Friday, October 22, 2010

Courage Campaign; Joel Burns' "It Gets Better" public plea

Courage Campaign

I've found myself crying in public more often than I could have imagined over the past week.

What made me cry? The suicides of gay kids (or kids perceived to be gay) and their struggles -- and the heartbreaking stories inspired by the "It Gets Better" campaign launched by Dan Savage to stop those suicides.

You might have already seen the powerful "It Gets Better" story told by Joel Burns, a member of the Ft. Worth City Council in Texas. Since a video of Joel's poignant city council testimony was posted on Wednesday, more than 1.6 million Americans have watched it and shared it with their friends. And now, many more will see it today after messages like this one from Courage, the Trevor Project, MoveOn and the Victory Fund.  

Please take a moment to watch Joel's story now -- and join us in thanking him for his courage in expressing his personal story to the world. Along with thousands of other people, your signature will be presented to Joel Burns on behalf of the Courage community


Tears burst forth when we're angry or sorry or compassionate or mourning or simply incapable of expressing what's in our soul.

Friday night, I spoke in Stockton, California. I choked up as I tried to relate some of the testimony from the Prop 8 trial -- testimony from an old and famous book that informed millions of Americans that gay people were inferior. The passage I cited sounded funny at first, but then I cried. That passage has been with me my whole life, never out in the open until it was in open court.

That's what Joel Burns did. He said what was in his heart and locked in his soul, never released until he publicly testified, connecting his story with the teens who killed themselves because they were made to feel like they were less than human beings.

Joel said he may face repercussions for being honest about his story. Will you join us in showing Joel that he faces not repercussions but support for his courage? Just click here to watch Joel's amazing testimony and  then sign our community card thanking him:

Thank you for showing your support for Joel. If we all raise our voices together, lives will be saved.

Rick Jacobs
Chair, Courage Campaign Institute

P.S. Joel's story is just one of many ways you can help spread the word about bullying and teen suicide. If you're looking for a helpful list of resources and organizations working to help solve the problem, click here:
Courage Campaign Institute is a part of the Courage Campaign's multi-issue online organizing network that empowers more than 700,000 grassroots and netroots supporters to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. To get involved in the Courage Campaign Institute, visit "Testimony: Equality on Trial" -- our year-long campaign to bring the Prop 8 trial into the lives of Americans.

Secretary of State Clinton Speaks to LGBT Youth

This is one of the most phenomenal things I have
ever witnessed. Never has a public figure of such
stature taken such a strong stand of support for
the hurting youth dealing with sexual orientation.

For those ignorant to it, this is a horribly risky
career move, and the frankness of Clinton's words
(as well as her long dedication to assisting gay youth,
such as with the Harvey Milk School) is powerful.

Thank you, Secretary Clinton, for your message.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

C.A.R.E. for LGBTQ Youth: Suicide Response

are never alone. You are not responsible for anyone who
chooses to take their own life. As friends, family, and loved ones,
all you can do is listen, support, and assist the person in getting the
help they need.

CONNECT the person the resources and to a
    supportive, trusted adult.
ACCEPT and listen to the person's feelings and
    take them seriously.
RESPOND if a person has a plan to attempt
    suicide, and tell someone you trust.
EMPOWER the person to get help and to call
    the Trevor Lifeline (1-866-488-7386).

   suicide is the third leading cause of death
   among 15 to 24 year-olds.

Because LGBTQ youth are up to 4 times more
    likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.

    depression is treatable and suicide is preventable.

    when you CARE, you can help save a life.

(This is a from a flier received at Tallahassee's FSU
Coming Out Week events; author unknown.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lack of Choices for GLBT Matters in Kentucky

Well, it's a good thing Kentucky's abbreviation is KY, cuz they're
gonna be needing some lubrication come November, either damned
way you go!

Ron Paul's crazy-ass bedbug son is a nut job to the highest degree,
but that's hardly surprising. Let's look at the evidence;
-He's Ron Paul's son...
-He's sort of a cross between Danny Bonaduce and 'Ralph Mouth'...
-He's a staunch Republican, in line with their new Nutty McKook hook
-He's made insane promises and assertions regarding race, big business,
    and abortion
-He dislikes the government having a say in who a business can serve
   (that's code for "Whites Only", if you're keeping score at home)
-He's a hard line Tea Party rep who's in bed with/comes from Big Money,
    but wants to play like he's an average Joe

(Here's a telling video; when George Will thinks you're bad for the puds!)

However, his opponent, 'Democrat' Jack Conway, is like a Satanic 'Ken'
doll. He's more conservative and flip-flopping than your typical Log Cabiner,
and he seems pretty squirrely indeed. Picture Ted Haggard circa the big
molestation charges fallout; possessed, repressed, insane, and high on anything
he could get up his nose.

I rather imagine Conway will be arrested for being in the park after dark with
a young man probably in his employ, while Paul has all his dirty laundry and
insanity out in the open, where the Republicans can tout it as character.

Choices are 'slim' and 'none' for the governor's office this election season.
Off with their heads, Alice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

PFLAG Dad Sends Open Letter to Youth

PFLAG Dad Sends Open Letter to Youth

"You deserve to be happy, you deserve to be alive, and you deserve to be loved."

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- John R. Cepek, national president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) issued the following open letter to youth in light of the mounting reports of bullying, harassment, and suicide among youth:

Dear ___________,

I know it may seem strange that you're getting a letter from someone you've never met. To be honest with you, I feel a little odd writing this letter to people I've never met. But this is a difficult time, and I want to make sure that someone delivers an important message to you.

My wife and I have two sons. We think that they are the best kids in the whole world. They're very different, with very diverse personalities, talents, and interests. One of the other things that makes them different is that one is straight and one is gay.

But the important thing is this: we love them equally.

That's why it is so painful to us to read the reports of the kids out there who have killed themselves because somehow they felt that their lives were not equal or worth living, either because they were mercilessly bullied and teased for being different, or tortured because they were gay.

That's why I'm writing to you today. There have been a lot of people out there sending some important messages your way. They've been telling you that there are people who can help, and that it is going to get better, and your job is to be strong and stick it out. You should listen to them, because they're right.
But as a dad, I want to send you one more message. Here it is: there are people who love you and accept you for who you are right now. Whether you're gay or straight, it doesn't matter.

I hope that your parents are among these people. I hope that in the same way I'm proud of both my sons, someone is proud of you just because you're there and because you're alive. You deserve that, no matter who you are or how different you feel.

But if for some reason you don't feel like you've got that support, I want you to know that there are parents and families who love you. Maybe they're people you already know. Or maybe they are people like me who you haven't met yet, and the other parents who belong to a group that I'm a member of called PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

So if you're reading this and feel like no one loves you for you who are today and who you're becoming, I want you to do something for me. I want you to go online to and find a PFLAG chapter near you. Contact them and tell them your story. Ask them for help. Tell them what you're experiencing, and tell them what you need. These are families who understand what is happening and who want to support you.

I can't imagine a world in which either of my kids felt like life wasn't worth living because people rejected them, and I have a hard time imagining what some of you might be going through right now. But please know that you're not alone. There are people to talk to, and families and friends nearby who will support you and your own family, too. All you need to do is ask.

I hope that one day we will meet and I'll know that you made it. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to be alive, and you deserve to be loved. Lots of people agree with me on that. Trust me.


John R. Cepek
President, PFLAG National

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 250 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

So, until I get some pics uploaded, here is what my newly
designed Inspiration Mobile has tagged on it. Stand up.
Speak out!












(I wanted to put on
AND ZEALOTS!" but I ran out of room!)

I also included pictures of out gays and lesbians
I have known to personalize the matter for those
who think they have never met a 'regular' gay person.

Do what you can, right where you are.
You don't need a team, a safe place, or permission
to stand up and be counted.

I am formidable.
I am incredible.
I am inevitable.
We all are.

Together or alone, we are community.