Posts Tagged ‘ gay teens ’

Gay Teen Says High School Discriminated in Pulling His Profile

Friday, March 21st, 2014

An Arkansas high school senior who was one of seven students profiled in the school yearbook is alleging that the school’s decision to pull all seven profiles from the finished book stems from its reticence to publish an account of a gay student coming out of the closet.  CNN has more:

Taylor Ellis, 17, told CNN affiliate KATV that Sheridan High School pulled seven student profiles from the Yellowjacket yearbook rather than publish an account based on his coming out.

“It’s a big thing in Sheridan to be gay,” the yearbook’s assistant editor, Hannah Bruner, told KATV of why she profiled Ellis. “That something that doesn’t get told a lot.”

In a statement, Sheridan Superintendent Brenda Haynes said, “We must make decisions that lead in the proper direction for all of our students and for our community. We must not make decisions based on demands by any special interest group. The seven profiles will not be published in the yearbook.”

She added, “We have reviewed state law, court cases, and our own policies. It is clear that the adults who have the responsibility for the operation of the District have the obligation to make decisions which are consistent with the mission of our school. We have done so.”

The district decided to scrap the seven profiles rather than publish Ellis’ story, Bruner said. To Ellis, the reason for taking out all the profiles was clear.

“We have a good idea why they’re not going into the yearbook,” he said. “They don’t want to just throw out the gay kid’s interview.”

Ellis, who came out a year ago, said he didn’t understand the decision.

“I’m already openly gay,” he told KATV, “so there’s no reason that it should affect how people see me.”

Bruner’s profile of Ellis said, in part, “Although the thought of coming out and the repercussions of doing so, frightened Ellis at first, he found that most of the student body, as well as the teachers, were very accepting of him.”

Ellis’ mother said the principal, Rodney Williams, contacted her.

“I didn’t understand, because there had been no problems, so I ask him, ‘have you had threats?’ ” Lynn Tiley told KATV. “He said, ‘no, ma’am, just his well-being.’ “

Add a Comment

Gay High School Couple Wins ‘Cutest Couple’ Award

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Dylan Meehan and Bradley Taylor, seniors at Carmel High School in New York state, are receiving widespread media attention after they won “Cutest Couple” in the school’s yearbook.  Though the school did not publicize–or think there was anything unusual about–the same-sex couple receiving the award, the news went viral when it was posted to the Internet.  More from CNN:

And until the news went viral, the decision, says Carmel Principal Kevin Carroll, “hasn’t really been a big deal in the school.”

“I thought at this stage as we are now, it shouldn’t be a news event. All the reactions are coming from outside. The yearbooks were distributed Wednesday, and we didn’t get any calls until someone posted it online,” Carroll, whose school is about 65 miles north of New York City, told CNN Tuesday.

Taylor, 17, said he sees the honor as a great achievement and a turning point for their school.

“At first we weren’t able to run because for the title, they were only allowed to pick a boy and a girl,” he told CNN. “But a bunch of our friends made an uproar, and they changed it. So now you vote ‘student one’ and ‘student two.’ And I guess a lot of people voted for us and we won. So many people came up to us saying, ‘You guys are going to win.’”

A mutual friend introduced the two last year during a Brown University visit. Later on, they started dating.

“I came out to my family a week or two after I started dating Brad,” said Meehan, 18. “He was the one encouraging me to come out to them.”

“I feel like both of our families always knew but I told my parents a month before we started dating,” said Taylor.

Add a Comment

Boy Scouts Delay Vote on Allowing Gay Members

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America’s current policy banning openly gay boys and men from membership in the organization will remain in place until at least May, when the group’s board has said it may vote on a proposal to change the policy.  That vote had been expected Wednesday, but has been delayed, according to a statement from the BSA, because of “the complexity of this issue.”  From CNN:

“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the group said Wednesday morning.

“To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.”

Read recent coverage from Parents News Now of the Boy Scouts of America:

Add a Comment

Jeanne Manford, PFLAG Founder, Dies at 92

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Jeanne Manford, whose advocacy for her gay son launched a decades-long crusade for gay rights, died last week at age 92.  The organization she founded Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, is one of the best known and most prominent gay advocacy organization for relatives of gay and lesbian people.  More from the obituary published by The Washington Post:

Mrs. Manford, who died Jan. 8 at her daughter’s home in Daly City, Calif., was widely considered the mother of a movement. Her death, from undisclosed causes, was announced by PFLAG. She was 92.

Mrs. Manford had no background in social activism when she embarked on the mission on behalf of her son. She was born Jean Sobelson on Dec. 4, 1920, in Queens. (She later changed her first name to Jeanne.) She graduated from Queens College in 1964 and spent her career as a schoolteacher in New York City public schools.

She compensated for her lack of organizing experience with her love for her son. In interviews with national media, and in countless conversations with parents, she recalled the moment when she learned that her son was gay.

“I love you the same,” she recalled telling him. “This doesn’t make any difference.” Morty was so taken aback, she once told CNN, that it took him “a while” to accept her acceptance.

Morty Manford witnessed the 1969 riots after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, an event that became a catalyst for the gay rights movement. He became a prominent organizer in his own right and was noted for his role in the events at the Hilton. His alleged attacker was later acquitted because of what the judge described as “incongruities” in testimony.

After the attack on her son, the New York Post published a letter to the editor from Mrs. Manford. “I have a homosexual son and I love him,” she was reported to have written.

Morty invited his mother to march alongside him in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, which is described as a predecessor to the New York City Gay Pride Parade. She did, carrying a sign that read: “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.”

The response, she later recalled, was overwhelming. She was said to have thought that the profuse cheering was for the man marching behind her — child-care guru Benjamin Spock. In fact, it was for her.

Add a Comment

Boy Scouts of America Reaffirms Ban on Gays

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The Boy Scouts of America has, after two years of reviewing its policy on homosexuality, announced that it will continue to exclude gays from their organization.  The Associated Press reports:

The Scouts cited support from parents as a key reason for keeping the policy and expressed hope that the prolonged debate over it might now subside. Bitter reactions from gay-rights activists suggested that result was unlikely.

The Scouts’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press that an 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, came to the conclusion that the exclusion policy ‘‘is absolutely the best policy’’ for the 102-year-old organization.

Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion — preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since.

As a result of the committee’s decision, the Scouts’ national executive board will take no further action on a resolution submitted at its recent national conference asking for reconsideration of the membership policy.

The Scouts’ chief executive, Bob Mazzuca, contended that most Scout families support the policy, which applies to both adult leaders and Scouts.

Image: Boy Scouts, via spirit of america / Shutterstock.com.

Add a Comment