newstalk yesterday on the need for "balance", LGBT activist Rory O'Neill aka Panti Bliss, said

Bliss"I think it's pretty clear cut. There's nothing wrong with it at all. Are we going to suggest that bullying is alright? I don't think so. I think it's very rare to come across an LGBT person who'll tell you they had a great time in school. It's a difficult time. Anything we can do to help make it better for them can only be a good thing. When it comes to bullying, I don't think there needs to be a balance."

Earlier this week, Ireland’s Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin confirmed that religious-run schools and hospitals will by Easter be prevented from firing staff for being gay, divorced or an unmarried parent.


White House Petition for 'Leelah's Law' Banning Conversion Therapy Reaches 100,000 Goal

A petition on WhiteHouse.gov that seeks to ban "conversion therapy" for LGBTQ minors has reached the 100,000 signature goal ahead of its February 2 deadline.

From the petition:

AlcornOn Sunday, December 27, 2014, Leelah Alcorn a 17 year old transgender youth wrote a suicide note, posted it on Tumblr and then walked in front of a semi-truck tragically ending her life. Leelah explained how her parents had forced her to attend conversion therapy, pulled her out of school and isolated her in an attempt to change her gender identity. 'Conversion therapies' have been documented to cause great harms and in this case, Leelah's death. Therapists that engage in the attempt to brainwash or reverse any child's gender identity or sexual orientation are seriously unethical and legislation is needed to end such practices that are resulting in LGBTQ+ deaths. We respectfully seek your help to ban the practice known as 'conversion therapy' and name the bill in honor of Leelah Alcorn.

The petition currently sits at a little over 105,000 signatures. Petitions that meet the signature threshold will be reviewed by the Obama Administration and receive an official response.  


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