Gay Youth Hub

Texas Teens Score Prom Victories In Face Of Anti-Gay Bigotry From GOP State Lawmakers: VIDEO


Texas Republican lawmakers may want to turn back the clock on gay rights, but LGBTQ high school students in the Lone Star State are overcoming resistance from school administrators to move equality forward. 

DurrIn ultraconservative Amarillo, a female student recently won the right to run for prom king after initially being denied. Officials at Richard Milburn Academy reconsidered their decision in response to an outcry from students who supported 17-year-old Brooke Durr's candidacy. reports: 

Durr is on the ballot now, but she almost was not. The school's director originally took away her nomination, saying only males could be king.

"What happened to me was really, really awful because I was like, why would she do this to me? I don't want anyone to feel like they are worthless like I did at first," said Durr. ... 

Brooke hopes her experience will set a precedent for the future. "Discrimination really does happen and I don't think it was fair. I know that I got back on the ballot and I got what I want, but I was scared for the years afterwards that there would be discrimination."

Meanwhile, in San Antonio, a female student at Southwest High School sported a tuxedo at her prom this weekend after initially being told she had to wear a dress or women's suit. Samantha Amelle Lopez, 18, enlisted the help of LGBT advocates to convince Principal Paul V. Black to change the rule, which clearly ran afoul of federal law. 

LopezLopez (shown with her date at right) also had the strong support of her mother, Patricia Olivo, who says she's a model student and the only bullying she's ever faced has come from teachers and staff members. reports: 

On April 29, just three days before the prom, Principal Black phoned Olivo to tell her the school had changed the dress code and Samantha could wear a tuxedo to the prom. ... 

Olivo says her daughter was overjoyed by the decision, adding that the only downside was the school did not share their decision with the student body. As a result, some lesbian students who had hoped to wear tuxedos to the prom ended up attending in dresses because the school never let them know the rule had changed.

Watch's report on Durr's campaign for prom king, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Walmart Refused to Write 'Gay' on Cake Celebrating Gay-Straight 'Promposal' - VIDEO


As we reported earlier, a cake celebrating the adorable promposal shared by Nevada teen best friends Jacob Lescenski, straight, and Anthony Martinez, gay, was censored by a local Walmart bakery that refused to give Martinez's aunt a cake with the word "gay" on it.

AUNTFox 5 KVVU reports:

Sandoval said the initial associate told her she couldn't write that on the cake because it included the word "gay," and that was against store policy. She then asked to speak with a supervisor.

"[The] Supervisor takes my phone, looks at it, and was like stuck for a minute, and she was like, 'OK, I'm sorry, we can't use this'. And then I said, 'I'm going to ask you what I asked her because you're the supervisor. Why can't I use this? I don't understand. It's one word. It's gay,'" Sandoval said.

Not able to use her original idea, Sandoval instead had "You matter, Prom Kings" written on the cake. 

According to Fox 5 News, Walmart claims "proper management wasn't contacted" during the incident and that "nowhere in their store's policy does it say the word 'gay' can't be written on a cake":

A store manager is set to contact Sandoval to make this wrong right. Sandoval said although she appreciates the gesture, it's a little too late.

"It wasn't hurtful. It was to make my nephew happy, to see a smile on his face. I love that smile, to see that smile, that's all I wanted, and I'm disappointed. I really am," Sandoval said.

Watch the news report from Fox 5, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'Teen Vogue' Documents Gay Teen and His Straight Best Friend On Their Hella Cute Prom Night: VIDEO


6a01bb07a7d602970d01b8d108b903970c-500wiYou will likely recall a story we brought you last month of of a gay teen near Las Vegas, Nevada receiving an adorable "promposal" from his straight best friend. Anthony Martinez had wanted--badly--to go with a guy to prom and took to Twitter to make his desire known. It was Anthony's tweet that caught his straight best friend Jacob Lescenski's attention. Jacob decided he would ask Anthony to prom and do it in a big way. He had his friends help make a giant poster for Anthony that read, "you're hella gay, i'm hella str8, but you're like my brother, so be my d8?" The promposal went viral and even landed the duo on Ellen. 

Now, Teen Vogue has tagged along with Anthony and Jacob to document their prom night, meet their families and find out a little more about their friendship. 

RELATED POST: Ellen Has a Surprise for the Straight Guy and the Gay Best Friend He Invited to Prom.

PromThough heartwarming, their story is not without reminders of prejudice. One of Anthony's family members had planned to get Anthony a cake that read, "You're gay, he's straight; you're going to prom, you couldn't have had a better date" but the bakery refused to make the cake because it had the word "gay" in the writing. 

Talking about the experience, Jacob says, "I expected people to say, 'This is different. This is not OK.' But it is OK. And that's what we're trying to prove."

Watch as the boys shop for tuxes, talk about their friendship and enjoy the big night, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Cyndi Lauper Lets Her True Colors Shine in Passionate Senate Speech on LGBT Youth Homelessness: WATCH

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Singer and gay icon Cyndi Lauper fielded questions regarding youth homelessness during a Senate subcommittee meeting on Capitol Hill on Wednesday reports The New York Times. Lauper discussed efforts to alleviate homelessness among LGBT youth, which make up 40 percent of all homeless children according to the True Colors Fund, by addressing contributing factors that lead to LGBT homelessness such as discriminatory shelters that turn away youth based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

CollinsSenator Susan Collins (R-Maine) posed a potential, partial solution by re-introducing nondiscrimination policies that shelters who receive federal aid must adhere to. One such nondiscrimination policy was included with a bill to reauthorize the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act that expired back in 2013; the bill fell four votes short of the 60-vote threshold for passage.

Lauper, who co-founded the True Colors Fund to address youth homelessness after experiencing homelessness herself, confronted Collins on when the senator would attempt another pass at the measure. Collins was unable to confirm when another attempt would occur, but Lauper pressed for another solution asking, "Then what should we do?"

Watch Lauper discuss LGBT youth homelessness with the Senate subcommittee, AFTER THE JUMP

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'Brokeback Mountain' Writers to Pen Film Based on Father's Cross Country Walk in the Wake of Gay Son's Suicide


A drama based on the true story of Joe Bell, the Oregon father who began a trek across the country to educate young people about the effects of bullying and homophobia after his 15-year-old son Jadin hanged himself in early 2013, is currently being penned by Brokeback Mountain screenwriters Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry, Deadline reports

JadinJadin, a 15-year-old openly gay sophomore in Oregon, took his own life after being both bullied at high school and struggling for acceptance from the people closest to him. In the wake of Jadin’s suicide, Joe is plunged into a sea of remorse and regret and sets out on a walk across America, hoping to promote awareness about the consequences of prejudice to anyone he encounters along the way.

A24 is producing with Fukunaga’s Parliament of Owls production company, Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Riva Marker of Red Crown Productions, and Eva Maria Daniels of VisionChaos Productions. Red Crown’s Daniel Crown will executive produce.

Joe was tragically struck and killed by a semi truck while on his nation-wide walk in October of 2013. 

Ossana and McMurtry have teamed with True Detective producer Cary Fukunaga for the currently untitled project. 

Ellen Has a Surprise for the Straight Guy and the Gay Best Friend He Invited to Prom: VIDEO


Last week we reported on Anthony Martinez, the gay student at Desert Oasis High School, who tweeted that he really wanted a guy as his date to prom. Jacob Lescenski, his straight best friend, stepped in with a "promposal" that is one of the sweetest we've ever seen.

Ellen invited the two best friends on her show to let more of the world know their story.

2_promposalLescenski, who is as sincere and genuine as his promposal, explained how he came to accept and embrace Martinez's crush on him, and become a supporter of gay rights, deciding to express himself with a gesture of love for his friend.

Said Ellen:

"If that can't be an example for people in the world to know that we just - that you have a date with your friend who you had a crush on and he's open-minded enough to do this. We have teachers who drove in from Las Vegas, your parents are in the audience. Good for you.

I just wanted to say I know that there are some schools out there that don't support this and wouldn't allow this to happen and it's really a shame because prom is very important to a lot of people."

She then rewarded the couple for making a difference.


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