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Gay Indiana Teen Settles Bullying Lawsuit Against School District

Young and Twin Brother

Towleroad has previously reported on Darnell "Dynasty" Young, the openly gay Indianapolis teen who was expelled after bringing a stun gun to school to defend himself against bullies. Young subsequently sued Indianapolis Public Schools for discrimination, restriction of free speech, and negligence, alleging that school officials did nothing to protect him. 

According to WTHITV News, Young has agreed to settle for $65,000. 

The proposed settlement filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis also calls for the school district to remove all references of Darnell "Dynasty" Young being expelled from school from the 18-year-old's academic record. The agreement still must be approved by a judge.

Young also told WTHITV in a telephone interview that "he's pleased with the settlement," and that "he plans to use the money to launch an anti-bullying magazine."

Indianapolis Colts Players Support Gays in NFL, Jason Collins: VIDEO


The Indianapolis Star stepped into the locker room of the Colts to see how they felt about Jason Collins' coming out and what it would be like if a similar thing happened in the NFL.

The players they talked to — Pat McAfee, Reggie Wayne, Cory Redding, T.Y. Hilton, and Greg Toler were unanimous in their opinions — it's a good thing, they'd have a gay player's back, and they're happy for Jason Collins.


It wasn't so long ago that the Colts' image among gays was tarnished by then coach Tony Dungy, who was repeatedly involved in fundraisers for anti-gay groups. So this is great to see.

Said McAfee (above): “I think it’s a generational thing. Our locker room, a younger generation, is very much more accepting because we’ve been around more gay people. In the recent years, gay folks have been much more open. A lot of us have gay friends and we kind of understand that they’re just like us, they’re just interested in different things.”


Continue reading "Indianapolis Colts Players Support Gays in NFL, Jason Collins: VIDEO" »

Gay EMT and Eagle Scout Killed in Tragic Ambulance Accident in Indianapolis, Made 'It Gets Better' Video: VIDEO


IEMS Private Timothy McCormick, a 24-year-old gay EMT from Greenwood, Indiana, was killed in a tragic accident early Saturday morning in Indianapolis when the ambulance he was in was struck by a 21-year-old woman WTHI-TV reports had alcohol on her breath when officers spoke with her after the crash.

McCormick was also an Eagle Scout and spent his time at health fairs educating people about CPR.

He made an 'It Gets Better' video posted to YouTube in December 2011, in which he said, in part:

"My name is Tim McCormick. I am an Eagle Scout, college student, and professional EMT living in Indianapolis, Indiana. I am a gay American adult. I have a brief but short message for you today...I want you to know that It Gets Better. Regardless of who you are. Regardless of your persona. academic, spiritual, professional, or sexual identity... The things that are happening today are only typical of the hard times in which we live... If you don't have anything, keep searching. If you've lost what you used to have., keep trying. Life isn't a dress rehearsal, and it's your time to shine. Right now..."

Watch his full It Gets Better video and the accident report, AFTER THE JUMP...


Flags were being flown at half staff in Indianapolis and city officials released statements:

"(He) was an amazing human being, had done a tremendous amount of community outreach for us, was always a vibrant representative for our service and loved his job. Absolutely loved his job at the end of the day," said Dr. Charles Miramonti, Director of the Indianapolis EMS. "This is not easy."

City-County President Maggie Lewis released a statement on the tragedy:

Our thoughts and prayers are with families of the ambulance driver who was tragically killed and the medic who was injured in this morning’s accident.  Emergency responders dedicate their lives to caring for the health and safety of everyone in our community.  The loss of life in the line of duty is a reminder of how precious life is and that we must live everyday to its fullest.

Saturday afternoon, Mayor Greg Ballard also released a statement regarding the accident:

"This is a terrible loss for Indianapolis EMS and our city. Our thoughts and prayers are with our public safety community and with the families. When we are most in need, IEMS takes care of us. Now it is our time as a community to take care of them. "

McCormick was originally from Staten Island, NY. His family is devastated.

Despite the Boy Scouts' ban on gay scouts and gay leaders in their organization, McCormick is just one example of the fact that there are many in their organization ALREADY, and they are respected, loved worthy contributors to communities, families, and society at large. May he rest in peace.

Watch his full It Gets Better video and the accident report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay EMT and Eagle Scout Killed in Tragic Ambulance Accident in Indianapolis, Made 'It Gets Better' Video: VIDEO" »

Gay Man Killed in Indianapolis Home Fire Family Says May Have Been a Hate Crime: VIDEO


Arson and homicide detectives are investigating the cause of a house fire which killed 27-year-old Bryant Steele, an Indianapolis man, early Sunday morning.

Watch a WISH-TV report, AFTER THE JUMP...

While the WISH TV report makes no specific mention that he was gay, family members tell news crews it's suspicious "because of who he is".

A WBIW report has more specifics:

Firefighters had the blaze out in about 15 minutes. That is when they found 27-year-oold Bryant Steele dead inside. Firefighters say they located Steele's body in a bed in the living room. That is when homicide detectives were called to the scene. Family members say Steele was openly gay and that they believe the fire may have been a hate crime. Police say they believe foul place was involved and the case is under investigation.

Continue reading "Gay Man Killed in Indianapolis Home Fire Family Says May Have Been a Hate Crime: VIDEO" »

Bullied Gay Student Sues Indianapolis Public Schools


Darnell "Dynasty" Young was expelled from his Indianapolis high school in April for brandishing a stun-gun at bullies. Mr. Young, who occasionally wore a purse and women's jewelry, had allegedly been bullied, attacked, and threatened with violence on numerous occasions before the April incident. His fellow students at Arsenal Technical High School, he said, spat on him, attacked him with rocks and bottles, and promised to beat him up. Eventually, concerned for her son's safety, Mr. Young's mother bought him a stun-gun. Now, Mr. Young is suing his school school district for discrimination, restriction of free speech, and negligence.


Darnell "Dynasty" Young, 17, and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, filed their suit Friday in federal court in Indianapolis. It seeks unspecified damages over a series of alleged bullying incidents that led Young to fire a stun gun at Arsenal Technical High School in the spring, reportedly to scare away bullies ...

"Rather than take effective measures to protect him, school staff told him that he was to blame for the [previous incidents of] harassment because of his appearance and told him to change his dress and behavior to conform to stereotypical ideas of masculinity and to be less 'flamboyant,'" the suit says.

Mr. Young's expulsion from the Indianapolis school system was to have lasted until January. Last month the penalty was reduced: Mr. Young will now be able to attend the full school year, though he will not be allowed to return to Arsenal Tech. He's currently enrolled in a charter school.

You can see an interview with Darnell, and his twin brother Darrell, here.

In Indiana, Republicans And Democrats Straddle Muzzy Middle On Marriage Equality

MikePenceYesterday, Indiana Democrats convened in Summit City to create their party's 2012 platform. The talk was mostly economic, though Sen. Tim Lenane did make a forceful statement opposing any amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

But this year, Indiana's Republicans seem uninterested in pursuing such an amendment. When the state's GOP gathered last weekend to lay out their own platform, for the first time in six years they declined to make the pursuit of a marriage amendment one of its planks. The party insists the softening is no softening at all -- that it reflects the direness of the current economic situation, rather than any kind of political calculation. From the

JohnGreggRepublicans say their platform is simply a change in focus in an election that is all about jobs. Democrats say their platform reflects both their long-standing commitment to equality and the changing attitudes among voters.

... Micah Clark, leader of the American Family Association of Indiana, which wants Indiana to have some type of ban in the constitution, said he was disappointed by the GOP silence this year.

"That kind of caught me off guard," he said.

Interestingly, both of Indiana's major gubernatorial candidates -- Republican Mike Pence and Democrat John R. Gregg -- oppose marriage equality. Neither is talking about it much on the campaign trail. Neither is Libertarian candidate Rupert Boneham, the hirsute Survivor contestant, who declines to even mention the subject on his website



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